History & Museum
The “M. Cilento & F.llo” was founded in Naples in 1780, with headquarters in Largo San Giovanni Maggiore. It was precisely from this location that one of the most interesting commercial success stories of the Italian entrepreneurial world began, a story documented by numerous artifacts preserved in its historical archive, an archive declared by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism for the Campania region to be of historical interest of particular importance and subject to protection provisions.
In 1820 the company headquarters was moved to via Medina, to the Palazzo D’Aquino in Caramanico designed by the architect Ferdinando Fuga. In January 1831 the Cilento brothers built two spinning mills in Salerno, near the Irno and Sarno rivers, with the Swiss textile industrialists Don Davide Vonwiller and Federico Zublin, the Antiche Cotonerie Meridionali. The introduction of spinning and weaving of natural fibres such as cotton, linen and hemp, contributed significantly to the economic development of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Back in those years management of the company was in the hands of Federico Cilento who, thanks to his great entrepreneurial skills and an innate gift for commerce, managed to develop the company and bring it to its maximum splendor and prosperity.
In the early years of the twentieth century the company began tailoring shirts, suits, ties and other accessories for men, all made by Neapolitan labourers, the expression of a consolidated school of craftsmanship.
Years and generations pass and the Maison Cilento continues its activity, always conducted by the same family, maintaining its artisanal characteristics and high quality reputation, as confirmed by numerous national and international certifications and recognitions in the creation of garments and accessories for men, with the finest fabrics and materials. M. Cilento & f.llo is, among other notable distinctions, listed in the registry of historic Italian brands of national interest by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.
Cilento has a large archive and a rich family collection, the result, not only of the Maison’s centuries-old activities, but also of the research that Ugo Cilento has been carrying out for years to recover and enhance the historical memory of the sector.
The historical collection includes uniforms and ceremonial dresses from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, collars and cuffs from the Victorian age, period footwear, tailoring displays, hand-made sketches, samples of ancient fabrics, furnishings and many other precious memorabilia. As well, the collection includes antique wooden mannequins, shoe lasts and hat blocks, decorated pincushions, wooden measures, instruments which all bear witness to the habits and customs of the time and represent examples of refined manufacturing and high craftsmanship.
The rich and precious Cilento collection was also exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples in the Pompei model room.