Fashion and Style

Domenico Spano Dies at 79; Clothier of Stars Found Fame of His Own

Domenico Spano, a New York custom clothier who outfitted captains of industry and Hollywood stars, and whose own dandyish style made him a highly recognizable peacock on the streets of the city as well as in newspaper fashion pages, died on Oct. 23 in Manhattan. He was 79.

His daughter Elisabeth Spano said he died in a hospital of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Mr. Spano, who went by the nickname Mimmo, was born in the Calabria region of southern Italy. But although he grew up in a country known for its illustrious fashion history, he made his name in New York as a champion of classic American style, as epitomized by the timeless elegance of silver-screen legends like Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Cary Grant and Gary Cooper.

With his own head-turning outfits, rendered in colorful patterns and bold prints and complete with felt fedoras, paisley scarfs, suspenders, bow ties and an ever-present carnation in his lapel, he would become a fixture in street-style columns like The New York Times’s “On the Street,” written and shot by his friend, the photographer and fashion-world institution Bill Cunningham.

In a 2014 column, Mr. Cunningham celebrated what he saw as “signs of a new peacock revolution,” citing Mr. Spano as “a star of the movement.”

“Sometimes,” he added, “I dream that I am in these 1930s movies. I cannot be the guy like Humphrey Bogart with my accent, but I can play a lowlife or gangster.

“I feel bad for people who don’t dream.”

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