To mark the release of the hotly-anticipated Sopranos prequel – The Many Saints of Newark – we caught up with Gandolfini superfan and vintage collector, Gabriel Marfisi, to explore his assortment of like-for-like garms from inside Tony Soprano’s closet.
Undoubtedly one of the most popular television series of all time, The Sopranos pioneered the binge worthy boxset era. Sitting at number 13 on IMDB’s Top 250 rated TV shows, throughout its run The Soprano’s garnered critical acclaim worldwide and is held up as an exemplum of first rate television writing. While plaudits and awards from the show and cast-at-large are plentiful, it’s the late James Gandolfini’s portrayal of the show’s lead, Tony Soprano, which will sit forever in collective memory as one of the most iconic television performances to date.
As the movie prequel to The Sopranos – The Many Saints Of Newark – hits theatres and HBO MAX, The Basement caught up with Gabriel Marfisi (@Don_Gabe_Marfisi) to get in on his encyclopaedic knowledge, and run an exclusive editorial featuring some of the best pieces of his like4like Tony Soprano wardrobe collection.
Gabriel Marfisi, vintage style aficionado and collector, started the Instagram page @TonySopranoStyle back in December 2019. As the page’s curator and owner, Gabriel is currently developing his very own clothing label, Potenza Uomo, inspired by classic style cues seen in iconic mob flicks set in the 1960s.
Tribute to the work of The Sopranos’ costume designer, Juliet Polcsa, @TonySopranoStyle covers every look worn by Tony Soprano during the six season run. While Gabriel’s collection does not include the OG screen worn pieces, he has sourced replicas of the items worn by Gandolfini on the show with a staggering success rate.
In contrast to similar crime shows, the clothes worn by Tony and the rest of the crew don’t give off the same luxurious splendor of a Tony Montana or a Vito Corleone. Tony Soprano is a man of means, but there is a subtlety to his style and demeanour which belies the stacks he has hidden in dubious locations throughout the seasons.
In a 2014 interview, the show’s costume designer, Juliet Polcsa, spoke on her consideration for the small details. “David Chase [writer and producer of The Sopranos] was very clear that he wanted these characters to be true to life, no stereotypes.”
As the show’s lead, Tony always sported slightly better drip than the rest making his status as mob boss clear without losing sight of the show’s no-stereotypes subtlety. Despite his wealth increasing each season, there was potential for Gandolfini to be styled reflecting his character’s social status, however Polcsa kept the styling humble. “Tony was still a bit of an everyman, so being flashy would take the viewer out of that. His suits did get better though. Mostly because I found a better tailor.”
In today’s lexicon, Tony Soprano’s daily uniform of printed camp collar shirts, knit polos, gold jewellery, pleated trousers and Gucci loafers, have all become modern menswear staples, flitting in and out of popularity over the last two decades. Gabriel Marfisi’s extensive collection of Tony Soprano’s style rotation reflects a unique slice of early 2000s menswear, showing how the iconic show became an under-the-radar trend forecast. With Gandolfini’s son – Michael Gandolfini – picking up the gauntlet to play a young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark, we’re excited to see the character’s formative wardrobe choices on the silver screen.
Photographer: Sam Davies
Assistant: Juan Lopez