ITALIAN TALENT — Lavaigienico Sapio, 50 years of engagement and elegance


The book, magnificently enriched with images by Alessandro Lanciato and with the text by Fiorenzo Marino, celebrates fifty years of achievements by this shop based in Succivo, in Caserta area. The Lab, whose owner Mariano Sapio, a passionate artisan, knew how to invent and patent Saritex, an awarded treatment for garments damaged by pollution, e.g. smog and acid rains

If a dry-cleaner is elegant, you can be sure that their clients will always be served as real “lords”. Simply because an exemplary artisan of dry-cleaning will naturally deliver not only perfectly washed and ironed shirts and pants to his clients but also wear flawlessly treated outfit himself. If he was received by Queen Elisabeth, she would admire his splendid collar, the faultless creases and the slightly bulgy cuffs. The only “secret” of the launderer Mariano Sapio, Mario for close friends, born in Atella di Napoli on 7 March 1946, is actually called elegance. Having received it as a gift from mother Nature, he knew how to cultivate it in the best possible way: first, by visiting vintage street markets with passion and enthusiasm, e.g. the Ercolano market also attended by costume designers from Cinecittà, then by opening the Lavaigienico Sapio shop on 15 October 1968 in Succivo, Caserta province where it is headquartered. His behaviour and demeanour make him an “integral” gentleman, distinguished by the elegant outfit. Mariano Sapio celebrated the 50° anniversary of this extraordinary shop-lab, opened half of the century ago with his mother Caterina, father Antonio and his sisters, Mariolina and Concetta.
Today, he runs it with his wife Michela, and their two daughters, Caterina and Rosa. Apart from a magnificent, inevitable anniversary party, a book dedicated to the business was elegantly edited by Studio Di Vilio and published by Il Ponte/Etrarte.

A close-up of Sapio’s face cut in half on the Cover page focuses on the intensity of the look in the eye of the main character. It introduces the fifty years of the history of the business through the photos by Alessandro Lanciato that enhance the artisan quality of the main character. The images alternate presenting the photos of the family business, details of the everyday work with the focus on a gesture of a hand, a washing machine’s porthole or the last touch ups to a cocktail party dress.
The exquisite iconography’s counterpart is a story that talks about fifty years of the business written by Fiorenzo Marino. Not only is he a dedicated narrator of the tale that seizes the moods and colors of the shop environment but he also benefits from not a secondary privilege of being an old friend of Mariano Sapio, Mario for close friends. Consequently, Marino traces the identikit of the main character by choosing the right episodes. The latter, elegant as he is, does not remain focused on the Lavaigienico activity growth alone but he
also acts at the service of the sector and the community in which he operates. This is what Saritex represents, an awarded brand elaborated and patented for the treatment of both natural and synthetic fabrics in case of deterioration by various polluting agents they have been exposed to: smog, acid rains, solar radiation, weather conditions. Mariano Sapio’s generous engagement in the social matters of the business category he represents is also quite outstanding. He covers the role of a manager of the CNA, the National Confederation of Artisans on the local and national level (Confederazione nazionale dell’artigianato). Francesco Geremia, the Director of the CNA, Caserta province, signed the preface of the book to be recommended to those who believe that work makes the humanity better. As long as it is carried out with honesty, engagement and a bit of elegance.

by Stefano Ferrio