February 18, 2020 – TCN meets the modern masters of Trogir in our latest series. Next up, distinguished Dalmatian-inspired suits by Boris Burić – Gena.
In November 2019, Trogir unveiled a new branding strategy, visual identity, and promotional video, becoming the first coastal destination in Croatia to use branding at such a serious and professional level.
The result of the creative process is the slogan “Marked by Masters”, influenced by the continuity of life in Trogir for over 3600 years, the great masters who have operated in Trogir since the Middle Ages, and the indelible traces that these masters leave.
While the medieval master builders, sculptors, and stone-cutters who lived and created in Trogir left their mark through the traces of graffiti around the town, centuries later, we can find Trogir’s modern masters thriving as artists, chefs, jewelers, tailors, and klapa singers, to name a few.
Today, we meet Boris Burić, aka ‘Gena’, a master tailor that specializes in men’s fashion and traditional Dalmatian suits.
“I make suits for the soul of a man,” Gena was quoted saying in a 2019 interview for Jutarnji List, and it’s not hard to see why.
In an attic inside the UNESCO walls of Trogir, Boris Burić founded the fashion atelier Gena in 1973. Inspired by the beauty of traditional civic attire, the Gena – Fashion Croatica collection was created, which is a blend of tradition and high-end fashion, unique and recognizable in the world.
Considered a genius at the age of 5, hence the nickname ‘Gena’, it wasn’t until the age of 15 that the Trogir tailor sewed his first suit. While it was not Dalmatian, but classic, that is when Gena began to hone his skill. Two years later, he married, and soon after had his first child. As a young man, and already a father, he needed to find a way to feed his family. Thus, the idea of creating traditional Dalmatian suits was borne.
Gena styles a version of the civic suit, inspired by the beauty of the traditional types from the 19th-century. He begins with a strictly limited traditional outfit, and gradually adds new details to create a flawless, elegant form.
This blend of tradition and high-end fashion has made any Gena suit unique and recognizable in the world. Modernizing the lines and perfecting the quality and details of the past creates a distinctive style of high fashion in which the romantic trace of history and the spirit of modernity are discernable. Tiny details are added to enrich the whole and give a personal touch to simple, elegant and beautiful suits, with full freedom to introduce your personality and style.
“My suits have ten faces. Each shows one side of the man, but they all have something in common. It’s simplicity, dignity, pride, leisure, and it all harmonizes to create the perfect suit,” says Gena, who is also known to claim himself as the ‘best tailor in the world’.
“The Dalmatian suit is the basic construction of the cut. The tradition of Dalmatian suits has existed for 120 years. In fact, I do nothing more than repeat what has been proven best and add my own details that tell a new story,” says Gena.
Gena’s skills have long been recognized by many celebrities and various media. His passion for the craft is noticed at first glance.
Gena suits have been worn by Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone, Spanish opera tenor Placido Domingo, and German racing driver Sebastian Vettel.
The first diplomatic gift US President Barack Obama received from Croatia was a Gena suit, from the hands of Biograd Mayor Ivan Knez in 2009. Gena said he didn’t sleep for three days while creating it.
Croatian stars, like Stipe Mesic, Goran Ivanisevic, and Dino Rada barely make a dent in his local clientele.
Gena even created a custom suit for multimillionaire Bruce Grossman, who sailed to Croatia in summer on his $40 million ‘Forever One’ yacht. Grossman tried on the suit in the presence of his family and friends. When Grossman left the room, Gena recalls that it went silent. Grossman’s wife spoke first.
“I’m fascinated,” she claimed, which Gena considers the highest praise he can receive for his work.
Gena’s intense emotion, unparalleled passion, and meticulous detail, fused with an ode to tradition and eye for elegance, give birth to works of art that are timeless, bold, and beautiful.
“When you see a man in my suit, you have to look at him, whether you like it or not. No matter who you are, poor or rich, you’ll stop for a moment, shut up, and look at him.”
To read more about the modern masters leaving their mark on Trogir today, as well as the latest from this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site, follow the dedicated TCN Trogir page.