Camillo and Angela Tramontana came to the United States from Italy, as many before them did: in search of opportunity. Camillo, a custom tailor taught by his uncle in Italy from the age of eight, set his eyes on Norwalk, where he opened a tailor shop in 1966, making suits for customers in Fairfield County. The couple soon saw even more opportunity in the untapped niche of renting and selling tuxedos and changed the business focus, opening another shop in Orange in 1971. Today Angela runs the Orange shop and Camillo oversees Norwalk.
What began 50 years ago as a couple with a dream has become a 5,000 square foot location at 155 Main Street in Norwalk, a smaller shop in Orange as this couple makes others’ dreams come true.
There are few business-owners engaged in so many of their customers’ big life events—sweet sixteen celebrations, bar mitzvahs, proms, corporate occasions and, of course, weddings, to name a few—than the Tramontanas. “There are so many stories and so many emotions involved with this business,” Angela said. “The brides come back with pictures and I cry every time. Boys come in for their prom tuxedos and then come back for their wedding. It is emotional.”
It is the commitment to perfection and the devoted personal attention that keeps customers coming back through their life events. “We believe very strongly in what we do,” Angela said. “It’s a good business and we do have a good reputation because we treat customers with dignity.”
What makes Camillo’s different from other shops is that each location has over 300 styles and hundreds of accessories on the premise. All tuxedos are owned and dry-cleaned by the company, cutting out the middle man, and allowing Camillo’s to keep prices low. An average rental costs between $125 and $200. The shop also sells tuxedos and according to David Dorchinsky, who has been working alongside Angela for over 22 years, “The difference is the personal attention.” Tuxedo sizes range from size 3 to 74XL—literally a suit for any shape and any size.
“Having a perfect fit is important, no matter what your body type,” Dorchinsky said. “We had one groom who had lost 40 pounds since his first fitting. He started to panic when the suit didn’t fit, but 30 minutes later, he walked out with a perfect suit. Everything is right here. There are no catalogs, nothing to order.” Tuxedos are mostly rented, though some are sold. The rule of thumb, according to Dorchinscky, is if you’re going to wear a tuxedo three times over a span of a year or so, it’s more cost effective to buy.
“We deliver more than promises,” Angela said. “We can’t just get on the cash register and take money. Every person who comes in here must walk out smiling.
At 72 and 76 years old, Angela and Camillo have no plan on retiring yet. “I can’t even take a week off. I try, but I miss it after a few days and find I have to get back to work—not because I have to, but because I want to,” Angela said. When the time comes to retire, their grandson (also aptly named Camillo) has agreed to take the business over. “We have no intention of retiring just yet, but when it’s time, it makes me happy that we will not close or sell. The business will go on,” Angela said.
By Melissa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent