The Mirabellas of Madison Avenue

One family’s career history at Brooks Brothers

“My father left Naples in 1957, and he brought the whole family,” says Mario Mirabella, who came to America with his parents and 12 siblings to work for Brooks Brothers. The American consulate, where Mario’s father applied, was where job postings turned into career opportunities at the venerable menswear brand. Brooks Brothers was at the height of menswear production during this period and would send recruiters on expeditions to find the best tailors in the world. “Back in the ’50s, people went to ball games in three-piece suits,” Mario muses of the sartorial standards of the day.

“Back in the’50s, people went to ball games
in three-piece suits.”

The Mirabellas come from a long line of master tailors. Mario and Alfred are the second and third generations of their family to have worked for the company. The uncle and nephew trace their rise from the alterations shop to their respective roles as personal shopper and fifth-floor manager.

“My dad came to work for Brooks Brothers in 1963 as a tailor, and when I was sixteen, my uncle Mario hired me,” says Alfred, who has been working at the company for 35 years. The close-knit family that once all lived in the same brownstone made a second home at Brooks Brothers. “The customer is coming for the relationship that they’ve built with the salesperson over the years,” says Mario, reflecting on his 39-year tenure. While some come here for the clothing, they stay for the loyal associates.