The cardinals announced their choice of pope on 13 March, electing Argentinean Jorge Mario Bergoglio – the first non-European pope for 1,300 years. His appointment might be a break from the norm, but when it comes to the new pope’s garb the Vatican is sticking with tradition.
The wardrobe of Pope Francis – formerly archbishop of Buenos Aires – will be in the capable hands of tailors and sixth-generation family business Ditta Annibale Gammarelli.
Located near the Pantheon in the heart of Rome, Gammarelli tailors have been busy working away since Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement in February. To cater for all potential popes, Gammarelli has churned out six sets of handmade white wool robes – two lots of small, medium and large – as well as the white papal skullcap, red cope and gold trimmed white sash.
The tailoring business was founded in 1798 by Giovanni Antonio Gammarelli, and has since clothed thousands of priests, hundreds of bishops and cardinals, and no less than six popes to date. Pope Francis will be the seventh pope to sport Gammarelli garments.
Although not many people will need a full set of ecclesiastical robes, anyone who wants to steal a little of the pope's style can buy Gammarelli's socks via French company Mes Chaussettes Rouges.