Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dapperless Dons

Forget the slammer — march them to the tailor.
The sweep of 127 reputed mobsters on Thursday was a fashion bloodbath, with the washed-up wiseguys dragged off by the feds in sorry sweatshirts, loose jeans and tawdry tracksuits.
“This is the worst of American style,” said Will Welch, a GQ editor. “They don’t even deserve to be loan sharks.”
Unlike the dapper dons of yesteryear, the current look of the city’s Five Families is ill-fitting sweatpants, sneakers and hoodlum hoodies.
The gangsters of old would be rolling over in their mausoleums to see such schlumpy style, howled fashionistas and mob historians.
MICHAEL 'JELLO' KUHTENIA -- Family: Gambino. Nash says: 'There were 16 indictments, although this might justify a 17th.'
MICHAEL "JELLO" KUHTENIA -- Family: Gambino. Nash says: "There were 16 indictments, although this might justify a 17th."

“My first thought was that they’d busted up a tailgating party,” said Arthur Nash, author of “New York City Gangland” and a veteran collector of mob memorabilia.
Their natty dress once turned mobsters into folk heroes. The pinstriped suits, gold cufflinks and silk ties gave a sense of wealth and class — a look perfected by goodfellas Al Capone, Carmine “Lilo” Galante and Joseph “Joe Bananas” Bonanno.
Tailored suits were a must, as were monogrammed pocket squares, pinky rings and Gucci shoes. “The kingpins were all extremely flamboyant. The whole presentation made them local heroes,” Welch said.
In later years, godfathers like Carlo Gambino and Paul Castellano (a k a “The Howard Hughes of the Mob”) still looked sharp in three-piece suits and starched white shirts.
“Dapper Don” John Gotti spent thousands of dollars on his Italian-made suits and was never spotted without them.

But the sartorial tide was already starting to turn with his son, John “Junior” Gotti, who was often seen in polo shirts and hoodies.
But Mafia-wear might have hit rock bottom with last week’s takedown.
“No one is fighting to buy the rights to make a movie about a guy in a hunting jacket,” said Welch, slamming Edward Aulisi, 51, who authorities charged with being a member of the Genovese family.
He added, “You don’t want your lawyer to look twice as respectable as you.”
We asked Nash to weigh in on the dowdy dons of today:


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