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Ipswich: Anthony imports clothes direct from the factories

16:34 12 April 2014

The Italian Shirt Shop, Anthony Ashley

The Italian Shirt Shop, Anthony Ashley

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Bringing Italian style to Ipswich

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Anthony Ashley may have a traditional English name.

But he is married to an Italian wife, Felice, also speaks the language himself and is an enthusiast for Italian style and fashion.

“I say I am trying to bring Italian style to Ipswich. I met my wife, who is Italian, 14 years ago.”

When I dropped in on him at his Italian Shirt Shop in St Peter’s Street, he was dressed head to toe in Italian clothes.

“Everything is Italian, from my stock,” he said.

Even his shoes were Italian-made, though he doesn’t sell shoes at present.

In fact Anthony is the man with two names.

He has his own brand, Antonio Bellini, and answers the phone to that name too, especially if the caller is Itaian.

“Everything here is made in Italy. The quality and style is amazing. Italian shirts are some of the best in the world.

“I am selling designs you won’t find in the High Street.

“I get better prices because I buy direct and you won’t find these designs anywhere else.

“When you go to Italy you are struck by the style and fashion sense of the men and well as the women.”

Anthony has been involved in selling clothes and fashion for 20 years.

He previously had his own shop in Bishops Stortford and later had a concession, within a larger store, selling his own shirts.

“I moved to Ipswich Waterfront two years ago and I was commuting back to Bishops Stortford for two years.

“Then this shop unit came up in St Peter’s Street. I have always liked this road, it is the nicest road in Ipswich.

“I feel really comfortable here.

“I got it ready and opened in December. Now my “commute” is five minutes. I used to drive three to four hours a day.”

He had been very busy over Christmas, he said, and more recently Italian light-weight summer jackets were proving very popular.

Dressed in his Italian gear, he could pass for Italian, I think.

“I speak Italian now, and love to use it, but they soon spot I am English when I am there visiting the factories. They say `Inglesi’ and want to speak English.

“I taught myself Italian initially with CDs in the car and by watching Italian films. It helps too going over there a lot to use it.”

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