New Britain native designs suits for baseball legend David Ortiz, including one for Hall of Fame induction – Hartford Courant

When baseball legend David Ortiz is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, he will be dressed in a red and blue suit designed by Salvatore Paterno, who grew up in New Britain and has strong family ties here.

Paterno, owner of Milano Fine Men’s Fashion on Long Island, has been Ortiz’s stylist for about three years. Paterno said the blue suit with red stitching to wear with a white shirt is symbolic of the colors of the flag of America and the Dominican Republic, where Ortiz is from.

Tony Ramos, Ortiz’s assistant, said the costume for the induction was “incredible”.

“Nobody has that,” Ramos said.

Ramos also added that the outfit Ortiz wore during Paterno’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game was “a sensation.”

Ortiz is a 10-time All-Star who helped the Boston Red Sox win three World Series championships.

“It’s special because I’ve been a Red Sox fan since 1968,” Paterno said of the suit’s design. “I’ve been an avid Red Sox fan.”

Paterno said he was part of the crowd in the ESPN 30 for 30 video during the Yankees’ 2004 Game 7 against the Red Sox ALCS.

Paterno, who will be invited to the induction, has also been a fan of Ortiz – as a person – since meeting the slugger through a friend a few years ago. Paterno got to know him better after attending a cigar party featuring Ortiz’s product.

“He’s a fun guy, a very generous person who gives back to the community,” Paterno said. “He’s such a good guy.”

Paterno became Ortiz’s stylist after gifting the player a costume, as he noticed that Ortiz “needed things to fit better”. Paterno’s specialty, he said, is fitting clothes to body types for the best results. Ortiz needs slimming cuts because although he’s in good shape, he’s “square,” Paterno said.

Paterno said Ortiz told him the costume he made was “the best costume I’ve ever had.”

It was there are many custom suits and shirts.

Paterno, who left Italy for America around the age of 12, graduated from Pulaski High School and lived in New Britain until 1978, when he traveled to Miami to learn the clothing trade.

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Paterno had no formal training, but fashion was around him at a young age, he said.

Her mother, who still lives in New Britain with her sister, was a fashion designer, Paterno said, and her father liked to dress fashionably.

As a teenager, Paterno found himself spending a lot of money on nice clothes, sometimes working all month to buy a pair of pants. He decided to go into business so he could continue to dress that way. He was named “best dressed” in his high school class.

In Miami, he rose through the ranks of the large, quality menswear company he worked for – sales, management, purchasing. Work often took him to Italy.

Paterno said he often travels to Connecticut to see his family and clients here.

In addition to designing Ortiz’s Hall of Fame ceremonial attire, Paterno recently delivered him 12 custom suits and six sports jackets for Ortiz’s future commentator gigs on Fox Sports.

Paterno, who is married with five children, said Ortiz has told him many compliments he receives on Paterno’s suits.

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