Fine materials and finesse reign supreme at Franco Másoma in Los Gatos.
With his Italian tailored suit and patterned yellow bow tie, Franco Shoja looks the picture of confidence, and he wants the same for you. “We are all artists, but we cannot paint ourselves,” says the master of what he calls “the Franco Touch,” at his Franco Másoma boutique in Los Gatos. Bearing Shoja’s first name and his wife’s last name, the shop sells apparel for men and women. A refugee from Afghanistan, Shoja came to the U. S. in 1988 during the Soviet-Afghan War and launched his first menswear store in Fremont in 2004. He subsequently opened two others (called Franco Uomo) at Westfield Valley Fair and at Santana Row, but has since sold them.
Shoja’s bold style is inspired by a love of flowers, which influences the palette or flourishes he might suggest for his clients. Will it be a dual fabric French-cuffed shirt, a bright salmon sport coat or a silk suit that helps you make the maximum impression at your next board meeting, presentation or special occasion? Franco knows. Brushing his hand over the spill of colorful buttons atop the counter where you’ll sit as he sizes you up, he says, “Silicon Valley isn’t into ties, so we dress up shirts with fancy buttons. Bespoke is the best way to describe what I do.”
He’s suited up former San Francisco 49er and Super Bowl veteran Roger Craig, Mark Zuckerberg’s fashion-minded father and rock stars playing the Mountain Winery, but most of his clients are tech execs in their late 20s through their 60s. He’ll design the perfect blouse or cocktail dress, or even custom leather duffels. Be prepared to wait. A few things can be turned around quickly, like bow ties, which he fashions in-house. He also alters his ready-to-wear shirts and sport coats, from sizes XXS to 6XXL. If you select from his inventory of fabrics, he can also create custom shirts (from $455) in-house in as little as 10 days.
Three-piece made-to-measure suits can run upward of $5,000 and are handtailored in Naples, Italy, a process that takes five to six weeks. Italy is where he sources most of his fabrics, from houses like Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana, Lanificio F.lli Cerruti and Reda. Food, fashion and fast cars, made slowly and sparing no expense, are Italy’s hallmarks. Make an appointment with Shoja and you may end up looking like an Italian movie star. “Be happy,” says Shoja. “If you feel good, you look good. Remember, life is beautiful.” 45 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 408.402.5465