- Ciao, Ale. So tell us about Gaiola and who is behind
Gaiola is an everyday menswear brand that I’m developing
together with Fabrizio and Cristiano De Petrillo. I am currently
leading the design process of the collection but I want to make
sure that at least two of us would be happy to wear the products
we’re working on, bearing in mind that we have quite different
styles and lifestyles.
- What is the relationship with De Petrillo?
Gaiola is making the most of De Petrillo’s know-how when it
comes to developing new patterns and having access to all possible
fabric mills. So we’re really happy to have this access, but then
we go for what we believe is best for Gaiola, keeping in mind that
Gaiola needs to be very democratic when it comes to pricing and
with a more contemporary/edgy style.
- Where does the name come from?
Gaiola is one of the minor islands of Naples, a stone's throw
away from the city’s Posillipo residential quarter and facing
Capri, now a protected marine reserve. It’s a place where different
people meet to enjoy some sunbathing, a nice dive, some wealthy and
sophisticated people walking down from their residence in Posillipo
as well as younger guys who there on a scooter with a guitar
strapped to their backs. The heterogeneity of people visiting the
place has always been the main source of inspiration, hence
‘Gaiola’ as a brand was born.
- What is the aesthetic of Gaiola and what sort of person is
it aimed at?
We would like to be able to offer beautiful products that people
are happy to integrate, naturally, in their wardrobe. I am not that
attracted by other Italian brands with the same price-points -
they're usually “very Italian” when it comes to fabrics, details
and overall look. We want a more global, cosmopolitan look that
can't be pigeon-holed.
- What are the inspirations, both for the brand on the whole,
and also the launch collection?
When I first went to Gaiola I was attracted by the rock which is
an important component of the island. I was of course expecting to
see that deep blue of the ocean (btw it’s stunning!), but not the
nuances of the rocks, which range from a yellow-ish grey to a
bright yellow. The Gaiola area is not easy to reach, so everything
we make has to be quite practical - we construct clothing that
isn't just inspired by the island, but that could also be worn on
- Where is Gaiola made?
Right now everything is made in Naples; with more products being
added we’ll find the best place for each product, knowing that we
need to keep the prices at an approachable level. Our vision for
Gaiola is a wholly inclusive one.
- How are Gaiola's great value prices derived?
I’d say this is the most important element of the project.
Manufacturing has a cost and we have to acknowledge that; as well
as the fabrics we use. We try to be smart when putting the
collection together and we ask ourselves “Would you spend X euros
for this overshirt”? If the answer is yes then the product is
- What are some of the key pieces from the launch AW
The raglan overcoat, slightly longer than the knee in a Shetland
wool from Abraham Moon & Sons - I love the fit and the wool and
cashmere khaki is amazing. The yellow Donegal wool
overshirt is quite iconic in the launch collection also.
- How do you see people wearing Gaiola?
Most of my friends today are happy to
mix and match different styles together. I’d be happy to know
someone is wearing a Gaiola piece with a pair of Reebok or vintage
Clark’s, denim from Our Legacy and a t-shirt from Holiday Boileau.
When we presented the launch collection in Florence last January, a
friend of mine that runs a very popular blog in Sweden reported
that “Gaiola was one of the most interesting brands he saw during
the Pitti fair, a mix of contemporary / edgy designer that meets
Neapolitan tailoring” and that made us all very happy. That's
exactly what we're aiming for.
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