- Ciao, Ale. So tell us about Gaiola and who is behind it?
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
- 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
- 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
- What are the inspirations, both for the brand on the whole, and also the
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
- 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 finally made.
- What are some of the key pieces from the launch AW collection?
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 yellowDonegal wool overshirt is quite iconic in the launch
- 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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