Jeanswear is a way of being even more than a choice of look
The first GAS collection was born more than 30 years ago, in 1984. What was the starting point of this new brand? Why a denim brand?
I grew up admiring the disruptive style of American movie stars like Marlon Brando, James Dean... In my twenties the swinging London of the Beatles and the Stones was a sort of promise land. Those were the years of the youth counter-culture and from London we started to hear the echo of a new lifestyle and a free and casual look that reflected it. In those days the Italian market lacked a range of clothing that could “dress” the changing world. This is why I started from my family’s haberdashery’s shop to sell the symbol of that epochal change: jeans. Soon after that I felt the need of producing something original and unique that reflected my taste and my vision.I started from the basement of my house but very soon my little workshop started to gradually evolve into a proper company. In 1984 my dream became true with the launch of the first collection with my brand that still today has its DNA in denim, the cornerstone that the collections revolve around.
What do you remember about the first GAS collection?
GAS was started as a menswear brand that, then and now, revolves around denim. The women’s line was born right after in a very natural and spontaneous way. In 1984 Italy was just coming out of the controversial 70s and the economy was booming. Young people were breathing wealth and hope. The “paninari” movement was exploding and, beyond the consumerism and the disengagement that don’t belong to our brand’s attitude, the style was strongly influenced by that phenomenon. Colourful down jackets and sweatshirts, big prints, denim jackets with faux fur collars and straight, over-cuffed jeans were essential, almost a uniform.
How was the double rainbow logo born?
One day I was in Cape Town, South Africa, and after a storm, right where the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean meet, two rainbows crossing over each other appeared through the sunlight. This natural phenomenon with its immense energy was the inspiration to associate to our brand the symbol that still today reflects the basic values of the brand and its collections: essentiality, sensuality, positivity, freshness and authenticity.
GAS at the beginning was an artisan brand. Now the brand is global. What is your vision and what is remaining of its original spirit?
The brand is maintaining an artisan flavour thanks to the accuracy in the making of our products. This goes hand-in-hand with our global vision. Our craftsmanship sits on the values of our product values. The know-how, the accuracy in every detail, the quality of the materials and the manufacturing, the balance of quality and style, function and style go together with our natural vocation for innovation. This urge finds its expression thanks to our artisanal room. A place where all new production processes are tried out “in vitro”. Concerning our international vision, despite the fact that it was born in a small town in the North-East of Italy, the project for GAS has always been that of making it a global brand. Since the first years of my adventure as an entrepreneur, I got some important contacts in Germany where I had worked when I was very young. Every week I took the car to hand over the jeans just packed in the laboratory under the house and gather new orders. Since then I never living out of a carry-on bag, chasing every inspiration and opportunity that moved. This experience took me gradually to the establishment of commercial subsidiaries and to the signature of distribution agreements at a global level.
How does your vision of fashion has changed over these three decades?
Style and trends have changed over these years and our collections evolved with them. Nevertheless, my vision is still the same of the early history: offer quality products that meet the needs of intelligent, aware, international and cosmopolitan consumers. Clothes that have a contemporary flavor but go beyond current fashions to express the wearer’s individuality on every occasion.
One last question, you are the founder and the chairman of a big company. How do you manage to reconcile work and private life?
I could say I work all the time or that I have never worked in my whole life. Mine is not a profession, it’s a passion. Also, there isn’t any effort that the satisfaction of having created an international company where my daughters have set their career cannot compensate. Then, when the pressure becomes too strong and the risk is that of lose the contact with my roots, I wear my trekking shoes and my backpack and at the first light of the day, I climb the mountains that surround my house.