Gioventu is quickly becoming a staff-favorite here at Machus. Every time we open a box of new arrivals from these guys we get excited about it's contents instantly. They have it down - from color palate to fit - everything is on point from these guys. We built out a few brief questions and asked the men behind the brand to give us an incite into their world. Enjoy!
Give me a backstory on you two. How you guys met, where the idea for the business came from, where you found the original inspiration for Gioventu, how you came up with the name, basically give me an in-depth look into the origin story of Gioventu.
Charlie started Gioventu NYC doing one-offs in 2013. It was more graphic design than fashion, and the pieces did well as experiments. His parents are both designers so it’s in his blood. We met in school in 2014 and slowly realized that it might be worth working together. Charlie had a vision for a brand and an environment that no one person could carry out on their own, at least not on the level that we are working at now. I came in on the business side to help build the brand into something sustainable and really enable us to create product and everything else at a higher level.
Gioventu New York was born in summer 2014, when we released the first version of the Essex T. We wanted to start with a piece that was current but that we could back up with really good quality and materials. Gioventú means “youth” in Italian. To us, youth means a foundation—something to build on top of. When we release each piece, it’s the beginning of its lifecycle. We want it to get beat up and hold up. That’s our favorite aspect of fashion. The construction and design is only the beginning of the process. The person wearing it has just as much, if not more, control over what happens next.
Because of this, everything has to last, which is why we take so much time finding the best materials for each piece. We’re working with the best cottons, zippers and accessories to make pieces that age and keep that feeling of something being precious as long as possible. That’s how we approach everything we make. We’re always thinking about time and its effects and building for the future.
The inspiration for the aesthetic comes from two places: European design, specifically Belgian minimalism, and the Farrow & Ball color set, which is full of these desaturated and muted tones that work beautifully together. Each piece we make is inspired by a piece that can be worn underneath it; they’re built to exist together. From the initial drawings to the final product we’re always thinking about the cohesion of the end look, beyond any single piece.
What does a day in the life look like? I know you guys are bootstrapping the entire project, so tell me what that looks like in your world.
Our days are hectic and never the same. We’re often running around the Garment District, checking in on samples or looking at zippers or buttons or other things. We’ve been lucky to assemble a really amazing group of advisors and mentors so we meet with them often. Making physical things is ridiculously hard and talking with people who have done it before, often hundreds more times than you have, has been crucial. If we’re not running around, we’re working in my apartment on upcoming pieces, shipping out orders and making sure everything is running as smoothly as possible. Is it’s always a roller coaster and we’ve realized that after a few good days you’re due for a bad one. We’re finally getting used to this, but seeing that the final product after months of planning and prototyping always keeps us going.
The future. Where you want Gioventu to go, what the plans for future growth look like, what does next season have in store, what fabrics are you jazzed about using, whatever future forecasting you want to hook it up.
Our short term goal is to stay on the current path making more and more pieces and continuing to grow the audience. We think we’re onto something but we know we have a ways to go. We’re sticking to tops now but Charlie has some really awesome lowers planned, among some other big pieces we’re always thinking about. But we’re going to keep focusing on completing the top half of our vision.
In the long term, we’ll get into developing full seasons. The vision we’ve put out and are constantly refining has room for experimentation and growth in it. We want to keep putting more time into our photoshoots, continue improving the experience online and the product as a whole.
Finally a little bio on both of you two biography style:
Charlie Giannetti - 21
I grew up surrounded by design, as both my parents are designers, and always knew I was going to do something where I could actually make products. I worked for a clothing manufacturing company when I was in high school where I started to see how everything worked and from there, I started an early version of this brand. Eventually my understanding and knowledge of fashion grew. This allowed us to step beyond the graphic streetwear and into contemporary menswear, which is what we’re working with now.
Born and raised in Santa Monica and moved to New York for school.
Richie Siegel - 21
I’ve been building things since I was little. Lot’s of filmmaking, photography and design. Creating was always the most interesting thing for me. This allows Charlie and I to work really well together, since we can speak a similar language. Before Gioventu I worked on a lot of media and tech projects, and that experience has been essential for building a brand in the 21st century. But this is easily the most I’ve been invested in any given project. There’s no other way to do it; you have to give it all you got.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio. We moved to outside New York City when I was seven, and I’ve been here ever since.
A big thank you to the guys over at Gioventu for taking the time to chat with us, and for the original photography they gave us. Shot on a film camera, and completely original work exclusively for the Machus blog!