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Galleria-T Interview with Enquire.it (English Version)

I thought I would post this for those of you who missed out on the Enquire interview due to lack of the lingo (Italian)
This is the English version!
Q1-    January, 9th. After a long period of preparation and planning, as well as regular updates on the web and as much mystery as is enough, finally Galleria-T has been launched. Would you tell us about this project?
A1- The whole concept of Galleria-T is about creating and exhibiting beautiful pieces of unique wearable art, ‘where the clothing is the canvas.’
All of the Galleria-T artwork has been meticulously selected and commissioned in collaboration with a handpicked selection of International Illustrators, Graphic Designers, Photographers, Fashion Stylists, Musicians, and others working within the Fashion and Creative Media industries.
Creating Galleria-T has been an incredibly rewarding journey, and it has taken me over a year to get to where we are now. Along the way I’ve made many friends, many of whom either own or aspire to have their own Independent Clothing line, or business. I wanted to fundamentally create something into which I could channel all of my creativity and ideas into, in collaboration with the creative friends I know and will come to meet along the way.  

Q2-    What’s the meaning of “Galleria-T”?

A2- Quite simply ‘T shirt Gallery’ Originally I wanted to open up a great big open space and display hard to find vintage T shirts for sale as in an exclusive Art Gallery. This was the original concept, but as the project developed so did my ideas, and over time Galleria-T changed its course.  

Q3-    In these months Galleria-T has been disclosing its journey, its growing up and development throught the social networks, from the label’s choice to the lookbook’s photo-shooting. And we, as perfect humans, have been following all that with infinite curiosity. Why did you choose to present Galleria-T in this way? It’s just about the role that social networks play in our life today, or you think this could help your work concretely?

A3- I thought it would be really interesting to to show how I took on the challenge of developing Galleria-T from scratch. From the initial brain storming session and mood boards, through to the research and design process, and development of the Brand Identity.
Many people dream of starting their own Fashion line, or business for that matter. I wanted to show that with time, dedication and a lot of hard work it is all possible.
Documenting this process through the various channels of Social Networking such as Facebook, Twitter and by blogging gave me a huge online audience, and potential clientele.
As Galleria-T developed so did our following. Not only has Galleria-T attracted an amazingly loyal following, but by using sites such as Facebook and Twitter we have been able to promote the brand directly to our target audience.
We are at present an online business so it makes sense to promote the business online. That being said it’s incredibly important to also meet face to face so we hope to hold some fantastic events in the future

Q4-    You’ve been working in the fashion business for many years, but your career it’s not that one a fashion designer usually does. What drove you to create your own brand?
A4- Firstly I wouldn’t call myself a Fashion Designer in any way or form, maybe Project Manager would be more the correct title, after all I have not created the artwork on the T shirts, but what I have done is source everything, worked closely with my young team of Illustrators, and put everything together.
I have always wanted to have my own business, and to be my own boss. I came to Milan from London nearly 4 years ago and I always said to my wife that if I moved to Italy then I wanted to do my own thing, I was bored of working for other people, and now felt like the right time to utilise all of the experience that I had gained and use it to create something which I could call my own.
I consider myself very lucky to have experienced many things, to have travelled, and to have met and worked alongside some incredible people, through this there has always been that urge to fulfil my dream and satisfy my creative urge. Galleria-T is my channel to satisfy this.

Q5- The philosophy behind Galleria-T, to consider garments as <<pieces of unique wearable art, ‘where the clothing is the canvas’>>, expresses exactly what every good t-shirt should do and should be. Despite, today, the t-shirt’s business is quite hacknayed, isn’t it?

A5- The T shirt industry is saturated right now, but then when has it not been? The humble T shirt can be mean nothing to some, and everything to others. The T shirt is the base to the majority of our everyday outfits, yet it is not always easy to find one which you can fall in love with. Art is not always available to all, through Galleria-T I wanted to change that, through the medium of Fashion.

Q6- In your opinion, what differentiates Galleria-T from all other t-shirts’ brands?
A6- The Personal touch, I’m easily accessible through all the Social networking channels, everyday I meet new people all through Galleria-T and the project has opened up so many wonderful friendships and opportunities. I’m also completely open to helping others start there own projects, etc.
Being this easy to find means that it is also easier to criticise what I produce, hence the importance of the quality of my product. I’m not a huge Corporate Fashion house producing my T shirts in a sweatshop in Bangladesh, but merely one man, who has meticulously developed and created Galleria-T, and is fortunate to have an amazing selection of supportive and talented friends to help him along the way to realising his dream.

Q7- You’re from London, one of the most important Capitals of Fashion World, especially of that kind of fashion, the most avant-garded. But you live in Milan. What are the differences between these 2 Cities in the way they approach fashion and young designers?
A7- London I love, it’s my hometown and I miss it dearly, but then the longer I am here in Milan the fonder I have become for it. London I love because you can wear what the hell you want and no-one will batter an eyelid, London has always been a place of freedom and experimentation, with all the subcultures blurring together. Here in Milan it’s incredible, there are so many ‘Dandy’ people, and I love the really refined looks. What really bugs me though is how a lot of people all dress the same, sometimes there is almost a ‘divisa’ with only a small proportion of people who are really experimental. That being said the Milanese really know how to put a look together! I think London is an amazing place for inspiration, it is such an open minded place, sometimes it seems the whole world lives in London. I think that for Design,  Milan is inspirational, it’s a small city, but with a huge amount of incredibly talented people packed so closely together, this can only encourage the creative energy it holds within.  

Q8- We liked very much your decision of commissioning each t-shirt to an Artist, Graphic Designers, Illustrator, Photographer etc. How these collaborations were born and how they develop?

A8- Through friendships and experiences during the past decade I have met some incredible people who all work in all these aspects of the creative Industries, I want to utilise and share all of these incredible talents with a wider more mainstream audience, through the medium of Fashion, not just clothing, but everything else and more! How these collaborations develop you will have to wait and see.

Q9- Why the title “The Weird and The Wonderful”? Who or what is weird for you, and who or what is wonderful?
A9- I was trying to think of a title that was really conceptual and arty, but then a friend saw the collection artwork and said they were really ‘weird but quite wonderful.’ I already had the title in mind, and when I heard someone else say that it just fit.
Being English I’m used to eccentricity, so I find few things weird. Weird to me is when people are not interested, or lack the hunger to learn, with no desire to fulfil what they are able to achieve, instead standing still and just waiting for something to happen.
Wonderful I find those who are the complete opposite, those that strive to achieve something and stop at nothing to achieve that goal, that to me is incredibly refreshing, and motivating.  

Q10- Each piece is produced and printed ethically in USA. It’s very “American Apparel” style! Tell us about this choice. You know, all over the world the made in italy is still synonimous of quality…is it an economic question or what?

A10- It was a question of producing the best quality T shirts that I could possibly create.  I researched for the best quality, industry standard T shirt, with the right feel and weight of cotton, as well as the best printer who creates the softest, lightest yet most vibrant print with a real artisan touch.
I am very proud to have ‘Made in the USA’ on my labels, as well as potentially being the home of the T shirt, it is for me a true sign of quality, especially in the T shirt and Apparel industry.
In the future as Galleria-T expands so will our product range. I already know of one product which will be produced here in Italy, actually very close to Milan, itself. With this we really are talking artisan!

Q11- Galleria-T is online just since a few days, may be premature asking how it is going, but how I told you, we’re very curious…
A11-Things are going really well thanks, it is really early days yet, we are a small fish in a big pond, but so far the response has been incredible, thankyou to all of you who have supported the brand so far.  

Q12- This capsule collection is sold just online for now, but are you planning to contact some shops and starting a selling campaing, soon or later, or do you prefer to be contacted from independent boutiques, for having unique pieces in their place?

A12- Galleria-T is really small, our first collection being only 400 pieces, 7 designs, right now we are not really in a position to sell wholesale, although I thing it is absolutely vital to do so in order to grow. We have already had a few stores/showrooms take an interest in Galleria-T, but for the immediate time being, we are focusing more on the online business. In the future though we would be honoured to have our T shirts on sale Worldwide.  

Q13- What are your plans? Any parallel project? What will be Galleria-T’s next step?

A13- Absolutely! I’m always full of plans, but for those you will have to wait and see.  

Q14- Last question. What represents that red dot?

A14- The logo was created by my Graphic Designer Andrea Ruffo. He created a page, with a series of the logo in various colourways. In true Galleria-T fashion I asked our following, via uploading the page onto our Facebook Group, their opinion on which version they thought was best.
The outcome was pretty unanimous and the logo was born. I like to think the Red Dot symbolises the heart at the core of our brand, but maybe I’m just being too sentimental!

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