During a visit to the surroundings of Naples a few months ago I met the gentlemen De Petrillo, owners of a small men’s clothing atelier in Frattamaggiore.
I would have liked to be able to gather some elements of that chat for an article on the site but it was not possible because many of the elements on which our Conversations are usually based were still in a somewhat primordial stage for them. And – as it’s known – TheStyleism does not review people like “you are good!” “you are not!” but collects elements of a chat with the players of the industry and on which assets they use to develop their business.
I met the De Petrillos two more times between Milan and Naples and now a few months later I am happy to start a collaboration with them on the all-round development of their De Petrillo and Gaiola brands. Let’s take a look at what has been done and it shall happen in the next few weeks.
For a menswear brand (practically single-product) it becomes increasingly difficult to be recognized, desired and finally chosen by a consumer who today can choose among a myriad of brands, tailors, even smaller tailors, all at a click distance (or “just an instagram post away”). And what then pushes a consumer to finally buy a jacket and not another… well just God knows why.
Observing the respective Instagram accounts of one and the other (@de_petrillo and @gaiola_napoli) it is easy to notice that the De Petrillos did not take much care of this part until now. Father and son (Fabrizio, the eldest of three) have been for years focused on the realization of the production unit and much (or very much) on the construction of the garment and make it better and better.
It took me about 6 hours (divided into two meetings) to explain them that the efforts made to build a quality item must be shared to a large number of potential clients.
Shortly after these 6 hours I had signed a contract with them.
This is not a brand new company, either for the age of the company or for the turnover that they already make, I would rather say that it requires organization in the development of such projects.
The development of the collections is therefore now divided into the two brands, more clearly then what it was before.
a) De Petrillo (label) is the line that bears the name of the family and in some way must reflect its taste. Certainly a formal, sober and refined collection. Japan is the first market that immediately (thanks to a strong and respected distributor) has laid a solid foundation for positioning the brand. The business has grown exponentially until now. Just look at the hashtag #depetrillo on Instagram to see the number of posts and where these come from.
The FW18 and SS19 collection, now being developed for a forthcoming presentation during Pitti Uomo in June, are made using a selection of Italian and English fabrics from the best suppliers.
The line features both fully-canvassed and half-canvas garments with a good number of hand-stitched steps, following the characteristics of how a garment is built following the Neapolitan tradition (under-collar, shoulder, bottom of the jacket, and internal rivets).
The overall mood of the brand is still rather classic and formal, and generally characterized by a refined taste. The price range (average) for the core categories should around € 1,100 / € 1,300 for a RTW suit and € 690 / € 890 for the jacket.
a) Gaiola (label) distributed until now as a cheaper De Petrillo to satisfy certain markets / retailers particularly price conscious, takes from the SS19 its own road detaching itself completely from the concept and positioning De Petrillo. And how?
Construction: some of the steps reserved to De Petrillo will not be (more) in the Gaiola garments. The garment will observe most of the features of De Petrillo, but the construction time of the jacket will be shorter, less hand finishmings and therefore the cost of the garment goes down. Gaiola garments are usually half-canvassed.
Models: the goal is to have a quality brand, fresh, modern and somehow a bit “rock & playful”, without going into any stylistic excess! But it looks like there’s a slice of the market that wants to dress in a less formal way, so with a jacket with a more special lapel or with pants with a higher rise and with a wider leg (oh yes !!!)
Fabrics: a choice of ad hoc fabrics less classic in the drawings but still very refined
Price range: accessible, as much as possible, at least 15% under De Petrillo, but on this topic we will be more precise in the coming weeks!
Style & overall development of the collections: I’ll be the one to guide the choices on Gaiola, always working together with the De Petrillos of course. And no, I have not become a Menswear Designer! (as long as a menswear collection which does not show on a catwalk needs one … ) and not even an expert Product Development Manager. DePetrillo already have specialized resources there, I just try to give value (and give back life) to some old models that the De Petrillo have developed across the years as well as carrying out some prototypes that I have been able to develop elsewhere so far.
Styling / Shooting of the collection : quite important … but we’ll do that as soon as the products are ready and we’re happy with that.
I hope you know my being always democratic, any best wish, question, criticism or insult is anytime welcome!
Thanks for reading !