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Interview with Antonio Ciongoli of Eidos Napoli, Part 1 - Page 5

post #61 of 81
Having seen some Eidos pieces in person as well as online, I'd say that you really have to see the fabrics in person. The Eidos silhouettes are very nice, but the fabrics really make the clothes sing. What looks loud on the screen can look luxurious and elegant in person.
post #62 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

While we have Antonio's ear, I was wondering if he can talk a little about the process of doing a RTW line.

Happy to.

Specifically, how is pattern making done at Eidos? Is it handled through Isaia, or do you have your own team for that? If it's handled through Isaia, do you have a say? What's the process like of making patterns for a RTW line?

When it comes to the creative process and our patterns, Isaia has very minimal input at this point. The factory where we produce tailored clothing has a pattern maker (used to be the head pattern maker at D'avenza) and I work with him very closely every season to develop the patterns for new tailoring models as well as tailored outerwear, trousers and sport pants. Each outside supplier has their own technical team and I spend a tremendous amount of time in Italy at the beginning of every season visiting each one to go through all of the details for new silhouette ideas.

I'm also curious about the designing and production of fabrics. I know many lines have their own textile design teams, but Eidos seems like a younger, newer, smaller operation (I don't mean that as an insult; I actually think it's kind of awesome). Do you do your own textile design, and how does that work with mills? I recently did a brown Fresco run with HFW, and frankly it took forever. I can't imagine what the process would be line for multiple fabrics, and in the kind of turnaround conditions necessary for tradeshows.

I saw your post about the brown fresco. My guess is that the resulting delay in your process is probably a combination of the fact that you were doing the design remotely and that you, being an individual commissioning a single swatch, were not high on the mills list of priorities. Had you been a textile designer for say, Canali, and had physically visited the mill to commission your swatch with an example of the scale/weave that you wanted with the yarns in front of you, you could have accurately conveyed what you wanted in 5 minutes and had a sample back in 4 to 6 weeks.

As for our own textile design - up to spring 2015 (what we just showed at Pitti) we have utilized 90% open piece goods for the collection. What that means is that at the beginning of every season I go to Milano Unica (the main fabric show for Italian mills) with my color stories for the season and see about 25 different vendors. From there I sort through thousands of swatches to get down to the 100 or show we choose to show in the collection. Starting with Fall 2015 I am making a big push into developing my own piece goods for the collection. I just spent some time in Biella developing a wide assortment of exclusive fabrics with my favorite mill. I went to there with a few specific ideas and an assortment of vintage fabrics and then spent some time going through the mill's archive as well. After choosing a fabric composition (quality) and weight, I worked with the mill's head designer and technician on pattern and scale, and then chose yarn colors that would go back to our various stories for the season. I should see woven samples the 1st week in September - right around the time the mills will be showing their own collections at Milano Unica.


Also, I think Antonio has been in the clothing business for some time, right? Although I wouldn't consider myself in the fashion business, I had some taste of the trade in the 90s, when I worked in magazine publishing (where we had a "fashion spread," like everyone else). One of the interesting things, I think, was that lookbooks were pretty much only for industry-insiders back then. They were passed out at tradeshows, given to store and media reps in order to build industry buzz. The public rarely got to see them, with exceptions of a few high-high-end brands. Most marketing was done through street campaigns (particularly for streetwear), traditional advertising, and tie-ins with musicians (again, we're talking about streetwear here).

What's marketing like in 2014? Lookbooks nowadays are seen by the public, and seem just as part of a line's marketing campaign as anything else. Are there other ways a line communicates its "message" to the public? Does Antonio think blogs and forums have an impact on the public, or are they kind of two different spheres? Lastly, does it even matter anymore whether a line is carried by a "key" boutique? Many stores have been instrumental at introducing a line to a certain region, or even country. I don't know how that really works anymore, frankly, since so much of my shopping is online (where there's less of a hierarchy, I think).

This deserves longer reflection than I have time for right now (kids are waking up from their nap!). I will tackle later in the evening.

If any of the above is too tiresome to answer, or if it's covered by David's future installments, don't worry about it. Just thought I'd ask some questions since Antonio is around and reading this thread.
post #63 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickPollica View Post

You disagree that a dinner jacket should have an extended shoulder and a narrowed waist?

Its not about costume, its about context. My goal with our booth is to tell a story with mannequins and cloth - to place you directly into that setting. What is shown here is supposed to invoke an emotional response. So in that way I guess that I have succeeded.

To my taste an extended shoulder is never acceptable unless one's shoulders are so narrow as to require it for some balance.
As for narrow waists, I do not like close-fitting jackets. I do confess to wearing "nipped" waists when I was younger and trimmer, but with jackets that were not close-fitting. I think that might have been called "drape"- a term I was unaware of at the time.
post #64 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post

To my taste an extended shoulder is never acceptable unless one's shoulders are so narrow as to require it for some balance.
As for narrow waists, I do not like close-fitting jackets. I do confess to wearing "nipped" waists when I was younger and trimmer, but with jackets that were not close-fitting. I think that might have been called "drape"- a term I was unaware of at the time.

Not sure if it is fair to equate your self-proclaimed taste with what is dignified (as you stated previously) or acceptable as you state above. While those things may not be your taste, there is most certainly a historical antecedent for them (as the Flusser so articulately demonstrates in the video above) that shows them to be both.
post #65 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

We'll have to disagree, as usual.  The problem with some people at Pitti is that they take themselves too seriously, and don't have the self-awareness to understand that they are, in fact, a little silly, and that there is nothing wrong with that.  That's real indignity, and I see that same trait in the shrill critics of the Pitti people.  Really, in the end, it's just clothes.  We need them because we are hopelessly inadequate animals.  So, if we are going to get dressed, which most of us are, we may as well have some fun.  

The often articulated criticism that something is "costumey"? That's a chimera.  We are all playing a part.  "Dignified gentleman" is as much a part as "Pitti Peacock", and whether the person playing the part has "dignity" depends not so much on what they are wearing, as the awareness of the part that they are playing in this pageant.

Regarding these clothes, in particular, I find them to be generally well thought out and designed with some care and with some humor.  

Naturally my perspective is different. External appearance is the primary standard on which to judge
clothes and taste. My guess is that there is a consensus in SF and the style-aware in general as to what constitutes dignified dressing.This has nothing to do with an individual's moral compass or internal dignity.
It's how they appear.

Jeez. I am spending Saturday afternoon intellectualizing my particular clothes snobbery.
Edited by comrade - 7/19/14 at 6:01pm
post #66 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post

Naturally my perspective is different. External appearance is the primary standard on which to judge
clothes and taste. My guess it that there is a consensus in SF and the style-aware in general as to what constitutes dignified dressing.This has nothing to do with an individual's moral compass or internal dignity.
It's how they appear.

Jeez. I am spending Saturday afternoon intellectualizing my particular clothes snobbery.

Hehe.  It happens.  I think that you are wrong about the consensus.  The replies in the thread suggests that no such general agreement exists.  I also can't see how it's possible to extricate the external and internal.  The judgement about the exterior is clearly a judgement that extends to the interior, in this case.

post #67 of 81
Also, I think Antonio has been in the clothing business for some time, right? Although I wouldn't consider myself in the fashion business, I had some taste of the trade in the 90s, when I worked in magazine publishing (where we had a "fashion spread," like everyone else). One of the interesting things, I think, was that lookbooks were pretty much only for industry-insiders back then. They were passed out at tradeshows, given to store and media reps in order to build industry buzz. The public rarely got to see them, with exceptions of a few high-high-end brands. Most marketing was done through street campaigns (particularly for streetwear), traditional advertising, and tie-ins with musicians (again, we're talking about streetwear here).

What's marketing like in 2014? Lookbooks nowadays are seen by the public, and seem just as part of a line's marketing campaign as anything else. Are there other ways a line communicates its "message" to the public? Does Antonio think blogs and forums have an impact on the public, or are they kind of two different spheres? Lastly, does it even matter anymore whether a line is carried by a "key" boutique? Many stores have been instrumental at introducing a line to a certain region, or even country. I don't know how that really works anymore, frankly, since so much of my shopping is online (where there's less of a hierarchy, I think).

My views on successful brand marketing have been largely influenced by my former employer Ralph Lauren. His early work with Bruce Weber, rooted in visual storytelling, defined his brand by not only teaching their customers how to wear their clothes but by placing them in an understandable, aspirational context that people yearned to be a part of. The clothing plays second fiddle to the life lived and that's what they were really selling. In this way, I think lookbook shoots can be a tremendous marketing tool for communicating a brand's vision directly to the public. It also should go without saying at this point that the internet and mobile technology have changed the entire way brands communicate with the people interested in their clothing. By following Eidos Napoli on instagram or tumblr potential customers can literally mainline our entire design process and interact with me in real time, giving me their thoughts and feedback. This allows for a cultivation of customer that is much more invested in our brand than someone seeing a 2 page ad in a fashion magazine and buying a jacket because they thought it looked cool. Regarding blogs and forums, all one needs to do is look at the success of the Armoury to find the answer to that question. Finally, I think the importance of distribution depends on your business model. If you are a wholesale operation like we are then being in certain stores matters very much as it can directly influence the growth of you brand. Simply put, most retailers put a lot of stock in brand adjacency.
post #68 of 81
For those of you who don't know what brand adjacency means...

I had to look it up:

http://up.mihanhamkar.com/uploads/Brand-adjacency.pdf
post #69 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickPollica View Post

My views on successful brand marketing have been largely influenced by my former employer Ralph Lauren. His early work with Bruce Weber, rooted in visual storytelling, defined his brand by not only teaching their customers how to wear their clothes but by placing them in an understandable, aspirational context that people yearned to be a part of. The clothing plays second fiddle to the life lived and that's what they were really selling. In this way, I think lookbook shoots can be a tremendous marketing tool for communicating a brand's vision directly to the public. It also should go without saying at this point that the internet and mobile technology have changed the entire way brands communicate with the people interested in their clothing. By following Eidos Napoli on instagram or tumblr potential customers can literally mainline our entire design process and interact with me in real time, giving me their thoughts and feedback. This allows for a cultivation of customer that is much more invested in our brand than someone seeing a 2 page ad in a fashion magazine and buying a jacket because they thought it looked cool. Regarding blogs and forums, all one needs to do is look at the success of the Armoury to find the answer to that question. Finally, I think the importance of distribution depends on your business model. If you are a wholesale operation like we are then being in certain stores matters very much as it can directly influence the growth of you brand. Simply put, most retailers put a lot of stock in brand adjacency.

When you say being in certain stores can help with the growth of a brand -- do you mean in raising the prestige or just in terms of moving units? I remember in the 90s, being in certain stores was key for young labels, as it was a way to be "validated." In other words, certain boutiques were portals to a demographic or region, and they helped introduce your line to the public. It would be better, in fact, to only be carried by certain stores and no one else (if that helped your chances of getting in those stores), rather than being in every store but the key ones. In Los Angeles, Fred Segal used to be really important for younger designers. Louis Boston also introduced a lot of Italian tailoring to the Boston area, and later the US.

Is that really still the case today? Is that only with brick and mortars, or is it online as well? I can't think of any online store where I think "oh well, if this store is carrying it, it must be awesome." I might be way off track here.

Addendum: Actually, I guess maybe Self Edge is one. But I can't think of any others.
post #70 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

When you say being in certain stores can help with the growth of a brand -- do you mean in raising the prestige or just in terms of moving units? I remember in the 90s, being in certain stores was key for young labels, as it was a way to be "validated." In other words, certain boutiques were portals to a demographic or region, and they helped introduce your line to the public. It would be better, in fact, to only be carried by certain stores and no one else (if that helped your chances of getting in those stores), rather than being in every store but the key ones. In Los Angeles, Fred Segal used to be really important for younger designers. Louis Boston also introduced a lot of Italian tailoring to the Boston area, and later the US.

Is that really still the case today? Is that only with brick and mortars, or is it online as well? I can't think of any online store where I think "oh well, if this store is carrying it, it must be awesome." I might be way off track here.

Addendum: Actually, I guess maybe Self Edge is one. But I can't think of any others.

I had first-time walk through with a very prominent online retailer last week who knew nothing of the collection outside of the fact that we were part of the Isaia group until they walked into our showroom. After I took them through it the first question they asked was about my distribution, citing that they tend to align themselves from a brand perspective with Bergdorf Goodman and would be more inclined to pick us up if we were sold there as well.
post #71 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

I can't think of any online store where I think "oh well, if this store is carrying it, it must be awesome." I might be way off track here.

Addendum: Actually, I guess maybe Self Edge is one. But I can't think of any others.

Hellooo? wink.gif
post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post

Hello?

hahahaha
post #73 of 81
..
post #74 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickPollica View Post

Not sure if it is fair to equate your self-proclaimed taste with what is dignified (as you stated previously) or acceptable as you state above. While those things may not be your taste, there is most certainly a historical antecedent for them (as the Flusser so articulately demonstrates in the video above) that shows them to be both.

Clarification: FOR ME an extended shoulder in unacceptable. So is more than minimal padding.
As for dignified, I refer to what I see as a Pitti freak show. Not to gentlemen who dress well and
conservatively, but have padded and/or extended shoulders. Even if I could afford it, I would
never buy Huntsman. It's my taste.
post #75 of 81

Great stuff, Antonio!

 

Just to add my 2-cents: I would easily (and eagerly) wear the DB in question, not only as formal attire, but also casually on a 'fancy' night out (with jeans and sneakers even...).

 

That's what I really love about Eidos so far: the continuum from formal to casual is so fluidly ambiguous (though, in a seamlessly functional way). I suppose it's a lifestyle issue, but for me, who wears tailored clothing without much relation to any typical 'business' attire function (though, I'm sure Eidos fills this niche as well), I find Eidos a very refreshingly stylish and practical option. Can't wait for the fall offerings to drop!!!


Edited by 9thsymph - 7/19/14 at 7:11pm
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