Mr. Claudio Grotto
Managing Director and Founding Chairman, Grotto Spa.
Claudio Grotto is the Managing Director and Founding Chairman of Grotto Spa., the company that designs, produces and distributes in more than 50 countries apparel, footwear and accessory collections under the GAS label for men, women and children. An international company determined to consolidate i
Fibre2Fashion: Italy has given the Fashion Industry innumerous fashion designers mainly into luxury and ramp fashion, how did you choose Denims and youth oriented fast fashion over runway?
Mr. Claudio Grotto:
First of all I would like to highlight the fact that GAS is not a fast fashion brand. Our mission is to produce quality products with a contemporary feel dedicated to intelligent, aware consumers, with and international, cosmopolitan attitude. Our customers are not passive victims of the fashion system. They are active players that “use” fashion products to express their own individuality, everyday and everywhere. Our collections are up to date and contemporary in stile but they are durable, versatile and able to transcend passing trends, exactly like our core product: denim. My passion for denim was born in the late 60s when it became the symbol of a new era. It was the decade of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Marlon Brando and James Dean, wearing a leather jacket, a white t-shirt and a pair of jeans revolutionized the idea of young fashion. They were the idols of a generation, my generation, and their style never went out of fashion. When I started to run my mum’s haberdashery and I gradually turned it into a clothing store, I wanted to bring these new trends to my friends but the Italian market, lacked clothes that represented a different lifestyle, an alternative to the traditional way of life and way of dressing. This is the reason why I set up my own artisanal, workshop, where I begun to create one-off pieces and I became familiar with the many trade secrets required to produce an apparel collection, as well as the business side of things. In a few years this artisanal
Fibre2Fashion: Please tell us more about Gas Inc.'s “Artisanal Room”.
The artisanal room is an actual research and development centre at the GAS headquarters; the result of our constant pursuit for innovation. It’s the place where all production processes are tried out “in vitro”. A meeting place for creativity and GAS’ history as a manufacturer, where highly innovative products with extraordinary practical and aesthetic potential are developed. Thanks to the experts that work in this laboratory we have developed products such as Research Denim 001, the world’s first completely heat–welded denim, protected by the European Patent NR. 2012608, Reverse Denim, the eccentric reversible jeans, the made in Italy Double Rainbow series of extremely light jackets and accessories in 100% injected down, digitally printed on the finished garment, and, last but not least our last season’s biggest success, the bestseller Sumatra, the ultra - feminine second skin jegging born from the mix of two icons: the leggings with the 5 pockets.
Fibre2Fashion: GAS has been winner of innovative advertising campaigns such as "GAS, it’s true". What is the idea behind each of your Advertisement campaigns and tag lines?
The ideas behind our ad campaigns revolve around two main elements: our product and our identity/values. Be them with or without a tag line, our advertising images have to highlight the quality and look of our products while communicating the GAS world. A positive, fresh, energetic world made of authentic, intelligent, self conscious people represented through images that are essential and sensual at the same time. Every campaign represents an evolution of our historic pay off “Keep it Simple”.
Fibre2Fashion: Be it wash, rugged, skinny or jeggings every innovation with jeans are accepted and very well adapted rapidly by the market. So isn’t it less of a challenge to sustain in denim industry as compared to usual designer wear industry?
Well, my opinion is that trends are constantly evolving in the ready-to-wear segment as well as in denim wear. Every day we work hard to detect them and transform them in washes, treatments, materials, comfort, fits, models, details, personalization and quality. The “ingredients” might seem simple but the secret of a successful denim collection is to use quality ones and know how to mix them. Our consumers are every season more aware and demanding and we work every day to give an answer to their needs. Isn’t it a challenge?
Fibre2Fashion: Indeed it is! Jeans are part of everyday casual wear, can it be considered in serious designer wear category in coming times?
It has been already! Many designers have tried to include denim jeans, shirt, dresses in their collections but the denim market is very selective. It has its own strict rules and in a competitive, global market denim specialists like GAS seem to have more long lasting credibility on this product.
Fibre2Fashion: What is your big picture take on: Present scenario and future growth in the Denim fashion as well as denim industry on a whole in India?
In India, three decades ago, denim was considered to be an exclusive garment, preferred by a few and within the reach of even fewer. Over time, denim has evolved into a basic commodity that can be found in every household in the country. A young middle class with rising disposable incomes and widespread penetration of brands in the smallest of cities are the prime drivers of growth of the denim industry in India. Denim, once thought to be 'western wear', is today considered to be 'comfort wear' and a must-have for every 16 to 40 year old. Growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 10%, Indian demand should reach 550 million meters by 2015. We expect women to constitute 30% of that demand and at GAS we are more than ready to face this opportunity with a collection that, also thanks to our bestseller, the jegging Sumatra, is becoming more and more feminine and sensual.
Fibre2Fashion: Please share few words of wisdom for young and budding fashion entrepreneurs…
Well, probably I should suggest young entrepreneurs to study the market carefully, work hard on a very detailed business plan, choose the right partners… But if I could answer with the heart instead of with the brain I would that the key word is PASSION. I would tell them to really enjoy what they do, follow their instinct, put all their talent in something that they love and that is more their passion than their job. The global market is very competitive but if you work on something you really love you will have the energy to afford everyday’s problems and difficulties.
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