After two seasons showcasing at Nolcha Fashion Week: New York, Italian-born designer Danilo Gabrielli is launching his collection in London for the first time this evening at No5 Cavendish Square. Self-described as, “a unique mix of rustic Italian sensibility and classic American luxury,” we caught up with Danilo to gain some insight into his inspiration for his unique designs and this hugestep in his career.
You have come so far from young fashion enthusiast designing for other labels to having your own collections showcase at Fashion Week in New York and are now launching in London. What was the biggest challenge on your path to becoming a distinguished and international designer?
The biggest challenge was to make other people believe in you, many people discourage you in the beginning, especially when you are already a successful designer for other labels. I had to be super strong and confident and believe in myself even when everyone was telling me that I was crazy!
In your bio it says that you grew up around fashion at a young age with your mother designing her own clothing by hand. Would you say this was initially drew you into the industry?
Absolutely! She is my fashion icon as well as her sisters and her some of her best female friends, they will spend the entire Fall season at home crocheting, making sweaters and creating patterns and clothes for all of us.
What do you love most about Italian fashion and which of its elements define your unique style?
The handcraft: it is always unique, well done, with great attention for the details in each element. My unique style is definitely that I am very picky and can spend hours completing the smallest details or a minor finish; for me a garment is a story and a reflection of my soul!
What drew you to the American fashion market as a trained Italian designer?
The American dream – movies about New York and Hollywood inspired my dreams! I always wanted to become a famous fashion designer collaborating with the movie stars.
Now that you are headed from the New York and U.S. fashion scene to London, what to you is the biggest differentiation between the two markets?
A while ago I said to my Business partner Joe Bellavia , that it was also my dream to be able to be part of the London fashion industry because for me it is the New York of Europe, and there are so many super talented designers over there that it will be an honor for me for me to be part of it.
We love the concept of combining Italian fashion traditions with American luxury, how do you think these two very different genres compliment each other?
[Italian fashion] is about making an outstanding, unique and well-done garment – fashionable. On the other hand the American tradition is about being practical and wearable for everyone, not just a beautiful dress made to fit a “dream woman” but it is made for the real woman, a woman that goes to work every day.
Your latest collection was inspired by the 1940’s, what to you makes this era stand out as a landmark in fashion history?
I love women, strong women with a strong personality. And that was the era where the woman starts to come out from the home and become independent, not just a wife and mother but a person that has something to say and do in the world.
What elements of this era have you chosen to incorporate in your latest collection?
The tailored suits, tailored pants (almost unisex), the selection of materials like charmeuse blouses with bow ties, and the colors as well.
You served in the Italian Navy in order to save up for one of the most prestigious fashion schools in Rome. Do you think this has contributed to your determination and success in a very competitive industry?
Absolutely, I was in the navy for 2 years as a Sergeant and when I was there I was able to save the money to later on attend the Academy of Costume and Fashion Design in Rome. I also had the opportunity during my military service to search various fashion school and have the time to select what was the best school for me to attend.
Danilo’s most recent collection, which is an elegant mix of old Hollywood glamour and undeniable European influence, launches this Thursday and can be seen at http://www.danilogabrielli.com/collection/
www.danilogabrielli.com | facebook.com/danilogabriellicollection | twitter.com/DaniloGabrielli
Nolcha Fashion Week: New York, founded by Kerry Bannigan and Arthur Mandel, is a leading award winning event held during New York Fashion Week hosting independent fashion designer runway shows.