Since the Czech Fashion Week 2018 was right around the corner, I wanted to know who was going to show off on the catwalk. So, I skimmed through the designers’ list and found an interesting name – Gabriela Giotto, a fashion designer from Slovakia. To be honest, the name rang some bells, nevertheless, I was not familiar with her collections at all. Uncle Google offered some stunning pictures of her Haute Couture fashion design – perfectly balanced vibrant colours, sophisticated styles of apparel and generally artistic/creative vibes of a woman’s elegance. Fantastic!
To see was not enough, I wanted to understand a whole picture, to know a story behind her work. Let’s talk with Gabriela about a professional life and reveal a little more about her in the interview.
Fashion experts consider Gabriela Giotto as a talented Slovak fashion designer determined to innovation and modern global trends. How is your work in Slovakia, what brings some joy and which problems you face?
I love my work very much no matter where I am based. It gives a greater meaning to my life, definitely. On the other hand, it is not an easy mission to be a fashion designer in Slovakia. A very small market, a weak consumer purchasing power and a discount-driven mind set of people developed pretty tough business conditions. However, thanks to social networks, I have connected to clients worldwide. Consequently, I balanced disadvantages of a local market with opportunities of a global one.
To create perfect designer clothes, there must be not only a desirable creative approach, but also a meticulous work – which materials do you use and how?
That’s a very complex process. I purchase white textiles from bespoke merchants in Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. It is literally a synergy of a creative concept, graphical design, good quality materials and the most importantly technologies as I do custom-made fabrics. It had taken some time for the team to transform the accurate colours and patterns from my paintings to the fabric which I could work with. It all paid off very well and advanced me to a more exclusive clients.
Whilst travelling across the globe, I was always interested in a fight of local market vs. Globalization. In the UK, there are some local brands in Westfield London Shopping Centre, similarly in the USA and Moscow GUM Shopping Centre presents itself as the best of both worlds. However, in the Slovak shopping malls, I just cannot find any local fashion brands, why is it like that? I beg your pardon if I am mistaken.
Well, I have seen one or two shops in the Old Town of Bratislava with the Slovak and Czech garments. I think that it is all about money as it cost too much for a Slovak fashion designer to rent a space in shopping malls, so only foreign brands can afford exclusive space.
How do you see direct competitors in Slovakia?
There are many excellent artists and creative industry people in Slovakia which is just amazing considering a size of the country. I believe there are more apparel designers than fashion designers (some people think it is all the same, but I distinguish between). At the end, I am happy I live in such a diversity and all designers have their own room to produce and perform; thus, pursuing a quality of own industry signature.
As a philanthropist and an art lover, I noticed that your limited men’s shirt collection was promoted by Stefan Kocan, an internationally acclaimed opera singer. Well, I know Maestro Kocan is so popular that very famous people queuing to see him, and you got him for a fashion promotion. How is this possible?
I have known Stefan since we were teens. When we met after twenty years, we were speaking for about eight hours, it was just amazing as we had so much to tell each other. He is a fantastic operatic bass, a great friend of mine, but more importantly, I admire that despite his global success, he has stayed just a regular bloke with whom you can go out and have some fun. So, he was thrilled when I suggested our collaboration in promoting my fashion brand.
Gabriela Giotto fashion collections pursue colours, energy and happiness of life – it almost feels like the apparel tells me: Hey, let’s restart this life and be happier. What is the main mission statement of your work Gabriela?
You stated it very nicely, I agree. Colours bring energy in its purest form. What’s more, even scientific community acknowledge colour therapy as a significant tool to achieve a psychological balance, a sort of peace of mind. A higher goal of my design work is to bring beautiful “colour vibrations” in a form of clothes and accessories, so clients can feel happiness in their daily lives. We live in a very fast and stressful world. I decided to ease that by colours and design which offer that magical power of our nature where we can find all colours, emotions and cornerstones of art.
What are your plans, where we can see you in the upcoming weeks?
I have just completed the Czech Fashion Week which was absolutely amazing; and also, a great photoshoot in Ibiza – a new summer collection. So, I am heading to Madrid in Spain soon to present a new collection during a local fashion show.
You are always active in a fashion industry, but where can you find the best relax to chill out a little bit?
I love reading while drinking a fabulous cup of coffee on the sunny terrace (ideally on the beach where I want to live, maybe once). After hours of drawing and painting, or sitting behind the computer, I enjoy a Thai massage, dancing or just going to the cinema. Every Sunday, I visit my wonderful parents in a hometown of Trnava. We chitchat and laugh – those moments are unforgettable for me, really.
Standing at the Times Square in NYC, finding a right exit of the Piccadilly Circus tube station in London or strolling down the Red Square in Moscow make you think that such a small country with 5 mil people can just disappear in the big world. What is a very special about you and your work that can get attention in those fashion mega cities?
To be a successful fashion designer abroad is not an easy task when you are based in Slovakia, but it is even more interesting. Beauty is in the eyes of beholder. so anywhere in the world people can resonate with your fashion artwork. There are always more factors in the game as proper star constellation, timing, etc. But if there is a God´s genius within you, you can shine wherever you might appear.
Last but not least, what are your dreams in design world?
I have more dreams. I am working on a brand-new design showroom in Dubai. I also want to redesign hotel rooms and premises in popular holiday resorts. It would be also great to get an access to some cutting-edge technologies and offer even better quality of work for clients. Certainly, I want to develop Gabriela Giotto fashion into an internationally recognized brand.
Sometimes you have to go abroad to discover what quality you can find at home. This happened to me. Through the Czech Fashion Week 2018, I discovered a Slovak fashion designer.
Gabriela Giotto is a very talented fashion designer with a great artistic thinking. An excellent eye for details, a sense of elegance wrapped in creativity and a modern mind set driven work underlined by an interesting life story put Gabriela among the Slovak fashion industry leaders. It is not that difficult to create a brand; however, it is much more difficult to get people’s attention (and interest too) for your work, so they especially like its unique signature.
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/gabrielagiotto/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/gabriela.giotto.1
Authorized 4. 7. 2018 by Gabriela Giotto.
Stefan Kocan – http://www.stefankocan.net
Rob Piroska – https://www.facebook.com/robert.piroska.96
Czech Fashion Week – https://www.czechfashionweek.eu
All pictures are from the Czech Fashion Week 2018; taken by an international fashion photographer – Rob Piroska.