GALL Clothing: Strength, Courage and Modernism
GALL is a high-end fashion brand produced in Italy but born from the creativity of a New Yorker and an Italian designer. Justin and Chiara are a couple in life and in business, and their brand is the biggest expression of their passion for art, darkness and avant-garde. Read the following interview to know more about this fascinating brand. “Once you find your GALL, nobody can stop you.”
GALL, an edgy brand with a penchant for darkness. Tell us more about the philosophy behind the brand.
Our philosophy is to create looks that are Neoteric with contemporary functionality, and of highest quality. Supplying the people who love us, with garments that have an effortless feel with strong structure, which can change form and supply impact to the eye. We take a lot of time to achieve a certain balance in edge, abstractness, and innovation. Constant evolution in concept and design is also a must for us.
Who is your target customer? Tell us about the typical GALL guy/girl.
That’s a tough question. It’s hard to put a type on someone in the first place. When we started designing, it wasn’t for anyone (or anything) specific other than ourselves, and the hunger to create. That soon changed when we realized how many others took interest in our creations.
Some say the darker crowd (implying ones who mostly wear black), but we’re not just all black. The mood of Gall is dark and we love black, but with the addition of our prints, you get something different. Something we’re not ready to categorize yet.
With the way fashion is going these days, people are switching it up like crazy – one day all black, next day all prints, following day boxers and a t-shirt. People are experimenting with wardrobes, feeling more confident in themselves, which is a beautiful thing. Our focus is bringing that contemporary-dark presence, and combining it with an abstract light.
There aren’t too many “darker’ brands that fuse both sides in a cohesive way, which is what we’re striving for in our collections. Thus creating a new character you see walking the streets; one who represents strength, courage, modernism, and a touch of artistry. Overall, it’s more of an attitude than anything else. You just have to be confident and open to the non-norm.
Gall represents the edgy man or woman that is open
to divergence, with no boundaries in life.
Where does this name come from and how did you come up with it?
We came up with the name after doing research on specific terms that we’ve either dealt with, or strived for. Terms like: Evolution, resilience, pain, struggle, darkness, light, overcome. The list could go on. We then came across GALL; which isn’t a very known word, but interesting once heard. The contrasts and meanings of the word are open for interpretation. It’s simple, yet dramatic in a sense.
GALL to us is something you cannot live without. It stands for poison, rancor, bile, brashness, nerve, spite. Some descriptors being the bad things we must experience in life, bringing appreciation to the good. Soon enough you learn to accept the darkness, for it has given you the thick skin you now have.
You see the light more clearly, and become resilient in a world full of discomfort. This foundation is GALL. It’s the armor to keep pushing forward, defeating whatever obstacles come your way. Once you find your GALL, nobody can stop you.
GALL is ran by Justin and Chiara. How did you two meet and how was the brand born?
We met in Miami at a club called Set. It was a party night during spring break. At the time we didn’t know how special that night was going to be. We found each other in the crowd, we looked at each other for a while and well… it was love at first sight! After a few months, we managed to move in together in New York, where Justin was established.
As a gift, Justin made for Chiara a tailored t-shirt, making an old t-shirt pretty much unrecognizable and very different. Of course, Chiara was wearing it as often as she could. And on any occasion she would wear it, at least 5 people would ask her where she got that t-shirt from.
Soon enough we noticed peoples reactions.We loved the result of that unintended experiment! So we started to dream big, having our own brand, which would represent our style and would be the materialization of our creativity, characterized by high quality with an edge. We always wanted GALL to be a synonym of impeccability. We decided then to move to Italy, where we found the standards we were looking for.
The philosophy of Gall is: “Creativity &
functionality conquers all”
We snooped around and we found out that Justin is also modeling the man collection. Is there a reason behind it or is it just because he’s a very handsome designer ;)?
Haha! Yes there is a reason behind it. Starting at the beginning of 2013, Gall has been quickly evolving from a line of simple unisex t-shirts and accessories, to a total look – with separate collections for men and women. This is our 4th collection, and being able to present a total-look makes us very proud.
The dedication, love, and pride we put in our last collection made us believe it would be a great idea to be involved in the image of the brand as well. Thus we decided that Justin would be the model for our first total man’s collection. Guess who is going to model for the first total look woman collection coming out in September?
Where do you get inspiration from?
Our inspiration comes from everything around us. It could be nature, each other, animals, people, the arts, music, architecture, personal experiences, our travels, meditation, spirituality, movies, books, photography; honestly anything. The beauty of art is that it is everywhere.
The crazy part is that we’re all inspired by the same things around us, in an ever-so-evolving world. This is why you see brands looking similar to a certain extent. Maybe some are copies (which probably happens often as well), but for the most part it’s the universe we all share together which can create this situation. We’re basically seeing the same things on different scales.
Our hope is to take the vast opportunities we have, and be apart of as much as we can; then twist and stir it up with our own imaginations, which is something nobody could ever see but us.
What designers do you look up to?
To be honest, we don’t spend much time looking at other designers. You can drive yourself crazy watching what others are creating, dissecting their paths, comparing yourself to them, etc. While in the end you find yourself more confused than if you just held focus on your own art. That’s not to say that we don’t respect numerous in the industry though.
For Gall, black represents the base and darkness of
their palette, while use of print brings forth some
You decided to go unisex for Winter 2014-15. Why? Is there a philosophy behind it?
More than a philosophy, the reason why Fall Winter 2014-2015 is unisex was very practical. Women are starting to love wearing men’s oversized tees, and well – men will be men. We did a pre-sale of the collection in April and May, and the people loved it. Due to this, we ran out of stock very quickly.
During this time, we were also focusing on the SS15 collections, which also incorporate pieces that can be worn by both sexes (if daring enough); and was requiring a bigger commitment and greater load of work. We know we could have been making some fast money producing more for FW14, but we decided to put a hold on it, and focus more on our first total-look SS15 collections.
Where do you think GALL is heading style-wise? How has it evolved from its first collections?
That’s an amazing question because it’s something we’re very proud of. The evolution of GALL has been tremendous in the short amount of time we’ve been in the industry. We started from selling a small capsule of designer t-shirts and accessories online, to now creating full-looks showing at some of the top expos in the world, as well as our showroom in Milan.
We did well with our original t-shirts, using paneling of different fabrics, and high quality print techniques from artwork we create ourselves. The thing is there’s only so much you can do with a t-shirt, so the natural progression was to venture into other pieces of the wardrobe.
While evolving design-wise you also have to get on track with the industry and it’s calendar, which we’ve luckily been able to do. Fashion waits for nobody. So if you don’t have your samples done on time or production set straight, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle. Especially when designing two separate collections for man and woman as we’re doing now.
GALL style-wise has changed quite a bit when you look at the beginning t-shirts to the now. Before we wanted to be a bit more literal with our prints, which is easier from a commercial standpoint. If someone really likes snakes, and you have a cool snake print, they’re going to love it!
Now we’re more ambiguous or abstract, which to us brings more value and art to the project. We’re such new designers, that we don’t want to confuse our followers too much for now. Obviously fabrics and concept will change, but the style of GALL is here to stay.
We know you travel a lot. Is that a part of your job that you particularly love? How does it affect GALL clothing?
Oh yes! We really enjoy all the travels and adventures that come to us. We are two explorers that love to try new things, see new places, eat foods never ate before, see new faces, smell new scents, and discover local costumes. Every time we travel, we find further richness; our minds are wider and our inspirations find new colors and shapes. We have been exploring so many different cultures, countries, and landscapes, and we feel extremely lucky.
The travelling part of our job is one of the best parts. GALL is affected in an extremely positive way. In fact, a lot of our creations wouldn’t be the same without what we learn while traveling. If we couldn’t travel, our minds and spirits would be birds in a cage.
That’s also why we don’t like to spend too much time stagnating in the same place. Management and production wise, technology now allows us to work together even if spread apart. Our wonderful team knows it well. We are used to working, while not physically having to be in the same place.
What place in the world feels like your home away from home?
Well, this is a hard question. Every place has a little bit of home. New York with the mass of different people, the melting pot, the buildings, the variety of food and that feeling to be in the right place at the right time.
Rome is motherly, warm, and welcoming. Vegas and the excess. LA and the Hollywood hills, where we spent Chiara’s last birthday. Boston, where we share some good ol’ memories. Miami where we first met. Milan, where everything is Fashion. Then Naples, Florence, Perugia, Tenerife (Spain), Copenhagen, and of course Paris, where our favorite expo and events are held.
At the end of the day our home is inside of us; while there’s no shame in saying that we feel home the most when we can hug each other.
In the pictures the SS15 Man GALL Collection preview modeled by Justin Michael.
About the Author
Hey, it's Elisa, founder of styleonvega.com. I'm a social media strategist & consultant by day and blogger by night (honing my multitasking skills since 2006 ;). I'm an atypical Italian, freedom lifestyle advocate and modern spirituality enthusiast. Feel like we could get along? Join me just above this box or get in touch with me on Facebook or Twitter.