Brother-and-sister duo Paolo and Giada Forte began designing their namesake label in the early 2000s, originally as a passion project. “When we first started, we had a few embroidered pieces that we’d sell to friends and boutiques nearby, but the line was never intended to become a brand or our business really,” Giada tells The Window. “It was just for fun to create something that represented both of our personalities.” Harnessing Giada’s strong background in knitwear and Paolo’s business experience in the fashion industry, the Giada Forte label was born.
The siblings decided to produce their collection in their scenic hometown, located in Italy’s historic Veneto region. “I cover all creative direction, from the design to final campaigns, and Paolo deals with the business end. He sources new production facilities and builds relationships with fabric suppliers,” she explains. “I’m the heart and soul, and he is the mind and strategy.”
To Giada, sourcing those fabrics and textiles is all about finding a special connection and timeless authenticity, which is what makes each collection so unique. “We want the woman to have a sentimental connection to what she is wearing. Simple textures and embroidered textiles are the best way to show the soul of the fabric. Everything from the small details to the finishings and draping is important.”
Where the designer finds her inspiration is also equally important. Whether it’s from periods like the ’20s or ’30s, a period Giada loves for its hand-stitch techniques and silks, or from the city of Venice itself, each piece has a thought and feeling behind it. “I feel very lucky living and working in Venice because our clothing is always inspired by delicate Italian beauty or the countryside landscape. You can also find hints of my attraction to Venetian glass—from the organic shapes to the iridescence in fabrics. The designs certainly show inspiration from the traditional craftsmanship and art here.”
Besides designing, Giada is also a storyteller, making sure every campaign and collection has a particular theme. Sharing her sketches with us here she says, “My work for each collection comes from a sensation or experience that I’ve had, which then relates to the same feeling in a textile. I pick textures that meet the emotion. So first comes the fabric, then silhouettes, and finally the color choice, which is where the pieces come alive.”
For Fall 2016, the “In Love” collection also started as a theme. “In this very delicate social and economical time that we’re living in, I felt the need to reopen the eyes of wonder and emotions. The ‘In Love’ collection is about embracing beautiful colors and soft fabrics—everything is sentimental.”
Specifically, Giada pulled reference from Japanese porcelain designs for her mood boards and patterns to exude the love of nature and femininity. “The fine floral drawings and the delicacy I found in watercolored porcelain pieces inspired me,” she shares. “I wanted to combine those details to express romance and pureness in the collection.” As for the campaign imagery seen on her site, Giada cast modern dancers to further showcase the “mobility, elegance, and softness” of the pieces in a natural and artistic way.
Giada admits that she doesn’t see herself as a fashion person and prefers to make garments that “create a link of affection for the wearer, rather than a status symbol.” Having someone feel a natural connection to the collection is what she is most passionate about, and when describing the Giada Forte woman, words came to mind right away. “She’s someone who is very sensible and curious. She chooses to buy clothing that represents her personality best or makes her feel comfortable. She is a traveler who appreciates art, and her wardrobe has soul.”