Gilberto Calzolari is a high-end prêt-à-porter brand made in Italy with a “green” heart that believes that elegance and beauty must go hand in hand with respect for our planet.
The style of Gilberto Calzolari is represented by a glamorous and timeless design expressed in a refined silhouette of clean lines, exquisite retro details and unexpected combinations.
Precious fabrics, complemented by the highest quality in production techniques and tailoring craftsmanship, bear the hallmarks of a brand with a strong identity and code of ethics in tune with the needs of contemporary living, where innovation and environmental sustainability meet the creativity and elegance for which Made in Italy is known around the world, against the prevailing practices of today’s fast fashion.
Winner of the prestigious Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Award, Gilberto Calzolari was born and raised in Milan, son of a fabrics salesman and store manager for high-end boutiques, has breathed fashion since childhood, enthralled by the collections that walked the runway during the golden years of Italian ready-to-wear. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, and began an impressive career in the fashion industry working for the most prestigious luxury brands in Italy. He soon became a senior designer, developing a strong penchant for dresses and flou. The outfits he created for these brands appeared on the covers of major fashion magazines, as well as in the most important runway and red carpet events.
In 2015, Calzolari decided to create his own brand of high-end sustainable fashion, which bears his name. The logo – two intertwined ginkgo leaves around the initials GC, combining Japanese elements with an art nouveau-inspired emblem – mirrors his idea of style: a brand rooted in the Milanese tradition of luxury, and yet drawing inspiration from wide-ranging suggestions, in a contemporary aesthetic characterised by a mixture of opposites.
His first capsule collection FW 2017-18, entitled “My Arctic Heart”, walked the runway during Milan Fashion Week in a special event called Next Trend, organized by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo in partnership with the National Chamber of Italian Fashion.
That was followed by the SS 2018 collection “Exotica”, and the FW 2018-19, entitled “2046”, which was first introduced at the Showcase event during Altaroma and then presented in the official calendar of the Milano Fashion Week in February 2018, and in a special runway show event in Rome.
His SS 2019 collection, entitled “Une Partie de Campagne”, earned him the prestigious Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Award 2018 for Best Emerging Designer during the 2018 Green Carpet Awards at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.
His FW 2019-2020 collection, entitled “Unnatural” and his SS 2020 collection entitled “Dune”, both presented as a special event in the official calendar of the Milano Fashion Week, with the support of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, represent at once the coherent development of a precise artistic path and an even more radical and surprising step forward, where the topics of environmental sustainability and respect for our planet are laid out in an extremely creative and original way.
In 2019 Gilberto Calzolari won the Monte Carlo Fashion Week Award as Best Emerging Designer for his contribution to sustainable fashion, and his works were showcased at Expo China, Budapest Central European Fashion Week, and White’s WSM Fashion Reboot, the first event fully dedicated to sustainable fashion and innovation.
In February 2020 Gilberto Calzolari officially opened the Milano Fashion Week with the fashion show of his first seasonless collection (FW and SS) titled “Tilt System”, and in July won the first edition of the C.L.A.S.S. Icon Award bestowed to a visionary creative who tunes fashion design with responsible innovation and raises awareness towards sustainable values.
In September, in a digital fashion show during Milan Fashion Week, Calzolari presented “Tilt System Volume 2”, a bonus track that amplifies the themes of the “Tilt System” collection: the season-less approach, the “clash” between feminine and masculine cuts, bright colors, strong geometries and a markedly contemporary aesthetic. All using sustainable fabrics and materials in an extremely creative and glamorous way, in a statement against the mechanisms of mass production that continuously produces waste.
The FW21-22 collection, “At This Stage”, is a reflection on a period that forced all of us to reflect and go back to the basics, to the essence: the designer focuses on his DNA to rewrite his colorful and vibrant in the name of sustainability and a rediscovered femininity. The digital fashion show was entirely filmed inside the Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan, to raise awareness of the dramatic situation of theaters, cinemas, museums and places of culture during the lockdown.
In September 2021, during the Milan Fashion Week, Calzolari received a new recognition, the Young Designer Dhl Award, and presented his SS22 collection, titled “Conte d’été”. His most overtly “summery” collection to date was inspired by the Summer breeze of the French Riviera in the 1960s: the years of icons such as Brigitte Bardot, directors such as Roger Vadim and avant-garde designers such as Pierre Cardin. The most iconic garments of this collection are tailored-made creations of couture craftsmanship made with folded and hand-sewn origami obtained by recovering the fabric leftovers from the scraps generated in the making of the samples, in a virtuous example of circular and responsible fashion.