Eliana and Fabrizio Bottiglieri
If you are from Rome, or if you have been living there for some time, then you definitely know Gibot, concept store along the beautiful via Nomentana. If you are not from Rome and if you have never heard about it, then read this post carefully!
Gibot is much more than a beautiful luxury store – it’s more of an institution. Up and running since the Fifties, it evolved with the times from a sport-apparel small neighbourhood joint to a fashion benchmark for Rome and beyond.
When I was in Rome for AltaRoma (read more here) I sat down with Fabrizio Bottiglieri, one of the two owners together with his sister, and dear friend of mine, Eliana, and his wife Annalisa: the hyper-busy couple – their mobile phones didn’t stop ringing even for one second during our interview – told me more about their fashion journey.
How and when was Gibot born?
Gibot was born in the Fifties as a small sport-apparel shop run by my father: back then you could find mostly menswear, jeans and sport gear. I guess the ‘modern’ Gibot was somehow born in the Eighties, when Eliana and I decided to set aside our college studies and devote 100% of our time to the shop. Our father, even if uncertain about it, let us take over, and we set a different tone from the past: we invested his savings in advertisement and started working with well-known designer brands. We were young and ambitious, and timing was perfect: in the Nineties the economy was really good, and customers were getting more and more interested in fashion.
And yet the shop as it is today looks very different from the one you had in the Nineties. What happened?
Let’s say that since then we kept investing our savings in the shop and the company: when the opportunity of enlarging the shop presented itself, we just went for it. Step by step we opened a menswear shop, and later on another one for children only. Our goal has always been to provide our customers with a better shopping experience, exceeding their expectations. Next frontier is the e-commerce: we are working on satisfying customers from all over the world!
What keeps you going?
Along all these years, the drive has been the dream to keep developing a project that my father started, with love and passion. We all spend so much time in the shop, it is more than a home – even after a hard-work day, I don’t feel tired, but full of energy, because I know I’m making Gibot better and better for the next generation. I hope my children and Eliana’s will be ready to take over and do an even better job.
How do you select the members that are part of your team?
Gibot is a family business and the most important thing is that they have to share our vision and our care and respect to the customers, our main resource. It’s relatively easy for us to set the tone, as Eliana, Annalisa and I are always in the shop, so our team can actually look at us, and get inspired. The moment they understand our work ethic, and are ready to practice it, they become like family to us – we train them, support them and push them to be better and better.
Where do you scout new designers?
Things have changed a lot recently. Only ten years ago, it was enough for Gibot to stock some well-selling brands to secure a successful season. Right now such labels almost don’t exist anymore – and customers are more and more fashion savvy and demanding. Now every year we introduce new designers, explore new things – we attend fairs and visit showrooms to discover the next best product. Most of the times we play by intuition, and, of course, luck and sense of timing are also part of the game.
最近变化很大。十年前，Gibot有几个卖得好的牌子就能保证成功的一季。现在，这种卖座的牌子几乎不存在了 －－ 而且顾客对时尚的见解越来越专业且要求更高了。现在，每年我们都会引进新的设计师，发掘新鲜事物 －－我们参加展会或参观展厅来发现新的产品。很多时候我们靠直觉，当然，运气和时间的把握也很重要。
Can you name one of your designer discoveries?
For example, a couple of years ago we discovered Piccione.Piccione, a young designer brand by Salvatore Piccione. We believed in him and in his talent, and started selling his pieces. Now he just won the Who is on next? context by Vogue Italia and he is all over the place. It’s important for us that our intuition is confirmed by public recognition and prestigious awards – it means that we are moving in the right direction!
举个例子，几年前我们发现了Piccione. Piccione是Salvatore Piccione旗下的一个年轻设计师品牌。我们相信他和他的天赋，并开始售卖他的设计。现在他刚刚赢得了意大利Vogue的Who is on next? context比赛，他的名字现在到处都是。我们的直觉被公众和重要的奖项所证明，这对我们来说非常重要 －－ 这意味着我们是朝着正确的方向前进。
You mainly work with Italian customers. Would you be interested in having more foreigners stopping by?
Of course! In the last years we spent time and energy into building a nicely working machine: we designed our own website, attracted thousands of social media followers, invested on advertisement on foreign magazines. Now we are ready to welcome more and more new customers, no matter where they are from. In a crisis moment, when the economy in Italy was not good, we just reinvented ourselves and opened up to new markets – this was our answer to the bad situation!
I’ve always loved Gibot – the fact that it’s one of the most interesting players in the fashion panorama in Rome and in Italy, but at the same time it’s still a neighbourhood joint, with people stopping by just to do some window-shopping and for a chat. No surprise they got a Chiara’s Pick!
我一直非常喜爱Gibot －－事实上，它也是罗马和意大利时尚界里非常有趣的一员，但同时，它仍像临街的店一样亲切，人们驻足停留也许只是为了看看橱窗或者聊聊天。所以它能得到Chiara’s Pick不足为奇！
And the care and love they put in everything they do, from selecting new labels to welcoming customers is amazing. They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Gibot, but it’s so nice to see, in a fast-forward moving business, a concept store with history.
Gibot e’ oggi punto di riferimento fashion per client da tutta Italia. L’avventura di Fabrizio ed Eliana Bottiglieri, attuali proprietari, e’ iniziata negli anni Ottanta, quando sono subentrati al padre nella gestione di quello che era, allora, un piccolo negozio di sport. Con passione, intuit e fatica lo hanno trasformato in un concept store di respiro e in un online shop che si pone a servizio di una clientela internazionale.
For the chat at Gibot I was delighted to wear:
Black shirt 黑色衬衫: Neemic
Sunglasses 太阳镜: : vintage
Nail color 美甲: OPI Ski teal we drop
The picture at Gibot was taken with my white Sony NEX-5T.
For all the other pictures, special thanks to Gibot.
Chinese translation by Vivian Zhou.
中文翻译由Vivian Zhou 完成.