Interview with Mr Claudio Grotto

Face2Face
Mr Claudio Grotto
Mr Claudio Grotto
MD & Founding Chairman
Grotto SpA (GAS)
Grotto SpA (GAS)

India is country that represents one of the most upcoming, fast-growing & strategic markets.
Incorporated in the 1984, in Italy, Grotto SpA, is the birth giver to popular brand GAS in denim world. The company, gradually, in a short span has created a niche in hi-fashion apparels in denim, shoes and accessories for men, women and children under GAS label. GAS - the premium jeanswear /sportswear brand with an international feel fuelled by the idea of fashionable - yet functional and practical – clothes, today, makes mainstay for wardrobe of cosmopolitans. The distribution network currently counts 8 flagship stores and 2200 stores worldwide, including 110 monobrand and 370 between corners, shop-in-shops and dedicated areas. Quality, research and innovation are some of the keywords to describe GAS product. An international company determined to consolidate its presence in key growth markets, especially Europe and the Far East, Grotto Spa has a strong Vertical Retail strategy that is being implemented on a global scale. Born 1948, to a family that owned a small haberdashery shop, in a Piovene Rocchette-Italy, Mr Claudio Grotto is the MD and Founding Chairman of Grotto SpA. After he came of age and completed his military service, he started to follow, almost for fun, public relations and represented various bands, thus gaining first-hand knowledge of the music industry and getting to know some of the most popular musicians of the 1970s. Mr Grotto, during this intense period realised that young Italians, and even the domestic market, lack clothes that represent a different lifestyle, an alternative to the traditional way of life and way of dressing. Thus, he came up with the idea of setting up his own, completely artisanal, workshop, where his energy and enthusiasm for denim can be expressed to the fullest. There he began to create one-off pieces and became familiar with the many trade secrets required to produce an apparel collection, as well as the business side of things. In just a few years he launched up Grotto SpA- the company in which all the phases of production are focused on creating collections aimed at consumers in search of original, quality garments that are also functional and versatile. Mr Claudio Grotto, addressing points raised by Ms Madhu Soni, Sr Editor & Correspondent, Face2Face, delves out the keys for powerful brand recall in the sector, and suggests practical solution to critical issue of Sandblasting.

Welcome to Face2Face, Mr Grotto! It is a pleasure to host this talk with an old hand in most contemporary garment-Jeans. Can we begin our discussion on the source of the Inspiration which is called GAS today?

Grotto S.p.A. has designed, manufactured and distributed men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, footwear and accessories collections under the GAS label for more than 25 years!

Its mission is to offer quality products that meet the needs of intelligent, discerning, international, cosmopolitan consumers looking for clothes with a contemporary feel that goes beyond the fashion of the moment to express their individuality on every occasion.

ESSENSUAL is the word that encapsulates the evolution of the brand’s philosophy, a neologism that combines essentiality and sensuality to add passion, warmth and internationality to the fundamental GAS values of positivity, freshness and authenticity.

Denim is in the GAS DNA. It is its history and its future. An unbreakable tie that has marked the growth and international ‘recognizability’ of the Brand, and which continues to be the axis around which the collections revolve.

The GAS logo has its origins in a personal stunning experience I’ve had during a journey in South Africa, when I witnessed a double rainbow after a storm in Cape Town, where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic. The double rainbow logo, which symbolizes all the fundamental values of the brand, takes its inspiration from the immense energy of this natural phenomenon.

My passion for young fashion and denim in particular lead me to found the company bearing my name in the early 1970s near my home town, Chiuppano near Vicenza, in the heart of north-eastern Italy. Over the years, the company and the GAS brand, registered in 1984, have enhanced their image through the creation and distribution of high quality collections.

The story behind GAS is interesting.<br></br> Having started the business in this sector in 1970’s, have you come across any such aspects where the sector has undergone transition to great extent?

When I started my “adventure” in the sportswear / jeanswear sector in the early 70s the market had a huge hunger for this kind of products. It was the era of the Beatles, the Rolling Stone and the Cultural Revolution. The world was changing fast but the market was lacking clothes that could represent the new young people lifestyle, an alternative to the traditional way of life and way of dressing: a big opportunity not to be missed!

Later on, in the 80’s and 90’s it was the big boom of the denim fashion. Besides, denim specialists from the big names, even from the ready-to-wear, to the new upcoming brands and fast fashion ones started to insert garments made of jeans in their collection, when not creating entire lines dedicated to it.

With the new millennium the market started to be saturated and later on, in 2008 the economical crisis started to affect the fashion sector in general and the jeanswear one in particular. The challenge has become bigger but I am sure that the brands with a big know how, long lasting expertise and a constant pursuit for research and innovation, like GAS, will be the one surviving and finding new impulse and impetus.

Published on: 13/06/2011

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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