GCDS, the brainchild of Italian brothers Giuliano and Giordano Calza, is a fashion brand that tells a unique immigrant story. Born in Naples, the Calza brothers ventured into the fashion industry in Shanghai before establishing their fashion house in Milan. Initially, they were running five restaurants and seeking a new path in their lives.

The unconventional journey of Giuliano and Giordano is reflected in the design philosophy of GCDS, which stands for “God Can’t Destroy Streetwear.” Amidst the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Giuliano Calza took a distinct approach to showcasing the brand’s latest collection. He collaborated with LA engineering firm Emblematic Group to create a virtual, unexplored planet for the collection’s presentation.

Through Emblematic Group’s REACH.Love platform, along with collaborations with hacker and artist Thomas Webb and director Jeron Braxton, the Calza brothers transformed their fashion show into an immersive “electronic bonanza.” This innovative approach combines eccentric characters, vibrant aesthetics, and interactive video elements, allowing viewers to experience the show from anywhere and actively engage with the virtual environment.

During the unveiling of the concept in Milan, the brothers showcased the collection to their design and PR team in the garden of their Porta Venezia office, simultaneously hosting a live display in Los Angeles. This departure from traditional fashion shows offers an inclusive experience that immerses viewers in a digital arcade environment.

In a Zoom call with Giuliano Calza and his CEO brother Giordano, the inspiration behind their unique fashion approach and the DNA of GCDS were discussed. Giuliano expressed a desire to create something uplifting and exciting during these challenging times. He aimed to transport people to a pleasant virtual world where clothes come to life, enabling everyone, regardless of location, to be part of the audience.

The tagline “God Can’t Destroy Streetwear” stems from Giuliano’s teenage aspiration to infuse fun and vibrancy into fashion. He believed that clothing should reflect one’s mood and challenged the notion that fashion must be monotonous and serious. The DNA of GCDS is described as a playful and quirky style that merges streetwear and high fashion, with a focus on Italian craftsmanship and exceptional knitwear.

While GCDS was previously associated with skateboarding, Giuliano clarified that the brand has evolved beyond that category. They now create handmade, artisanal pieces, including coats made in the same factories used by luxury brands like Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. GCDS occupies a unique space that blends streetwear with high fashion.

Although the brand previously showcased in New York in 2017, the Calza brothers decided to return to Italy due to the high costs of operating in New York. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, GCDS has remained resilient, recently opening stores in London and Shanghai while doubling their online sales this year.

China is GCDS’s largest market, followed by Italy. With seven stores worldwide and around 370 sales points, primarily boutiques, the brand is considered entry-level luxury, attracting customers who appreciate its distinctive and playful aesthetic. The brothers remain optimistic and have plans to open a store in Rome while continuing to invest in their beauty line.

The story of GCDS exemplifies a true immigrant tale, with Giuliano’s experience in Shanghai, even creating his first hoodies there before bringing them back to Milan. Through their unconventional journey, the Calza brothers have built a brand that challenges norms, embraces creativity, and brings joy to the fashion industry. With their innovative approach to digital showcases, GCDS is poised to continue making waves in the fashion world.

Useful links:
1. GCDS Official Website
2. Emblematic Group Official Website