Born from a mother sewing bibs and bedsheets from home, whilst her kids slept, Il Gufo quite simply means ‘the owl’. This gorgeous childrenswear label continues to keep family at the core of it’s heart. We speak to the daughter of Founder Giovanna Miletti, who alongside her brother, are the driving force behind Il Gufo…
TELL US ABOUT IL GUFO. HOW DID IT ALL COME ABOUT?
The story of Il Gufo is a story of passion, motivation and love for well done things. My mother started sewing bibs and bed sheets when my brother and I went to kindergarten. It was just a small hobby which soon turned into a real job when some of the most important boutiques in the area asked to buy her items.
She transformed the portico of our family house into a lab, using a ping pong table to cut. In a couple of years, she started to work on a real kids-wear collection. And she had so many requests from clients that she had to work during the night to fulfil the demand. The Owl, a nocturnal bird, started being her nickname, that is where Il Gufo comes from.
When my brother and I got old enough to be independent, she found a bigger space and established Il Gufo’s first real headquarters. By the end of the 1980’s, in Italy Il Gufo had already become a brand known and appreciated for its quality and simple, yet sophisticated style. From that moment, we have never stopped growing: the first Pitti fair in 1994 marked the brand debut on the international market. In more recent years, we have embraced the digital revolution at all levels, first and foremost through our e-commerce platform, which opened back in 2011.
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
Black, little brown sugar, no milk. This is my Italian ritual every morning!
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN SOURCES OF INSPIRATION?
Our collections often take inspiration from the nature in all its expressions, be it an enchanted garden, a forest animal or a simple autumn leave. At the same time, our vision is influenced by the urban environment, to the extent that it harmonises properly with nature thus creating a balanced mixture of natural and metropolitan references. We let ourselves be inspired a lot by old tales too, where fantasy takes the lead and allow us to experiment a lot with graphics!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY…
I have the chance to work and live in the same place and this helps me a lot in finding the right balance between work and family life. My two children, Vittorio and Umberto, are 11 and 6 years old respectively. They have a really independent personality but I do my best to be there for them as much as possible.
Also, we have recently moved to a new house so I am very busy with all the interior details as well, but I am enjoying it so much that it is definitely not a stress to me!
HOW DO YOU JUGGLE MOTHERHOOD AND BUSINESS?
With vitamins, positive vibes and sport! My children are my energy and daily dose of happiness which I bring with me at work. But when something is not right on one of the two sides, if one of them is sick or I had a really hard day at work, I always try to find that little hour for myself to take my bike and go riding or just do some exercise to work off the tensions of the day!
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?
I guess for me the best about motherhood is having not one but two reasons to be happy and grateful every single day and experiencing caring more about someone than you care about yourself.
…AND HARDEST THING?
The hardest part is keeping it all together! But now that they are growing up, my sons understand that my role at work implies me being far from home for many hours and they have started to be curious about my job. In this way I can involve them more and make them feel part of that too!
WE LOVE THAT IL GUFO HAS FAMILY AT HEART. HOW DO YOU FIND WORKING ALONGSIDE FAMILY MEMBERS?
Thank you, that is true! At work, I share the management with my brother Guido, as we are now running the company together; experiencing the co-participation in such an important role made us both stronger persons, giving us the chance of deeply knowing all the company areas. We are different, but our sphere of values is so similar that it is really easy to share visions. We support each other and today I can say, despite all the difficulties I faced throughout the years, that he has turned to be one of my first supporters.
FAVOURITE IL GUFO PIECE?
For the coming FW19 collection, my favourite piece is a sporty moss green wool-flannel and cotton jacket with lined hood and Sensitive® Fabrics stripes. A warm boy garment ideal for a casual and informal look!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU – BUSINESS OR PERSONAL – HEADING INTO SUMMER?
Business-wise, we have just had our SS20 Fashion Show which has been a great success and are now collecting very positive feedbacks from clients and partners on the collection. At the same time, we have started working on the next FW20 collection. Also, we are in the midst of evaluating new solutions concerning production and logistics matters so it is a very intense and productive moment! Anyhow, I believe pauses are important to recharge batteries and get inspired by the outside world, be it through a nice travel or a simple book you have been waiting long time to read. August will indeed be a moment of holidays for all of us… and we will be back in September!
GO TO: ilgufo.com
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Inspiration/Image Credits: ilgufo.com