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GCDS, Wolford Partner on Capsule Collection – WWD

MILAN — Wolford is adding yet another designer collaboration to its roster, this time with GCDS in an “unexpected” move, according to Silvia Azzali, chief commercial officer of the hosiery company.

For Wolford, this is the first athleisure collection of both women’s and men’s styles, and after partnering with Adidas, Amina Muaddi and Alberta Ferretti, it provides another opportunity to provide the company’s “ability to explore different territories,” Azzali said. “We are not a sports company and this is an activewear collection in a glamorous key.”

Giuliano Calza, creative director of the GCDS brand, said the project responds to a need to challenge himself while also promoting a healthy lifestyle.

“After all those months in lockdown, performance was key to me, sending a message to the younger generations that exercising is important,” said Calza, who enjoys yoga and Pilates and runs on a treadmill in the morning — right near his bed — to kick off the day “I just rediscovered the need to be fit and taking care of oneself, and if I can convince even only one person [to exercise], I would consider this a success. Also, I like unexpected things and to have fun and I did with this project.”

Calza admitted he was motivated by the idea of ​​launching an activewear line with such an established partner in the sector.

“If I close my eyes and think of Wolford, luxury and quality come to mind,” he offered. “Their expertise is incredible; they are so meticulous in their attention to details. I learned a lot from the team, which was great to work with and the product is perfect in terms of durability and stretch, and aesthetically very beautiful,” said Calza.

Three main themes differentiate the 13 styles of the capsule collection, which blends Wolford’s expertise with Calza’s streetwear and playful designs, graphic patterns, futuristic details and inlays: A techno-animalier design with the stripes alternating with transparencies; a GCDS allover logo pattern in shimmering black or in shades of powder pink and white, and, in another graphic pattern, laser effect plays on camouflage in acid green and black that references the raver aesthetic.

The GCDS x Wolford collection includes short sports socks, leggings, bodysuits or one-piece suits, sleeveless crop tops and a full slip and top. The rave camouflage pattern is used on a men’s bodysuit with a long-sleeved top and leggings with added sports shorts.

An image from the GCDS x Wolford campaign.
Courtesy of Wolford

Azzali, who praised Calza’s “incredible creativity,” noted that the collaboration will also help expand Wolford in Asia, where GCDS already has a solid business, and at the same time contribute to the fashion brand’s development in the US, where Wolford is stronger.

The collection will be available from Thursday in 31 Wolford stores in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region and the US, and in five units in China, as well as in 13 GCDS stores. Both companies’ e-stores will carry the capsule. It will also be sold through a select network of multibrand stores from Ssense and LuisaViaRoma to Selfridges, KaDeWe and Beymen, to name a few.

Calza said he would like to expand the collaboration in the fall, too, characterizing this project as “a perfect fit for both parties.”

Azzali said that, after 15 years of being “a sleeping beauty,” Wolford has been stimulating its customer base with these “disruptive” collaborations.

“Every new collaboration is like being born again.”

However, “our consumers understand these projects and now they expect more — after all, we already experienced collections in the ’90s with Karl Lagerfeld and Zac Posen,” she observed.

The capsule will be presented with a dedicated communication campaign that has “an Old Hollywood vibe,” said Calza, who was also inspired by Jane Fonda’s exercise videos in the ’80s. It was shot in Los Angeles by Nadia Lee Cohen, capturing women of different ages: Red, Sylke Golding, Hirschy Grace and Sita Abellan, who appears pregnant.

“Motherhood always puts me in a good mood, this is a young brand that can go well with a cool mom,” said Calza, speaking of “healthy messages. We have so much media power and following, it’s important to convey the right message.”

Prices range from 170 or 280 euros for leggings, to 250 and 370 euros for jumpsuits, and bra or briefs retailing for between 120 and 175 euros. A men’s long-sleeve top retails between 295 and 435 euros. Azzali admitted the increasing cost of raw materials are a challenge, but that Wolford is keeping prices in check to avoid passing the increases onto consumers.

GCDS x Wolford

Leggings from the GCDS x Wolford collection.
Courtesy of Wolford

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