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Giuliva Heritage, passion and purpose

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Introducing sartorial phenom Giuliva Heritage

Giuliva Heritage is a sartorial storia d’amorea story of love and kindness.Margherita Cardelli and Gerardo Cavaliere, Giuliva’s co-founders and voices behind the brand and the eyes behind the design, fell in love and launched a passion project that weaves in Italian sartorial tradition and promotes cultural heritage from Abruzzo and the Amalfi Coast.

An artisanal love story

Margherita, whose background is in fashion PR, and Gerardo met by chance one afternoon in Rome at Gerardo’s atelier Sartoria Giuliva on Rome’s tony via Margutta, a bespoke boutique known for traditional Neapolitan tailoring for custom menswear.

Growing up in a family of tailors in the Amalfi Coast, Gerardo was raised on handcrafted clothing.  “Gerardo never bought anything in a shop, never wore a pair of jeans, never wore [anything with] zip. It’s because in the south, when you were a kid, our mothers were actually making our clothing,” tells Margherita. “Gerardo grew up with this passion for all things made by hand.”

Gerardo and Margherita in their atelier in Rome shot by Liselore Chevalier.
Details of the creative process behind Giuliva Heritage.

The couple fell in love and fell in love with the idea of creating a larger Giuliva project that merged the customwear style of life with pret-a-porter. Their inspiration was Italy, and more specifically, the beautiful nature and traditions of Campo Imperatore in Abruzzo, where Margherita grew up and Gerardo’s Amalfi Coast. 

“When you put together the Gran Sasso with the Amalfi Coast it’s like, you know, a bomb. And me and Gerardo are actually completely different, but together on many, many things. We have the same values and we approach the theme of being together and being a family in a way that is super Italian and super respectful of values that for us are really important. And this is all at the base of what we do”, shares Margherita.

Gerardo and Margherita in Campo Imperatore at their wedding. Photo by Alba Morassutti

Idea sprung one hot summer evening in Campo Imperatore, when Margherita and Gerardo began toying with the idea of bringing Neapolitan hand-tailored coats to women using the same techniques, traditions and fabrics. In 2017, Giuliva Heritage launched with women’s wear.

“Buy less and buy better, but most of all, wear more.”

Artisanal cultural heritage

Heritage plays a big role in all things Italian, and the couple placed emphasis on it by designing purposeful heritage clothing – pieces to be worn and cared for, and eventually passed down. Imagine an incredible wool overcoat or a hand-stitched chemise that lasts generations.  By adhering to the traditional Italian sartorial philosophy of making in the very best way with best practices (i.e. fair trade) and by using the very best products, Giuliva Heritage’s ethos of sustainability is a natural fit.  The couple select and use only top quality and exclusive fabrics that are sourced almost entirely in Italy (80% from Italy while 20% of the wools are from Scotland and in England).  “We wanted to do something that is not available to find easily anymore and at a price that it’s worth.”

Photo courtesy by Giuliva Heritage

Handmade craft take precedence for Giuliva, in a world where fast fashion dominates. Production of every shirt and trousers is entirely done by hand, while blazers and coats are handcrafted with some machine work. And every piece is made in Italy by Giuliva’s team of 10 artisans, while Gerardo is the driving force behind the design. Though he relies on tradition, it’s the choice of fabrics and how the pieces are put together that keep Giuliva Heritage contemporary. Take one look at the collections and you’ll see that it’s purposeful fashion that works for both weekdays and weekends.

 “It’s our way of mixing things together that I think makes Giuliva a little different from all the other tailoring brands”, says Margherita. “It’s fun, fresh and practical.”

In fact, it’s practicality that inspired Giuliva Heritage’s latest initiative- a lifetime guarantee policy for every garment. “If your piece needs to be mended, so basically you lose a button, your lining breaks or whatever, we just repair the item for you for free forever,” details Margherita.

Why Giuliva? “Giuliva is an adjective in Italian that can mean being kind, honest, spontaneous. If you have a problem, you just approach the problem in a way that is Giuliva. Basically, you take all the positive sides of the problem and respecting whatever is around you, you’re gonna find a solution. So the most important message at the base of the word is respect and kindness.”

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