Italian siblings Giulia and Gabriele Giacalone have very clear ideas on how to bring Italy’s artisanal tradition and fashion to East London.
Created in 2014, their shop, 40 Colori opened its doors in August 2015 in Shoreditch, with a collection of colourful accessories for the modern gentleman.
Giulia Giacalone told Eastlondonlines about 40 Colori’s style and background.
Giacalone said of the shop’s appeal: “What makes our shop unique is our philosophy; we have two keywords: ethical and bold.
“We are a family business, we do everything in our workshop in Como, Italy. Most of the products – ties, socks, wallets, bow ties, hats, scarves – we sell are artisanal and made in our parents’ factory that our grandmother started about 50 years ago. Other items, such as wallets and belts, are made in Milan or in places close to our factory.”
She continued: “We truly care about the material used to make our items and where it is sourced. Our goal is to bring colourful and somehow different accessories to every man’s wardrobe.”
A crucial aspect of the siblings’ business model is a commitment to sustainability, which they define as environmental and social responsibility. They promote the wellbeing of the people involved in their supply chain and they care about turning any outfit into an eye-catcher.
Giacalone said: “We are bold, and bold style requires a specific type of customer, which we found in East London. This area has a lot of independent shops, just like us, and people actually look for this kind of shop when they come to Shoreditch.
“We are very happy with our choice of location. The area has changed a bit in the past few years, in the way that Shoreditch High Street is getting a bit more commercial, and has slightly lost that independent brand vibe, but places such as Brick Lane have kept it and we are glad. We love this area.”
40 Colori attracts many tourists with its bright and bold look. Of the name choice, Giacalone said: “At the very beginning of our project, we just wanted to bring colour to gentlemen’s wardrobe, 40 colours to be precise. We started making every item in a different colour and it was such a mess. Just try to name 40 different colours- it is so difficult!”
“Now we kept the name because our idea has not changed since then, but we mainly use 5 variants of bold colours and our customers love them. Many people who buy in our store are tourists who walk past our shop and are attracted by our window, but we know some of them buy from us online when they go back to their cities or countries.”
“We also have customers coming back wearing our products and telling us how much they loved some specific items. That is something very cool for us because we are the ones designing and making the products.”
“Until this day, we have had more people happy with our products than not. And, of course, we are truly happy too.”
The main idea that inspired the store’s design is that when customers walk in, they are entering a gentleman’s wardrobe.
Giacalone said: “Our store is all doors, drawers and mirrors. Everything in the room is made of cardboard from Trento, Italy. We are all about sustainability and fashion.”
All 40 Colori products are made of silk, wool, leather, linen, bamboo, cashmere and cotton.
To find its inspiration, 40 Colori looks at the past – particularly at the printed fabrics from the 1950s and 60s. They like playing with old time classics and making them even bolder for the modern gentleman. Customers can find accessories for all occasions, from colourful items to brighten up the work day to something that will capture attention on a night out.
40 Colori is at 32 Cheshire Street, Shoreditch. The store is open 11:30-7:30 Monday to Saturday and 11:30-6:30 on Sundays. You can find them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and at: https://www.40colori.com