Who is Giancarlo Grossi, aka GIENCHI Gap?
Hard to say. He is a fashion designer, that’s for sure. He’s a model, too. A creative, an artist, no doubt, but in the end I would say that he is the next generation of Italian fashion. As Nicola Formichetti (Lady Gaga’s personal stylist, and creative director for Mugler, just to mention) said a couple of months ago, fashion must be given to the youth. And that’s what Gienchi (who is only 28) is doing: he’s driving new fashion trends, creating fresh and cool shoes everyone wants.
It may seem easy, but applying the DIY concept to the mass market, while at the same time being a leading inspiration, is something that happens rarely, extremely rarely. This is the situation: Gienchi’s creations are ahead of the trends in fashion because they create the latest trends.
Gienchi isn’t about imitation; he’s about creation. Have a look around: whether they’re on a jacket, shirt or shoes, everyone wears studs everywhere. As one of the first designers to customize sneakers Gienchi started this trend. Now Louboutin does it too, but it is not the same!
How did you start in your career customizing shoes?
Well, I always had problems in finding shoes that I really liked. So, it began as an answer to this lack. I started experimenting on my old shoes… and it worked!
After starting out customizing shoes, you recently created your own brand of shoes… what is the next step? Are you planning to expand your brand and design clothes, too?
I honestly can’t answer that question. I don’t even know what I’m going to do tomorrow!
What do you consider to be your greatest success and your worst failure?
I don’t think I’m that successful… I would say my biggest failure has been the fact that I started making shoes because I couldn’t do what I really wanted to do – spend an entire year in the mountains of India.
Who or what inspires you most (not only in terms of fashion design)?
I’ll choose the “what” side… nothing inspires me more than the darkness of my art studio.
You must travel very often. What are the benefits and disadvantages of starting out as a designer in Milan? What makes you feel at home no matter where you are?
I don’t know if Milan is the right place to be as a designer, but the advantage of traveling is that you’re alone.
We like music, and we think music is something distinctive for every artist. So, what music have you been listening to lately?
Lately I’ve been listening to a Swedish death metal band, Nasum.
Your beard is your distinctive mark. What does it mean to you?
My beard is simply my best friend – it protects me from my enemies…
If you want to listen to some Nasum’s songs, here is a preview: