Today we released the Estate Shirt, which is probably my favorite piece we've made. It embodies some of the core elements of the brand: simplicity, functionality and sophistication. The first thing we ever made was the Essex T, which is a longer cut tee with mesh panels on the side. At first, we added the panels because we thought they looked nice, but soon realized the mesh allowed the shirt to breathe and kept the wearer cool. It was one of those unintentional things you end up really liking (this happens a lot).
Even though we started with tee shirts, Gioventu is a menswear line, and we're always working on the balance of formal and casual, moving away from a basics line. What we really like about the Estate Shirt is how you can wear it formally or casually; it's really up to you.
Here's the genesis of the piece and how we made it.
The shirt started with a sketch, along with two color swatches. The actual design of the shirt is rather simple as far as shirts go, but we made a few tweaks to modernize the shirt. The mesh panels keep the shirt from getting stuffy and sets it apart visually; the two ways zippers are a nice change from buttons, expanding the ways to wear the shirt; the collar is cut shorter and crisper; the sleeves a bit longer than normal; and a longer and straight cut hem for a slightly boxy fit.
During sampling, this piece stayed pretty true to the original vision. In sampling, we figured out the correct hems and distilled the design down to the essentials. There were some elements of the shirt that would have made the production costs skyrocket, and since these were mostly internal and technical issues, we made some adjustments while keeping the same aesthetic intact. This is also when we finalized zippers and trims, adding the signature natural tab on the left of the garment and opting for two way rusted Lampo zippers, straight from Italy, giving the piece a bit of age. Finally, we picked a natural tape for the zippers to match the natural tab, which created a nice visual line down the shirt.
The slowest part of the process was waiting for zippers, since they were made from scratch and flown in from Italy. While we were waiting, we bought oxford that we then dyed to end up with our Camel and Cement colors, and ordered the mesh as well. Pre-production samples were made, and then once everything arrived, the garment went into cutting and sewing. Because of costing issues, we also decided to add another color to the batch, called Bone, so we ended up with the shirt in three different colors. Once everything was sewn, we QC'd everything and sent it off to be pressed and packaged.
After production was finished, which took about a month, we shot the lookbook as well as photos for the website, edited and prepared everything, and then released the product this morning. The entire process took about 10 weeks, from sketch to completion. And now, we'll start all over again.
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