Sartoria Giuliva and Giuliva Heritage: Inspiration from Gerardo

Monday, October 3rd 2022
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Gerardo Cavaliere is someone whose style I've admired for a while, but rarely had a chance to talk to for more than a few moments at an event. 

While Milad and I were in Rome recently, therefore, I spent some time with Gerardo and his partner Margarita in their studio in the Regola area of the city, learning about the business. 

I feel there will be some readers who will also have seen images of Gerardo around online - he's hard to miss, with those striking features and often equally striking tailoring - but won't have known what he does or how to buy it. 

Gerardo grew up near the Amalfi coast, and trained as a lawyer. But like many who end up with their own business in this area, he quit to follow his passion for tailoring. 

That business is what is known as Sartoria Giuliva today. But it doesn't have that high a profile - apart from those pictures of Gerardo - because it's only accessible by visiting the studio in Rome. 

“The whole point of the brand was that it was just things I love,” Gerardo says. “So it makes sense to do it here. It would seem too cold and impersonal somewhere else.” 

The tailoring is made to a bespoke level in Naples, but fitted by Gerardo in Rome and usually requires one or two fittings. Milad was measured for a jacket while we were there. A two-piece suit starts at €3500 excluding cloth. 

The Sartoria has also been a little eclipsed in recent years by Giuliva Heritage (above), the ready-to-wear line of initially only womenswear that Margarita and Gerardo started after they met six years ago. 

Giuliva Heritage is a big brand, certainly for a young company. It's carried by Selfridge’s, Harrod’s and Matches; Eva Herzigova models; there was a collaboration with H&M. Ten people now work in and out of the Rome studio - one reason they’re about to move down the street. 

After three years of Giuliva Heritage, menswear was added, meaning some of Gerardo's designs can now be accessed thereThe make isn’t the same as the bespoke tailoring, but the materials often are. 

This is significant for me, because while it’s always hard to buy suits and jackets off the peg, it is the design elements at Giuliva that I find most interesting. 

Milad was planning to visit Gerardo anyway - before we scheduled our trip for PS - because he’d wanted to have something made with him for a while. And this makes sense: Giuliva is more Milad’s taste than mine.  

Milad likes bolder colours and bigger patterns. He’s more likely to wear something that stands out, and take real pleasure in it. He had been particularly enamoured with Giuliva’s pink shawl-collar jacket - above - which despite my occasional foray into pink and purple jackets, is not something I’d wear. 

The same goes for tailoring like the Prince-of-Wales check suit I’m trying on below - in that case less for the material and more for the dramatic lapels. Even on the white jacket pictured lower down, I’m conservative enough to prefer more traditional shawl lapels with a low belly. 

But as I never tire of saying, if you’re interested in clothes then you’re interested in more than what you wear. Plus I know from meeting them that there are readers who revel in unusual tailoring. 

Most importantly, inspiration should be pursued everywhere - maybe not in a lapel, but in a colour; or in the combination of colours; or in the way the cuts are combined. Otherwise all we do is make carbon copies of each other and circulate them, around and around.

For style to be inspiring, what it needs is creativity. And Gerardo certainly has that. Even in such a narrow aesthetic as tailoring, he always looks fantastic and always looks different. 

On the day we met, he was wearing a bright blue polo under a white-linen jacket, for example. Now it helps if you live in a sunny country, but still it made me consider bolder polos under white linen. 

He was also wearing red socks between his tan worsted trousers and tan suede shoes. I don’t wear bright socks generally, but it made me think about strong colours as a way to separate similar shoes and trousers. And he is often more subtle in this combinations too - a cream silk shirt with that white linen jacket, for example, with a a pair of pale-green linen trousers (see various images at the bottom of this post).

Creativity stimulates. It makes you not just want to copy, but to be more creative yourself. It opens doors in your mind. Or at least it does for me 

The same went for some of the things Milad and I tried on in the Giuliva studio. 

I loved the shape of the lapels on the big suede coat above, even if I wouldn't have them quite as big. The baby-blue colour of the trench on the right, below, was gorgeous, although the trench on the left in a super-heavy linen had woven leather details that weren’t for me.

It was actually Gerardo’s collection of vintage fabrics that I gravitated to most - perhaps because they were often more subtle, and could be made up in more conservative cuts. 

I ended up ordering a shirt in a beautiful 80s cotton, a cream with fine multicoloured stripes. It’s a material you would never buy online, and I can understand why it might not have sold the first time around. But it made perfect sense in person, with Gerardo’s advice and eye.

In any store it’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetic around you, buying something that really looks best in the shop - in their world. Gerardo’s studio is so beautifully appointed that it could certainly have that effect on you. 

But I’m fairly confident the shirt will be nice, and the style was pretty simple - a standard point collar, just a touch bigger than I would have normally. 

Let’s wait and see. That too requires a trip back to Rome, so it might take a while. 

For anyone else that thinks they could find inspiration in Gerardo and Giuliva, I recommend trying to see the products in person, particularly for the fabrics. Doubtless the number of stockists where this is possible will carry on growing, given the direction the brand is going. 

giulivaheritage.com

@sartoriagiuliva

Photography above, Milad Abedi. Images below, from recent lookbooks and social

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Robin

Love the photos .

As to the style, or rather the colour , sometimes it works sometimes not so.

Could people replicate it by buying the stuff ? I doubt it . Why? Because that ‘look’ needs ‘that face’.
The ‘tache’ , the hair , the sideburns , the nose etc , and need I say the attitude / personality .
I can see why Milad likes it (think we may have a doppelgänger ).

Interesting you write
“ But like many who end up with their own business in this area, he quit to follow his passion for tailoring. ”
If only this was true of more people !

Alexander

He even gave up his leading role as Javier Peña in „Narcos“. What a career. (speaking of Doppelgänger)

Jim

I’ve always loved Gerardo’s style, he looks fabulous in a way that it think is hugely helped by his location in Rome or perhaps Italy more broadly. The same looks may not translate so well in other environments but given that’s where he’s based it’s wonderful. I find the proportions of allot of The tailoring slightly OTT for me. I don’t feel my stature or frame could cary it off in quite the same way. What he does wonderfully well though is look casual in all he wears. I think this is often down to the fact that his clothes are clearly worn and lived in. To often you (in fact almost always) you see guys in their classic menswear attire which is totally ‘box fresh’, uncreased shoes, no wrinkle visible anywhere and it looks so stiff and boring. There’s a real contingent of Northern Europeans on Instagram who ascribe to this category where everything appears newly bought in order to provide a never ending series of new ‘fit picks’ (vom) #menswearuniform #ocbd #tassleloafer #dapper #classicmenswear #sprezz etc etc.
This is not the case with Gerardo and I love his style. Bravo!

Ian Daly

Hi Simon

Interesting article, and a very unique look.
What is the Rowan Atkinson reference here please?

Thanks

Ian Daly

Sorry you’ve confused me now. The GQ article (which I read some time ago) suggests the clothes he is wearing in the picture here are all from D&G.
Atkinson is a very classic dresser, but those items of clothing certainly don’t look like Giuliva.

Ian Daly

Thanks Simon. I’ve just been back to the article, and the suit, shirt and tie are all from D&G. The Giuliva item in the photo is a matchstick holder.
I actually think the shirt is quite unattractive, given the tiny collar.

Ian Daly

Then shouldn’t/t you remove his picture from this article?
It’s pretty misleading to suggest he is a customer when he isn’t.

Ian Daly

Really? when you write an article about a fashion house, and post with it a number of pictures, one of which is of a very recognizable actor, don’t you think readers’ instincts would assume he was a customer? You did, as your initial response to me was that he was wearing Giuliva in the picture.

Sean

It’s not misleading to feature an image of Rowan Atkinson in an article about Giuliva when he is literally holding a Giuliva product in the image… on the cover of GQ magazine no less. Quite an achievement for a young brand.
Besides, that matchstick holder is the classiest item on the page.

Slav

Haha, yes i agree. There appears to be allot of non-industry menswear enthusiasts popping up online who must have a fair ammount of disposable income from the respective jobs and like to travel to pitti to mil around in their specially bought ‘fits’. There are allot of stylish guys and interestig brands coming out of sweeden and norway but there also seems to be an awful lot of these guys to.

Emil

Great article, as always. Looks like a beautiful studio.

It would be interesting to see an article in the how to dress like series with Milad, if that’s something you both are interested in.

Elio Gianni

Very nice! Was hoping you might cover them on your trip to Rome! Will have to pop in and have a look the next time I am down there…
I really appreciate that you also cover things that might not be fully to your taste yet still very interesting.

Anon

Having just returned from 2 weeks in Sicily I can see how this look would suit the style of the cities of southern Italy but look jarringly out of place almost anywhere else.

peter hall

I must have a similar taste to Milad as the pink jacket is also my favourite.
I really like the timeless , chic , just thrown together look(even though it obviously isn’t). Something that southern Europe excels at .
It is a tough thing to get right in the harsher north European light. I’ve used the classic 50s ‘americana’ colours under both cream and white-think of stratocaster colours, and yellow socks are a summer favourite of mine.

Alex

Interesting contrast between how Gerardo looks in his styling and that phot of Chris Pine, and perhaps why I am more on the admiring end of the spectrum rather than feeling any desire to own any of these pieces myself. The styling is so specific as to only really work on a very niche contingent; still, as you say Simon, it is still fun to see what (if any) inspiration can be taken from somebody with such a clear vision of how his clothing should look and wear.

Felix

700 EUR for some linen shorts tells me everything I need to know about this brand (https://giulivaheritage.com/shop/spring-summer-men/james-shorts-in-linen/)…

Peter S

I think that it was Karl Lagerfeld who said that today you can find classy clothes even on a budget. If you know what you want, you can always find it. So inspiration (and some time to search) is all you need.

Josh

Lovely, some welcome rakish inspiration. As you allude to, there’s the bold mixing of colour and fabric that could be fruitfully applied to any more conservative classic tailoring wardrobe (the casual styling of that pin-stripe DB has me particularly impressed), and there’s the more striking shapes and designs of the images, individual pieces and ensembles themselves which are just as easily admired and appreciated on their own terms without demanding replication. The Rome tour seems to have been highly fruitful!

Stephan

A fantastic post, Simon, with beautiful images and great points on inspiration and incorporating bolder or just different things than one normally does. Really important and reminds me of why I got interested in the first place in clothing as experiments in style and expression. It’s fun and Gerardo does it so well.

Stephen

Hi,
Interesting article and as you have previously mentioned, (together with comments on this post) style is more about inspiration than simply copying.
The clothes and styling themselves are not for me, also Gerardo has a very distinctive physical look, which tends help carry them off to great effect.
I really relate to your point about getting caught up in the moment in the shop – something of which I have fallen foul on a number of occasions, even in my more mature years!
Small point- I was a bit puzzled though, by wearing a dark colour under white linen than then shows through and also highlights the seams. Any thoughts? Perhaps I am being too fussy.
The styling of the dark blazer is great and I like the look of the striped jumper and white trousers in one of the photographs very much.
I’d advise readers to look at the website where I think there are some less flamboyant items and also with the context being different they tend to tone down a little. Perhaps looking in conjunction with a shop visit may be helpful, which I would recommend as these are expensive items.
Overall not for me, but nice to look at and be inspired.

Stephen

Hi, I agree with your comments and yes my taste does tend towards a certain casual sharpness if there is such a thing. I would also suggest geographical context is also relevant. When in Rome……….
Thanks again for an interesting read.

Scott

This is a very Italian look that’s really only looks good on well, Italians. Italian men that dress this way often look like peacocks, but they can pull it off without looking silly. So Gerardo looks terrific, but Chris Pine not so much. While this is interesting I’d characterize these clothes as more appropriate for fashionistas.

Scott

Yes, the last shot of Gerardo is better, but his VERY high waisted pants look awkward in my opinion. That may be because of his stature as it appears he’s on the shorter side which high waisted pants don’t flatter. Poor Chris looks like an effeminate peacock in that outfit. What was he thinking?

Scott

Agreed concerning the handkerchief. I must say that I like the pleated pants design and they fit him well. Otherwise, he looks like a woman, maybe it’s the hair. What do you like about the outfit?

Jonny

I’m really glad you wrote this. I’ve considered commenting on various articles that I’d love a piece about Gerardo for a while.
I think I held concern that there would be many comments similar to some of those on the Angel Ramos article, where I recall a few readers taking aim at how hyper-stylised it all felt, particularly with Angel’s cigars etc, but interestingly, the comments on this article so far seem to have more of a positive tone. Or maybe I’m mis-remembering (for what it’s worth, I’m also a huge fan of Angel’s style).
As others have said, along with the colours, proportions, textures etc, Gerardo’s a master at making things look great whilst clearly coming across as ‘lived-in’. This is most clearly seen in Linens, where the creasing/rumpling really comes through. It’s almost as if every piece takes on the spirit of a Barbour on him – just that little bit cooler with every imperfection/patina/crease/whatever we want to call it.
Thanks for this – a really great read.

Daniel

Hi Simon.
Each time I look at these photos I see another detail I hadn’t previously noticed. So much more interesting to see them in the context of your PS Posts, inspiring repeated views, rather than just randomly on Instagram.
And maybe somewhat randomly this has also reminded of your Richard Burke Style Hero post..

Rich

He looks great! But if I tried that look I’d look dreadful! He carries it out so effortlessly.

Bob

It may be an illusion created by the high waisted trousers, or maybe my lack of seeing jackets these days, but are his jackets cut very long?

I want to like the images, and like some of the material combinations but the cut, particularly of the trousers really puts me off.

Al

Nice report, not always my cup of tea too but Cavaliere is one of the most inspiring men out there. On a side note: he often wears what seems a low-cut wool t-shirt under his blazers. Up to the 70’s that was a typical way of dressing for men in South Italy. Back then everyone wore a low cut wool t-shirt under their dress shirt (houses were way colder) so it wasn’t unusual to see some people wearing just a blazer on it, especially when they were out on a rush (like going to the grocery or tobacconist). The same for the gold necklace with rings as pendants. Usually they were rings owned by the man’s father or grandfather.

Jeans Lauren

Great review Simon, very level headed.
This Gerard Cavalier chap seems a bit dubious. Any salesman in Menswear who doesn’t wear a necktie to work is always a huckster and a fraud. He and Patrick Johnson are cut from the same cloth I suspect.
Always the best Simon, keep up the reviews.
Jeans.

Jeans Lauren

No worries. Yes, it is a hardline statement. But I think any person who sells ties yet actively contributes to their decline by not wearing them is a not worth the time of day. The same can be said of any Cutter who doesn’t wear ties when meeting clients, they undermine their own credibility by not doing so. (A bit different but it’s integral to the costume)
Since you don’t actively sell ties your exempt from this criticism Mr. Crompton. And thankfully you do wear them in your current profile picture in the comments section, which is nice.
All the best,
Jeans.

Jeans Lauren

Hmm this is more of a business verses idealism paradigm.
There is always the right tie for a situation, it’s just a matter of having the taste, finesse, skill and wisdom to select the right tie and the right knot. Even if it’s not perfect there’s still a wide range of ties and tie variations to choose from.
To me it’s just the sign of a slacker who’s into menswear for all the wrong reasons, just milking the industry and fleecing civilians for all they’ve got.
Hope you understand this isn’t directed at you Simon.
Regards, Jeans

Jeans Lauren

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one Simon.
You and he aren’t in the same category since you’re an author so your exempt from criticism.
Kind regards, Jeans

Alex

This may be the first time I’ve seen the term ‘slacker’ used outside of the Back To The Future movies. Gave me a chuckle, at least.

Jeans Lauren

Mr. Alex, thank you for your response. I’m glad I was able to entertain you with my appraisal of Mr. Cavalier. You’ve been forward by both your truly and also Mr. Crompton now.
Stay safe, Jeans.

Herr Brot

Actually, comments like these do contribute much more to the demise of the neckties than whatever Gerardo is wearing. It is the snobbishness of some that has helped stigmatise menswear and neckties in particular.
Introducing the “casual chic” into the mainstream, like Mr Cavaliere here is doing, may save menswear from becoming a costume party.

Jeans Lauren

Mr. Herr Brot, thank you for your response. There’s a difference between seeing thing and understanding them, take a closer look at Gerards costume, he is a dubious man to say the least.
Chic just means stylish in French. How is an Italian man selling French casual style when he looks like Tom Selleck?
All clothing is a form of costume… A tie can elevate a costume in a way an open collar can’t.
Kind regards, Jeans

Antony

My hairdresser is bald, but is brilliant. I’m a (hopefully quite good) diabetes doctor and also have quite challenging diabetes myself. And so on. It’s only a tie, and it’s only style. He’s a fabulously stylish chap, with a range of beautiful artisanal goods. What’s not to love.

Jeans Lauren

Thats a fair comment Simon, but please allow me to share some books with you and your readers that will better help them to analyse the semiotics of Wester costume on a deeper level:
The Book of Ties by Davide Mosconi and Riccardo Villarosa.
The Book of Ties by Francois Chaille.
The Tie Trends and Traditions by Sarah Gibbings.
Sex and Suits by Allison Laurie, How to Read a Suit by Lydia Edwards.
A History of Men’s Fashion by Farid Chenoune.
After reading those books you and your readers should have a good understanding of the importance of neckwear to the history of men’s costume for the last few centuries, plus how the forms of Western costume have developed from 6th Century AD to the present day.
Please Simon, as an educator you owe it to your audience to put in the homework and elevate your readers with the things you’ve learnt in books. By doing so you can provide the source material for your article’s asides from conjecture. Don’t fall into the trap of lethargy that swamps so many others in the modern world.
The choice is yours, let this comment stand in posterity so that others can learn from these great books.
Yours sincerely,
Jeans Lauren.

Peter S

Dogma is never attractive. Be it religious dogma or fashion dogma.

Jeans Lauren

Peter S, once you gain a thorough education on Western costume and the necktie in particular you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
I’d wager you haven’t read any of the books on the list I mentioned above yet have you?

Peter S

I hope Simon will forgive me for writing one more comment. But it’s a good one: If you want to have a intelligent conversation, it’s three things you should avoid. Never talk about iq, never use big words and never ever mention all the books you have read. The same philosophy is actually useful when it comes to fashion. Substance is everything.

Jeans Lauren

Peter please just do your research. Simons a good journalist but he doesn’t know everything, nor do I. Since you follow him more than I do, by writ of doing so you are likely on a lower level then he is…
Think about that. Simon’s still above average, advanced in some areas but not others… but he is no Sartorial Guru. He has some sartorial knowledge, but he gets in his own way too often. Anyone could supersede him since he spends too much time on social media etc. He’s not a true Dandy, not even close.
I’d say if someone dropped a small 10,000 hours of their life on studying costume, they could both achieve the first level of mastery, and also eclipse Simon’s knowledge by miles.
Spend 20,000 hours and you’ll reach the second level of master. By then you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true mastermind.
By the 10,000 mark you’ll surely learn to walk your own path.
Enjoy the journey.
Regard, Mr. Lauren.

Jeans Lauren

Before anyone asks, I still respect Simon for what he’s done in menswear. Shining a light on artisans and crafts people, plus reviewing stuff in menswear no one else can be bothered like thrift stores etc.
He knows a great deal about cloth and coat/jacket construction at this point as well. This is where his years of experience show him in the best light. Plus his level headed journalism.
Thank you for you work Simon.

Alex

I don’t want to speak for Simon, but I imagine he’s totally fine with being described as “not a true Dandy”.

Alex

Yes, I imagine that’s correct. It does somewhat go to the heart of the point at issue – clinging to outdated philosophical ideals ultimately risks turning one into an anachronism.

Herr Brot

Wow. I cannot explain with words the astonishment I am experiencing reading your comments. I fail to identify whether they are intended as sarcasm, parody or truly deeply held beliefs.
Thankfully, for the (hopefully) rest of us, clothes are just that, clothes. Something to be enjoyed and talked about in this wonderful forum that is Permanent Style.
As an hommage to your comments, I should burn my (very extensive) collection of ties in a bonfire of elegance.

Jeans Lauren

Hi Herr Brot. A bit of each, but as my knowledge of Western costume has grown my beliefs have changed.
Clothes in isolation are just clothes. But when combined they form costumes.
That’s sad to hear you’d want to burn your ties. Why not just donate them to charity to help out your fellow citizens?

Markus

I can’t help feeling that your comment is either sarcastic, silly or outright gullible.
It reminds me of a recent incident in the Vienna bar where a lawyer defrauded his clients in a low double digit EUR million amount. In the media, a part of the defense of an official with the Vienna bar in charge of oversight was: “But he was always so well dressed”. He was rightfully hounded by the press afterwards.
Good style and good clothes cannot exclude that someone is a huckster or a fraud or vice versa.
Besides, ties are kind of passé. I used to wear them to work all the time, but like everyone around me stopped doing that on normal work days. Wearing a tie on those days even sometimes makes you stand out in an awkward way.

Jeans Lauren

Markus I’m getting really burnt out by this comment thread…
Necktie minutia is one of those sartorial insider status things. After this thread I’ve realised why, it’s just not something the average menswear enthusiast cares to learn about, let alone a regular civilian. It’s more so on the dandy side of the spectrum. I won’t try to convince you.
If you want to learn more the books are listed above.

J Crewless

Yeah. I was a lawyer. Hated it. And am now doing something better aligned with who I am instead of what symbolized success. Hats off to him.

David

I think this is a classic example of a style that can be appreciated but never imitated. Not only is it, as Robin eloquently pointed out, very unique to the individual and ‘That Face’, it is also very unique to that place. Transport it to London, Paris or NYC and it would struggle.

AK

I absolutely love the casual jackets with shawl collars, I’d been thinking about it for a while but seeing it actualized is great. I might have to have my tailor do up one for me.
I like the bolder shapes and big lapels, though looking at the website it seems as though some of the models were either poorly fit or just are too skinny for the proportions to really work. Great vibes in general though.

Boggio Giovanni

guardabile-bili

Boggio Giovanni

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Alex

Gerardo looks amazing