His origins are in Valle d’Itria, but now his home is the world…
The special location of the following interview perfectly expresses the features of our guest star.
We are in Puglia. Around us, an ancient beauty, so secular and primitive.
White walls. A little church in Pompeian red, an ancient kitchen garden, a pergola keeping the old methods of falling irrigation. And then, olive trees which extend as far as the eye can see, almonds and carobs, last outposts before the see. We are at Torre Coccaro, an ancient Masseria dating back to XVI century, now a 5-star resort. Mind you, it is not artificial old farm. It is an original place where you can enjoy the authentic Apulian rural life.
It is not by chance that Domenico Gianfrate has chosen this location for his interview.
We immediately realize that he is spontaneous, easy, even though he is very elegant. In his manners, so kind, there are the deep Apulian feelings.
We have already known all details about Domenico Gianfrate’s job. Apulian doc, he undertakes very young the career as soccer player and model, opening that an own showroom in his town. After twenty years, now he has the head quartier in Locorotondo, a big showroom in Naples, two temporary showrooms in Sicily. Domenico is leader in his business sector for the Southern. The turning point arrives last year with PT-Pantaloni Torino, becoming Global Business Development and the world becomes his house. A successful career, the many shooting for Scott Schuman for the Sartorialist, for the Japanese magazine Leon and more than 33k followers on Instagram.
Anyway, today we do not speak about his job. We would like understand how elements such as Milan and Locorotondo, style and success, origins and future live together.
And we ask him how “surviving” getting so many events, business and jobs engaging him in the world…
I recover energy in Apulia. Living in Milan, I miss sun and sea. So, as soon as I can, I come back in Locorotondo. It’s my stress remedy. Each time mantra is the same: I greet parents and friends, have a ride for the countryside, alone, to enjoy the typical colors of my land. As following step, eating raw fish. Always.
These habits help me to keep in touch with my origins. I can live in Milan, getting around the world, without forgiving my origins.
According to your experience, do you think there is a common denominator that distinguishes the way of doing business in Apulia?
Passion, surely. Thinking about some friends, such as Pino Lerario for Tagliatore and Valentino Ricci for Sciamat, both Apulian, I realize that passion has been key of their success. You get results if believe in what you are doing.
So, living and working in the Southern is not a limit…
They are justifications where we can hide when failing. My experience, for example. Even though I have worked in a little town like Locorotondo, I founded one of the most important fashion agency in Italy, known also in other countries. There are many successful business companies with headquarters in Valle d’Itria. The Massa Group, Pino Lerario for Tagliatore… Sceneries changed. In this globalization period, I think is unjustified speaking about limits or difficulties due to territory.
Listening you, it looks that being Apulian could be a benefit…
I don’t know if being Apulian has increased my job. Of course, my origins gave me energy. People often complaint that here there are no job and opportunities. I think the opposite, but there should be a new way of thinking and doing in order to have a change. You cannot do the same things as in the past, thinking to get different results. You can get new results and satisfactions.
What is the perception of Valle d’Itria around the world?
This is a wonderful moment for our territory. In the world people recognize us a higher value than 10/15 years ago. Travelling in Japan and in America, I often meet someone that knows Valle d’Itria. This happens thanks to the perfect work of operators and to the new way to communicate our territory: it could offer the perfect trip experience for those loving beauty, culture, relax. I think it is the right road. Now, we must travel it.
What is the style for you?
It’s something you have already. It is not a dress or wearing something of special. It is in your way to speak, to move. It is a form of taking care. It is not appearing at all costs.
More than 33K followers on Instagram. What about your being Web Influencer?
Naturally, may be because I’ve never planned this visibility. It easily happened. It all started ten years ago: the first shooting for Scott Schuman, some collaborations with the Japanese magazine Leon, many other partnerships in this sector and the first followers. Being known as “influencer” supports me to do better my job, of course. Anyway, on Instagram there is no info about my privacy: you can get results only with passion and sacrifice. Just think that nowadays it is possible “to buy” the number of followers. I’m surfing the wave until someone says I’m interesting and know that this couldn’t be forever. By the way, my results of my job will be forever: nobody can change them.
Firstly, Schuman is my friend. Our friendship goes beyond shooting and fashion weeks. He often has been my guest here, in Puglia. I wanted to let him know the essence of this territory. There is a mutual appreciation of each other and not only about our work. I see him as pioneer of bloggers and influencers.
Fashion, social, success. They are element usually linked to ephemeral world. What would you suggest to many young people that want work in this sectors?
Enjoying all big opportunities that this period can offer them. Nowadays they could achieve more goals in shorter time. It is enough not to be distracted by futility. It is true that the fashion world could inspire futility, but there is an essence that we, as professionals, know. I work 13-14 hours each day and love my job. Young people must know that sacrifice and determination are essential to realize their dreams. Moreover, the fashion world needs of new impetus and young people can satisfy this needs.
Speaking about fashion: you cannot leave home without….?
My “college ring”. I’ve owned it for ten years and when I don’t wear it, I’m, feeling as stripped…
What are the must-have for a man wardrobe?
A blue blazer, a tuxedo for special events, a raw denim. Three products that well expresses my mood. I love classic style, never forgetting my first love, the streetwear. I mixed both styles in a personal one. Someone speaks about street fashion. Instead, I mean street-classic style, the evolution of classic one.
Your style icons…
Marcello Mastroianni, Gianni Agnelli, Alain Delon, Sean Connery. They are men of the past: the secret of their elegance was the simplicity.
Finally, tell us one of your memories about Massa family…
There isn’t a specific memory. Surely we have in common the passion for our job. I recognize in them a great obstinacy and big capacities of planning and organization. Over time they have followed their own path and now they are one of the most important business in our territory. They will grow more because are organized and have invested in the shopping online. I agree with Roberto (nb Massa) about the future of territory and web: it’s a winning combination. Physical boutiques can assure customers, the e-store allows to reach worldwide market, increasing the brand awareness. This is cool for the contemporary customers, interested in online and physical shopping.
A last question for you. Your secret dream…
I cannot see you them… but I’m sure that my job will more increase. When I look back, I would never have dreamt this success. I don’t know what future reserves me, but I will continue to hardly work for achieving new goals.