Working his way around the Nerdy Fashion World lately is a designer named Luca Giorgio. He has been gaining a lot of buzz over his amazing handmade fine leather jackets. He has designs that are based on video game characters such as Overwatch’s Soldier 76 and Marvel Characters such as Captain Marvel or Venom. He has gained the recognition of a lot of people in the industry for his authentic designs and his artistic vision. He incorporates a unique personality into every design he puts out and has a team that works very closely with him so that he can achieve a great product every time. Each jacket is amazing quality and hand made.
I was able to catch up with Luca and interview him a little bit about what he does.
What got you into fashion?
The truth about how I got into this is that I’ve always kind of been fashionable because I’ve always enjoyed wearing clothing that makes me a little bit different and more edgy than the people around me. I never really considered myself fashionable because it wasn’t considered socially acceptable in my hometown. People are very picky and very tradesmen-like so naturally fashionable options didn’t exist there.
While travelling I was able to work next to a celebrity fashion photographer which changed my view on the industry. I worked in Calabasas with him and he taught me about model management and many industry secrets that were so hard to come by. He had experience grooming Victoria Secret Models and he was becoming more of a manager than just a photographer so I got a chance to learn that whole industry. He used to say I was good at things and that kind of sparked my interest to keep going as a fashion photographer and working with industry level models.
When I left Los Angeles I went back home to Canada and I decided to continue working as a fashion photographer and go to all these major U.S. and Canadian fashion hot spots like New York, Miami, and even Toronto and Vancouver. I also revisited LA in more of a business sense trying to connect with certain agencies and working with a stylist – but did I expect myself to be in fashion? Not really – but that sparked everything for it to be a normal thing in my life. So one thing transitioned to another and I never considered it just getting into fashion, I still had my own style – it just had not flourished and people had not been able to appreciated it yet. I had always wanted to build something where I can better express myself as well rounded and passionate artist.
How would you describe your style?
To be straight, it’s always been very hard to describe “your own style”. I don’t reference to other designers so it’s really me. If I had to give it an adjective of some sort then alternative is one I would use because we aren’t copying other corporate entities that are just trying to redistribute something in their own way or mass produce something of low quality and lack of design. I am expresive and emotionally intellegent, so the designs and the feeling of wearing them will carry some sense of feeling and passion. I am really putting a lot of attention to detail so the style is more sleek, almost the way a jet is designed. I try to make it really cool but allow it to flow to fit the individual customer. I want the jackets to be practical in a sense, yet evolve from traditional methods and I want it to fly under the radar – this is why we call it being “Socially Acceptable” when we talk to clients because we want something that has an extraordinary taste that is wearable and cool everywhere you go. We aren’t just video game focused. It’s really a jacket with “Character” and we aim to change the way people view pop culture outerwear.
What is your design process?
I design with nostalgia in mind so people can feel proud wearing a second skin. Maybe feel a boost of confidence while wearing it. For example, when wearing this Captain America or Trunks leather jacket, we are representing our favorite characters while looking cool and slick in the process.
One of my goals is to take down the corporate idea of mass production for jackets. By hand making our products we are able to give cool attributes and raise the quality bar. I design a lot of my stuff with hardcore fans of a certain culture to bring authenticity to the brand and a quality product for men and women. It gives it a taste of fashion meets pop culture like they’ve never seen it before. All of these challenges really inspire me to push the threshholds of something fresh and I consider my process like passing off style to a culture that could use it. A cool jacket in their wardrobe over a new collectable toy that will get dusty on a shelf – it makes more sense to me.
Where have you gone with your jackets? What conventions do you favor?
I try to not just imagine us attending conventions but eventually being in stores and fashion events. Right now we attend as many North American Comic Con events as possible. We did attend small ones in the past but as we grow we attend larger ones with a variety of fashion, gaming, and pop culture customers that help us gain feedback and show a lot of love for what we do. Now time is becoming a key a factor. I need to spend more time designing and have my team start to promote the products at the events for us.
What kind of work goes into each jacket?
Our jackets are hand made by a team. From curing the leathers to stretching and cutting specific parts and measuring a custom sized jacket. I have been training them to influence my design style and what I like to ensure consisitency. They are very good at what they do and communicating with me. We source materials from all over the world and I am planning on working with teams in different countries to better different products. And yes they are all handmade 1 by 1.
Have you ever sold to anyone famous?
Yes I have! Joey Fatone and Trever Stines from Riverdale are huge fans. Curran Walters wore our Redhood to tease Titan fans for next season. TOHI, a celebrity singer and hip hop artist from Iran. And many voice actors including the voice of Solid Snake.
Many come by but I don’t recognize them. Some are low key about it. Lots of minor celebrities too. They shoot with a friend in L.A. He worked with celebrities and they usually like to wear my jackets because they are fun to wear.
What are some of your biggest creative inspirations? What cartoons or comics did you grow up with? Do you have a favorite Super Hero?
I never had an ultimate favorite but based on my collection of comics – statues and other things – I would say Venom and Carnage have always been my favorite. I do attract a love for villains over super heroes as they usually have more depth and mystery to them as well as a color palette and over aesthetic that I enjoy as an artist.
It’s really weird but even when I was younger I would be travelling with my family in Italy away from all technology and I would always feel that something was missing. It’s kind of odd like why would I think of this but I would be like “Oh, The Legend of Zelda…I didn’t beat that game the way I wanted to beat that game”. Or I miss playing these retro games and that was a piece of me and I started realizing at a young age that games were a piece of me even as my friends grew older. They dropped games, they dropped pop culture to move on to other things – whatever it may be – whereas to me becoming a game developer or being involved in that industry was always a goal. For me it was a true dream, to everyone else it was that they wanted to play video games for fun and never take it seriously. This small piece of understanding made me realize I did not fit in and I should take it more seriously. I decided to persue being an artist not too long after.
I built Soldier 76 as my first design to wear. It was one of the first jackets that I built and I didn’t do it for anyone else. I didn’t do it for the sake of being nerdy, I did it to express myself and I needed to wear the art peice, not just create a sculpture, or a painting as I was known to do. I did enjoy the inspiration from some of the characters that influenced me so I developed my own concept and tested the market first in Thunder Bay. I tested the market elsewhere and found that there’s other people that appreciated my work and there was demand for it. And that’s kind of how things came to be, I truly built something unique in my own way for myself being creative and unique, thankfully it finally flourished.
I grew up with all sorts of different things. I was never necessarily a comic book nerd. I never grew up buying massive amounts of comic books, I would buy some only because I enjoyed the cover art. I would buy Goosebump books because I enjoyed the cover art and pretend to read them – it was always the visuals that always captured me. It was the stunning art that people would put into one piece that captured me. Even working in visual effects I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated but I knew I wanted to build something that was one piece. I’d like to spend so much time on one art piece to get it to perfection rather than a whole series of mediocre pieces.
Ok, this one is purely because I’m curious… Have you ever considered making longer jackets? Like Gambit or Jubilee from X-Men?
Gambit was on the list for 2017 but never got made due to trench coats not being as socially acceptable for everyday wear and because the movie was never made or demand never asked me for it. The real way I can tell if something won’t sell is based on factors like getting feedback and testing practical ideas. Now…I don’t always follow this rule but having so many jackets made at this point…I have to. I try to bring items to shows that we will knock out of the park and Gambit is still in mind. Sometimes my creative and practical approach is what sells best – like my Star Lord jacket.
That is true, if there had been a movie that could have possibly been a big hit. I think that it is so cool that you would buy comics for the artwork. You definitely have a creative brain! What is your favorite piece you designed? I know you said the 76 jacket was your first and you designed it for yourself, but is it your favorite as well?
It’s interesting isn’t it? I mean I don’t discuss this with too many people but I sometimes buy framed comic books – I have a bunch of really cool ones and it had to do with a lot of the collectible aspect after a while rather than just the art and story. I also started to realize that some collectors and that way of thinking drives you insane. You become this ridiculous and reckless person where you become only to own something to be a collectible – its not right. You have to own something for its nostalgic relevance to you and what it makes you feel by having it.
So when I design a jacket I’m designing it in a sense for it to become a collectible. Almost like a Sideshow or XM Studios statue – we are trying to go the same route as it’s inline with our passions to create limited edition Luca Designs jackets.
The trick about the favorite piece that I have designed is a double edged sword. When I design something that I really knock out of the park (according to our fans) – then it gets knocked out of the park for my own personal taste. It ends up becoming something that I can only wear until I have sold so many of them and I see them around and people post them. It’s a great feeling but at the same time it’s no longer that original piece in my closet. So the psychological impact behind it is that I fall out of love with the piece that I once owned and I need to create something new, cool and different again. It always comes back to that cycle of being original.
Where would you like to see your brand go in the future? Do you want to keep the focus on jackets or do you plan on branching out to accessories as well?
We already have plans to branch out in some areas. Places I personally want to venture out to.. I have some really cool bathing suit and leggings that are going to be retro gaming related – Really excited to show this. Concepts are done, samples are nearly done – it’s just a matter of bringing it to one of the next events we have and putting them for order online.
Here is a sneak peek!
In terms of other plans to go in the distant future, we’re trying to bridge the gap between fashion and gaming culture so the fashion world will meet pop culture and pop culture is going to meet fashion and we are going to somehow meet in the middle and see if we can create our own new market for it.
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