The View magazine had a chat with fashion creative director Giovanni Bianco, of GB65 based in New York. He shares about his career, how he ended up in fashion, his view on the industry and digital magazines, and more.
TV: Hi Giovanni, how are you? Can you tell us about yourself?
GB: I was born in Brazil from Italian parents. Grew up there till I moved to Milan at the age of 23. First operating as a creative director in Milan and Sao Paolo, and later moved to New York.
TV: Have you always wanted to work in fashion?
GB: At 23, I moved to Milan from Brazil (my birthplace), I started doing graphic design for different type of companies (logo, packaging, branding…). Then I had the opportunity to meet Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, and that’s when I started to immerse into the world of fashion. They were launching their second line “D&G” and I started to do the visual materials. I didn’t know I would end up in fashion, I was so driven by art and design furniture, that I was more thinking about opening a design furniture store where I would have sold creations of my favorite designers: Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, etc. But starting to work in fashion really opened my eyes and I just love it. It is a good mix between everything I love: art, photography, design.
TV: Take us through your career.
GB: I first started to do graphic design for different type of companies, mostly branding and visual. Then I started to work in fashion, when Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana asked me to work for them, which I did for three seasons. Then I continued as a freelancer and also got into business, partnered with an Italian graphic designer Susanna Cucco, I worked with her for two or three seasons. At some point I had a Brazilian client, for whom we needed to do the fashion campaign and that’s when I met Steven Klein who had been a key person in my career. Indeed, after this project I started to work with him and I started to think about moving to New York and I did. When I arrived there, I kept two of my Italian clients, Dsquared2 and S’Max Mara, and years after years started to grow until I could finally in 2001 form my own agency GB65.
TV: Tell us about the industry and how it evolved.
GB: A lot of things has changed in the industry since I first started. But mostly, to see how fast are things going today surprise me the most. Which makes sense when you see how easy it is to communicate thanks to all the different platforms (Skype, mails, etc.) and social media, wherever you are in the world you can have meetings, clients briefs…and everything is due yesterday.
TV: At some point you thought “I can do all of this way better!, so you started your own company, GB65?
GB: I wasn’t thinking that I would do it a better way, it just came naturally. I had been working for few years in the industry, I built my own vision and image and it was time for me to step out, and decided to form GB65.
TV: What makes your agency unique, different from competitors?
GB: I have my own vision on things, and I am sure that’s what makes creative people all different. Everybody has his own way to see and interpret things. Also, I have a specific cultural background that made who I am and how I work. Living in Brazil, Milan and New York and traveling all around the world really inspire me as a creative person and human being.
TV: Many young talents are told that networking is really important. How does this apply to the fashion world, and what does it actually mean?
GB: I would first advice to young talents to work as much as they can to step-out and make themselves different. We live in such a competitive environment that it is going to be harder and harder to make something different, so the amount of work to provide is more and more important. Then of course they can focus on networking.
TV: There is a very lively debate about print and digital magazines. How do you see all of this? Is there a place for both? How do you see this working out in
the near future?
GB: Of course, we are evolving to a digital world. Everything needs to be accessible through the different electronic devices. We are slowly transitioning but I think people still like to get their print copy. It’s in the habits so it will still need some years before the digital version replace the print one completely.
TV: Can you share us about your job, what exactly it is what you do?
GB: My team and I mainly work on advertising and branding projects, as well as for many different individuals ones like entertainment and books. We elaborate and come up with concepts that fit with the brand image and strategy according the season, and develop unique strategies to enhance the long-term growth of each brand. Intervening at all stages of the production, paying attention to details and bringing together the right blend of art direction, design and top class photography. From concepts to final layouts.
TV: You recently worked with Steven Meisel for Miu Miu. Can you tell us a bit about this project?
GB: We wanted to allow everyone who would see the campaign to discover an intimate portrait of the Miu Miu girl. The way she acts, the way she moves. She is innocent, mysterious, sensual and rebellious all at the same time. The way it was shot, gave the feeling to be part of it.
TV: Aside from your job, other creative things you do in your spare time?
GB: I like to spend time painting and drawing as soon as I have a bit of free time.
TV: Thanks Giovanni!
Check out his work on the GB65 website.
Interview minimally edited to keep authenticity.