The times they are a-changin’
The idea came easily to Giuliana Marchini Gerani, one of those rare women with a real flair for business (or “breaking out on one’s own”), in addition to the indomitable ability necessary for fulfilling one’s dreams. As for Giuliana’s dreams, they were born on a knitting machine and later kept very much alive in the Gilmar fashion company that she created with her husband Silvano Gerani.
A collection of pullovers designed and developed with Jean Charles de Castelbajac, major budding talent discovered at a fashion school in Paris, lay the early basis for meeting the Iceberg challenge. Giuliana fell in love with his sketches, perceived the inherent potential for pursuing a unique and in some ways irreverent creative path. She invited Castelbajac to work with her and together they embarked on a road that would one day change Italy, so becoming pioneers of the golden age of Italian luxury ready-to-wear.
The art of communication
The more the brand grew the greater the demand became for a form of communication that could cross borders, spark the curiosity and interest of an uncommon audience.
Silvano Gerani, a big Formula One fan, found the solution. What better way to enter the homes of people worldwide than through Grand Prix car racing? Sure, the approach would not come cheap, an hour’s worth of advertising would cost the equivalent of an entire year’s budget. Though not everyone at Gilmar agreed with the idea, the company made a handshake deal with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone. Subsequently, Iceberg sales doubled year after year.
Simulating a seismograph that detects shifts well below the surface, Iceberg chose in March 1993 to sponsor the Rainforest Foundation concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Taking turns on stage, singers Tina Turner, James Taylor, Brian Adams, Sting and George Michael raised almost a million dollars for an initiative – saving Amazonia – originally set in motion by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler. Meanwhile, enthusiastically embracing the cause, Silvano, Giuliana, daughter Patrizia and son Paolo joined the Foundation’s Executive Committee.
The Iceberg style
In 1985 Gilmar built a space-age production plant in a new location, the town in San Giovanni Marignano.
Between cutting and sewing rooms, style offices and storehouses, people would spend many hours of the day there, so the structural design had to foster a warm and inviting environment, result in a comfortable workplace. During this same period, Patrizia and Paolo became part of the team: namely, a total of 500 employees with an average age of 36.
The Iceberg style
Taking a big step to enhance the Iceberg brand, Paolo moved to Milan in 1995 and began showing the collections on the runway. Today, in the dual role of Gilmar Group CEO and Iceberg Creative Director, he ensures that the brand’s fashion content evolves quietly all while maintaining a distinctive American Pop Art slant. Paolo is in fact a passionate collector of the genre, an aficionado of this revolutionary and ever rewarding movement.
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Iceberg & “Maglifico!”
“Maglifico! Sublime Italian Knitscape” Exhibition – Palazzo Morando Milan – is just ended, a surprising and original scenario has revealed all aspects of knitwear, creativity and production in fashion. A tribute to italian talent, focused on creating the most imaginative and difficult knitted masterpieces and the unique ability to transform designers’ creativity in projects.
Of course Iceberg participated proud to support the project and sharing his know how in knitting. Since 1974 the brand has got a unique and inimitable style and experience passed on from one genaration to another.
Lending enthusiastic support to the Exhibition Iceberg was there with unique items from the company archives. Amazing pieces that give shape and substance to the ideas of the great creators who have contributed and still contribute today to make Iceberg great into magnificent knits.