Nestling in the heart of Vene­tia is Il Gufo, one of the world’s lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers of chil­dren’s cloth­ing. MilK spent two days in the work­shops of the brand,whose savoir-faire is guided by its founder Gio­vanna Miletti’s pas­sion.

Milk Magazine (English) - - CONTENTS - mar­gaux stein­myller il­

Il Gufo, Ital­ian-style lux­ury

Afew miles from Asolo, a vil­lage perched high up on the Vene­tian hills, are the head­quar­ters of Il Gufo and one of its fac­to­ries, Bonotto. This is where Gio­vanna Miletti has been lov­ingly mak­ing clothes for nearly forty years, sur­rounded by an army of as­sis­tants, ap­pren­tices and tra­di­tional tools. She be­gan sewing ba­bies’ bibs in 1980, when her chil­dren started nurs­ery school, “to keep her­self busy”, she said. Friends and cus­tomers were im­pressed by the metic­u­lous­ness of her work and the qual­ity of the ma­te­ri­als she used. Style, cut and qual­ity still en­sure Il Gufo’s suc­cess to­day. From ini­tial sketch and pat­tern-mak­ing to em­broi­dery and qual­ity con­trol, ev­ery de­tail counts for the brand that also takes great care over its po­etic vis­ual iden­tity and its invit­ing stores in­spired by Scan­di­na­vian de­sign. And “to dress chil­dren like chil­dren” Gio­vanna wants the best peo­ple by her side. Start­ing with her son Guido and daugh­ter Alessan­dra in man­age­ment. So it’s a fam­ily busi­ness…

Bonotto, the slow fac­tory

At Il Gufo, ev­ery­thing is made in Italy: con­cept, de­sign and fab­ric. For some ma­te­ri­als, the brand works with Bonotto, the nearby fab­brica lenta. This slow fac­tory, which takes its time to pro­duce fab­rics, is run by its cre­ative di­rec­tor Gio­vanni Bonotto. Brands such as Chanel, Prada and Is­abel Marant all come to find his mag­i­cal tex­tiles. Gio­vanni may use old-fash­ioned me­chan­i­cal ma­chines, but he trav­els the world in search of ex­cel­lence. The warm­est wool comes from Ti­betan yaks, whose nat­u­ral habi­tat is amid snowy climes. The best weath­er­proof fur comes from the An­dean gua­naco, which has to sur­vive in desert tem­per­a­tures that vary dra­mat­i­cally. In this fac­tory, the term “raw ma­te­rial” has a whole new mean­ing. Art lover Gio­vanni (whose fac­tory is full of paint­ings to in­spire his em­ploy­ees) wants fab­rics to speak for them­selves and uses his know-how to make them unique.

Since World Hand Hygiene Day (5 May 2017), the brand has par­tic­i­pated in Ox­fam’s project #20sec­onds to raise aware­ness of the im­por­tance of wash­ing one’s hands. For ev­ery do­na­tion of €10 (then sent to Ox­fam) in Il Gufo stores, the brand gives donors a bar of soap and a mini child-friendly il­lus­trated book­let.

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