Have you ever heard of the brand Gilberto Calzolari?

In case you haven’t, Gilberto Calzolari is a high-end prêt-à-porter brand, with a green heart that believes elegance must go hand in hand with respect for our planet.

His style is glamorous and timeless, expressed in clean lines and unexpected combinations. Fashion avant-garde rigorously made in Italy.

The signature is in the use of unusual materials complemented by the highest quality in production techniques and tailoring craftsmanship, bearing the hallmarks of a brand with a strong code of ethics in tune with the needs of contemporary living.

Gilberto Calzolari opened Milano Fashion Week’s shows fall winter 2020 collections on a sunny morning at the Volvo Studio, in a busy working day, and stylish people were lining up as early as 9 o’clock am to see the runway. There is a specific reason why just the Volvo Studio: Volvo cars provided airbags and seatbelts to create some of the most original apparels from the last collection, and offered the location for this show, committing to the brand’s desire and common interest towards sustainability.

Let’s give a look at the new collection, starting from the name: tilt system.

Fashion is the mirror of society and reveals the deepest signals of the real state of things and moods. We live in a bias between wonderful fake lives flaunted on social networks, and a society that struggles to protect nature, realising not only that even seasons have lost their meaning, but that we need to reset many of our habits to be able to live in harmony with our environment. In this meaning, the system is tilting.

So the new collection highlights these contrasts and contradictions resembling a wardrobe that is multifaceted, with women’s cuts paired with men’s fabrics and details, where winter and summer clothes walk side by side and styles collapse into unusual silhouettes. It is glamorous, with bright colors, black and white stripes and dissonant geometries. Beautiful are the prints that represent the cityscapes of Milan.

Gilberto Calzolari answers to the mechanisms of mass production that forces us into frenzied rhythms with ethical values and a contemporary aesthetic: wool from regenerated yarns, organza and crepe de chine in 100% organic GOTS-certified silk, fake fur, even recovered vinyls. New generation polyester, recycled from pet bottles and warehouse stock fabrics discovered among reputable textile companies.

He is still the designer that in 2018 won the Oscars of sustainable fashion, the Green Carpet Fashion Awards and the ultimate prize of the event: the Franca Sozzani Award for Best Emerging Designer with an outstanding dress made with jute coffee bags and lead-free Swarovski crystals. So no wonder he can surprise you when he works with new fabrics.

The upcycling choice dares picking up from most unusual materials, like broken umbrella sheets that become real dresses. Have a look at this whole collection

If you want to learn more about this designer, born in Milan, graduated from the most prestigious Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Gilberto Calzolari has for more than 15 years worked for many international names like Marni, Miu Miu, Valentino, Giorgio Armani before starting his own brand, proposing a style all sustainable and made in Italy.

As mentioned, in 2018 Calzolari was awarded with the prestigious Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Award as Best Emerging Designer, while in 2019 he won the Monte Carlo Fashion Week Award as Best Emerging Designer for his contribution to sustainable fashion.

Now. Milan is not new to sustainable fashion. As a capital of the vitality of fashion creations, there are many designers that have taken the way to sustainability as their own credo. Gilberto Calzolari is a bright symbol of this growing reality.

He uses each collection to deliver a particular massage:

  • “My Arctic Heart”, for which he partnered with Polar Bears International, world’s leading non-profit organisation dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the polar bear and its habitat;
  • “Une Partie de Campagne”, an homage to the Italian countryside that employs eco-sustainable and recycled fabrics;
  • “Unnatural”, a highly conceptual meditation on the fine line between natural and artificial;
  • “Dune” a militant collection that tackles the topic of pollution and desertifi;


It is maybe worth the mention, that fast fashion is not an Italian born concept. We are known to be historical leaders of the slow fashion concept, of beautiful things that last long, made with love by people who pass their knowledge from generation to generation. Which I would call the core of Italian excellence. Passion and research that meets into each individual’s unique passion, passed on with honest desire to put in every detail a sense of beauty, perfection and timeless singularity.

One of our dearest and most known journalists, made himself famous replying to a colleague who appointed “I want a coat like yours” with the words “you can’t, it took me 25 years to make mine look like this”. This is really the Italian attitude towards fashion: we buy less and better, and we all have something in our wardrobe you would swear we bought it last week, and probably it was something our nana left for us. No jokes.

And in line with the spirit of this country, Gilberto Calzolari adopts the ethical practices of slow fashion too. Unfortunately, our youngest generations are under the same pressure of the fast fashion vague, with its pros and cons, as every other community, and while generation X is the bridge, the youngest generations struggle between new awareness and cheap quality temptations. In the bias we live also inside the fashion community, it is of utterly importance that the made in Italy, whose symbol of excellence is in the care for detail and retraceable sustainable fabrics and craftsmanship, takes the lead into educating the new generations as to what we have mastered and taught the rest of the world for decades and decades: buy less and buy better. Above all: know what you buy.

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