Designer To Know


Giada and Paolo, siblings and business partners, are proving that working with your family is a recipe for success. Both specialists in their field, they have brought Forte_Forte to life as a means of expression of their emotions by creating luxurious, sophisticated designs that catch the eye of the modern woman.

by Karin Cuppens

In the mesmerising Veneto region in Italy, we can find the duo behind Forte_Forte working from the comfort of their house. Giada, who gained a strong background in knitwear, and Paolo, the man in charge of the business aspect of the label, work together in complete synergy and complementarity which makes Forte_Forte a force to be reckoned with. When the siblings took the leap and founded the Forte_Forte label in 2002, they would never have imagined the scale they are designing on today.

As the baseline of their brand, ‘emotional clothing, handcrafted beauty’, suggests, Forte_Forte thrives on authenticity and passion. This translates into timeless and pure designs for the modern and free woman. And while the fashion industry is ever-changing at a fast pace, Forte_Forte remains a beacon for artisanal craftsmanship.

Inspiration is found everywhere. Every moment can be a profound source of inspiration.
You already worked for several years in the fashion industry before starting the Forte_Forte label with your brother, did you always dream of becoming a designer?
My first memory of an encounter with fashion was a little pink toy knitting machine. I loved making rudimental hats and scarfs for my dolls back in the day. But I still do not consider myself as a fashion designer… I just believe I have a particular, profound respect and sensitivity for authentic beauty and noble, pure materials; I like to bring them alive and dress beautiful people with pureness and femininity.

Starting a fashion business with your brother is quite unconventional. If you had the chance, would you do it again?
Definitely! It all started very instinctively. After a few years of working in the fashion industry, I actually decided to take a year off to travel and do research. At the same time, my brother Paolo was coming back from New York and was meant to leave for Tokyo, but we decided to spend more time together and share a new adventure. We had a strong desire to create something very personal and precious, something that would completely reflect our souls.

But I do feel we are lucky. We live and work in great harmony. Probably because we are so different. I am very emotional and Paolo is rational. We are the perfect match. My husband Robert also works with us as the Art Director. He is the mastermind behind our beautiful campaigns.

I guess the most important thing is that we all trust each other, and therefore we can work very independent in our different roles. Of course, we also have discussions, but being siblings makes those arguments very open, straightforward and sincere.

A design process is always very personal and mystical. Could you enlighten us on your routine?
For me it starts with touching, feeling and creating materials. I'm fascinated by it.
I love natural fabrics and I like mixing 'raw' with 'refined'. For example, by combining the pureness of cotton voiles and silk with the truthfulness of wools, structured linens and cashmere. Inspiration is found everywhere. Every moment can be a profound source of inspiration. Life is incredible, and I love transforming instinctive visions of nature and history, travels, moments, people and traditions into beautiful textiles and atemporal shapes.

On a day-to-day basis, I prefer simplicity. I wake up in the morning and have breakfast with my husband and daughter and then I’m off to work. Still, I'm always thinking: will we ever get this collection ready on time?

Is there a Forte_Forte woman you have in mind while designing?
I see a woman that is curious and free. A woman that loves to travel, who is a big dreamer and creates her own style following her emotions, without considering the dogmas dictated by fashion. The Forte_Forte woman is sensitive and sophisticated; she loves wearing clothes that make her feel feminine and special.

Lastly, how do you cope with the fast pace of trends coming and going in the fashion industry?
I always try to be me. I am always curious, open to the world, and like to discover what it has to offer us. But I do not really follow fashion trends. I try to channel my feelings, trust my instincts and my introspective research.