Tamika Interviews EF Gilardi

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the Cape Town Fashion scene…in fact, about a few local designers and their labels. As you all know, the conclusion was that Cape Town style is smoking hot 😉


Fashion fades, only style remains the same.

– Coco Chanel

I thought it would be fun to interview a popular local designer, Emiliano Ferdinando Gilardi. He has his own fashion label called EF Gilardi. If you would like to take a look at his creations, join his Facebook page here: EF Gilardi

We meet at the stylish Wakame restaurant in Seapoint, Cape Town.

Tamika: Where are you from originally?

Emiliano: I’m from Cape Town.

Tamika: And where did you go to school?

Emiliano: I went to Bergvliet High.

Tamika: What did you do after school?

Emiliano: I took a year off. I worked at Seattle Coffee Company in Constantia. I worked at ‘Ska’ in Kalk Bay. And in 2006 I started my studies at the Cape Town College of Fashion Design. I studied there for three years. During that time I took part twice in the Vodacom “Durban July” competition…I was a regional finalist in 2008. I also took part in the Foschini FAD Awards in 2008. It’s about unearthing student designers . I was one of six National finalists for that. In 2010 I worked at Guess at the Waterfront… and in April last year I started my label and went into Retail.

Tamika: Where do you work from?

Emiliano: I work from home… I’m currently situated in Plumstead.

Tamika: What is your label about?

Emiliano: Well my label, EF Gilardi, is inspired by retro punk rock electro influences…A mouthful, I know:) I do evening and day wear. So far my clients include brides and matriculants who need wedding dresses or matric dance dresses. Yip- I’ve been very busy with those! haha!

Tamika: So how does it work if someone wants you to design something for them?

Emiliano: They contact me via Facebook. My e-mail and other contact details are on my page there. I drive to them and give them a quote. Right now it’s all viral marketing. I’m slowly building up a client base.

Tamika: Where did you find the money for your first collection or even the first outfit that you designed?

Emiliano: There was none! I had two domestic sewing machines already. I operate from home and as I said, I give the client a quote to cover the materials and the labour.

Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment – what collection, fashion show, event etc.?

Emiliano: Well I’m trying to get my daywear stuff into stores. For instance ‘Wardrobe’ in Kloof Street. I did three fashion shows last year at the Adderley Hotel, ZAR Nightclub and Alba Lounge. And I’m constantly working on new stuff. I put all the pictures onto Facebook.

Tamika: Have you won any awards?

Emiliano: Yes. During my studies I received two awards – both technical awards for garment construction.

Tamika: What designer do you look up to in South Africa or the world?

Emiliano: I’ve always liked Alexander McQueen.

Tamika: Are you planning on staying in South Africa?

Emiliano: For now, yes. Eventually I would love to go to Sydney or Italy – where my heritage lies. Or perhaps London!

Tamika: Where do you party, usually?

Emiliano: Wherever there’s beer flowing!

Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?

Emiliano: A pair of boardshorts and a car survival kit!

Tamika: Do you have siblings?

Emiliano: Yes I do, a brother and a sister.

Tamika: What does your family do?

Emiliano: My mom owns a pre-school and my dad is a jack-of-all-trades!

Tamika: What’s a typical day for you?

Emiliano: I start work at 9am. I’m all about running around sourcing fabric, doing fittings with clients and making clothes!

Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

Emiliano: With my main direction being denim and casual wear. I would ultimately love to have an affiliation with Diesel.

Tamika: Where’s your happy place?

Emiliano: Driving down Camps Bay Drive at sunset:)

Tamika: What’s one interesting thing about you that your followers don’t know?

Emiliano: I enjoy the pain of having tattoos and piercings!

Tamika: Do you do any charity work?

Emiliano: Yes. I donate my old clothes to charity events like fashion shows – whose proceeds go to charitable organisations.

Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you’ve finished your latest work/creation?

Emiliano: Hmmm…. It’s not myself I tell anything to really – It’s everyone else in the house who I call to come and look! Haha!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jomar says:

    Great stuff Tamika! Awesome that your getting behind an up and coming designer (And part Aussie?).

  2. Erin Robinson says:

    I must say, I wear Emiliano’s clothes and everyone always has something good to say about it, He is such a character and you can tell it thruth his designs. I’m a massive fan of his work.

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