While the Italian brand is launching an exclusive collection with Bratz, we find the creative director Giuliano Calza to talk about fashion, nostalgia, and fantasy

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Maybe it’s a new laptop, a winter coat, or a little more candle candle than what you would buy yourself. GCDS’s Giuliano Calza wants us to remember a time when our wishlists weren’t so convenient. When Woolworths Alleyways in December made our hearts beat faster. When Christmas morning started by rushing downstairs to see what Santa had delivered that night. When we tore up some wrapping paper to find the Bratz doll we’ve been dreaming of for months.

The new GCDS Bratz collaboration is steeped in this nostalgia, tapping into our modern year 2000 obsession and offering a playful antidote to these turbulent times. Cropped hoodies, form-fitting minis and the signature GCDS heart bag are all revisited by Bratz. Loungewear is adorned with the iconic ‘passion for fashion’ slogan and Bratz prints cover shorts, dresses and bras. And that’s not all. The collection also includes two limited edition Bratz dolls worthy of writing to Santa Claus for. Sasha’s look is pure glam with a rhinestone mini, fur coat, and white above-the-knee boots, while Yasmin wears a cute mini Bratz print accessorized with GCDS’s iconic cat-shaped sunglasses.

It’s for kids who grew up dreaming of dressing like a Bratz doll. Calza describes the collaboration as “a perfect match,” noting that GCDS and Bratz share the same values ​​of playfulness and inclusiveness, although they are sometimes misunderstood. Here we chat with Giuliano about the collection, creating your own whimsy, and why the Bratz remain our favorite 2000s style icons.

Hi Giuliano! How did the Bratz collaboration come about?

Julien Calza: When MGA first contacted me and told me they would like to do a collaboration with Bratz, I started screaming like a 10 year old girl before Christmas! I said, absolutely yes! I grew up with Bratz. Early in my career everyone was saying they didn’t really understand what I was doing and I remember when Bratz pitched they had the same reaction. They didn’t have the right look back then. It was therefore logical to do this collaboration with them.

What do Bratz and GCDS have in common?

Julien Calza: Bratz was one of the first dolls that weren’t all the same or set the same standards of beauty. This is what is so important to me. In all of my castings, I try to discover something new, something that resonates with the people at home. With my brand, I always wanted to make people dream as if they were very small. You must see things that make your heart explode. This is what I wanted to do with GCDS and this is what Bratz still does. It was a match made in heaven.

How would you describe this collection?

Julien Calza: For me, the most important thing was to stay playful. We live in such a heavy world. Why would you want to do heavy things? I think it should be fun. It should be pop. It should be a fantasy.

Was styling a doll any different from styling a living person?

Julien Calza: It was just more fun. Sometimes when I’m doing my job and designing a collection I have to remember that it has to be on the street at some point. There are track pieces and then there are commercial pieces, things that people will live in over and over again. With a doll, I had no limits. I could create my fantasy of what I would be if I was a doll living in California. Wearing a crystal dress with fur, a jumpsuit, and a boot can be too much in real life.

Why do you think so many adults still love Bratz today?

Julien Calza: I think they were a little ahead of time so if at first they were wrong, now they are completely right. They have a nerve and a comedy about them that is unabashedly fun.

“Bratz was one of the first dolls that weren’t all the same or set the same standards of beauty. That’s what is so important to me ”- Giuliano Calza

You use the slogan “passion for fashion” as a motif throughout the collection. What does the line mean to you?

Julien Calza: I have always fantasized about this ‘passion for fashion’. It’s something that has resonated in my head for so long. It’s this idea of ​​having passion for the things you do because of course you have to believe in it 100 percent and you have to challenge yourself to be yourself when you do my job. At the same time you have to have that ironic, light tone that fashion is about to remind you at the end of the day, you create art and vision, but it’s clothes and it has to be something. that cheers us up instead of setting the tone for something boring.

Are there any particular toys, books or movies that you encountered as a child that impacted your work and creativity?

Julien Calza: I didn’t have too many toys when I was a kid. I had a lot of books, a lot of movies, and a lot of cartoons. I was lucky enough to live in a house with a garden so I had the chance to play a lot. I think not having too many toys made me want to create my own toys. What you miss most when you’re a kid is what you want in life when you grow up.

Bratz taught us that there is nothing wrong with being different. What advice would you give to children who are struggling to fit in?

Julien Calza: For me, that was the most important message. To share my post, I wouldn’t go with classic dolls that embodied only one standard. I always talk to the kids and they told me I choose people they can see themselves in. I would tell them that my success comes from following what I believe in. I think we should learn to appreciate who we are. Being genuine for the long haul is the only thing that will help you survive in any job or trade. I don’t think you can fake it until you do.

Although the Bratz are more diverse than some other dolls, they still promote unrealistic standards of body and beauty. What would you say about it?

Julien Calza: No more than a phone! I think it’s a really interesting conversation. Today, parents give kids a phone when they’re four, and they can have YouTube and access everything. Compared to this, the dolls are not the main problem.

“The most important thing (in designing this collection) was to stay playful. We live in such a heavy world. Why would you want to do heavy things? I think it should be fun. It should be pop. It should be a fantasy ”- Giuliano Calza

Can you tell me about the GCDS Bratz pop-ups happening in December?

Julien Calza: Our pop-up in Milan is going to have those giant doll eyes spying on you from the window. There will be one in London on Peter’s Street and there will be another in Rome in my store. For Christmas, I want everyone to go back to their parents and say, “I want to have a doll”. We forget to live the time of our life. We forget that sometimes even stupid things are important. Even playing with dolls and imagining being that girl can be really therapeutic. The magic of Christmas is so important. When you open this box, sometimes it doesn’t have to be an iPhone. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a doll that will make you feel the passion for fashion again.

Do you think Bratz has created a community where people can connect with each other?

Julien Calza: I hope. I think they are a way to connect by speaking a common language. It can be a doll or a book or poetry. I want to give value to these things.


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