Fashion + Design > Fashion

August 18, 2021

PeppinoPeppino Denim – Have a look at this amazing Italian brand

Susanne Barta

Was PeppinoPeppino so besonders macht? Präzise Schnitte, hochwertige Materialien, zeitgemäße Styles und eine transparente Produktionskette. PeppinoPeppino, das sind die Gründerin Simona Testucci und der „Pattern Maker“ Alessio Berto. Beide blicken auf eine jahrzehntelange Erfahrung in der Modeindustrie zurück und bringen all ihr Können und ihre Erfahrungen ein, um Denim Wear zu machen, die nicht nur schön, sondern auch langlebig ist und verantwortungsbewusst hergestellt wird.© Susanne Barta Foto_2

Ich trage meine PeppinoPeppino Jeans (bei Sublime in Bozen gekauft) derzeit ständig, trotz sehr sommerlicher Temperaturen. Sie gefällt mir so gut, ist so vielseitig zu stylen und so angenehm wie eine Jogginghose. Mir ist die Brand auf Instagram aufgefallen, die cool in Szene gesetzte Vintage-Ästhetik hebt sich ab vom Denim-Mainstream, auch der „Botschafter des guten Stils“ Roland Novak hat mir von PeppinoPeppino erzählt, eine Brand, die er überaus schätzt. Die verschiedenen Modelle tragen Nummern, ich trage zum Beispiel Type 1, einige Modelle gibt es nur in einer Größe, im Sinne von „one size fits all“. Überhaupt gehört das zur Philosophie von PeppinoPeppino wie Simona auf ihrer Homepage erklärt: „We dismiss the confinement of genders and generation“.

Simona lebt derzeit (noch) in Amsterdam und arbeitet für Tommy Jeans, Alessio hat sein eigenes kleines Unternehmen „The Tailor Pattern Support” in Scorzè im Veneto. Wir haben uns über Zoom unterhalten über die Entstehung von PeppinoPeppino, die Ansprüche der beiden an Denim Wear und darüber, was für sie Nachhaltigkeit in der Modeindustrie bedeutet.© PeppinoPeppino Foto_3+4

Simona, why did you start PeppinoPeppino?

Simona: I have wanted to create my own denim brand since I started working in the industry. In 2015 I set up a blog and an Instagram account called PeppinoPeppino Magazine where I featured brands outside the mainstream. 2019 I finally made up my mind and thought “I am going to try this”. My idea was to remake denim silhouettes inspired by vintage, workwear and military with a modern twist. Through a friend I met Alessio and we immediately clicked. We had coffee together and within a couple of days started to work on our first collection. He is an incredibly talented pattern maker, able to translate my ideas into perfect fits and silhouettes. There is a general ‘denim fatigue’ in the market. Too many brands are doing the same things. However, I do believe that there is still so much to explore, especially when it comes to shapes and fits. I launched the first PeppinoPeppino capsule at Pitti in June 2019, the feedback was very good and from there we just continued.

What about the name PeppinoPeppino?

Simona: I was looking for an Italian name and PeppinoPeppino came into my mind. It represents our style very well, it’s funny, a bit tomboy and ironic, as the brand itself.

 © PeppinoPeppino Foto_5

Alessio, you are the pattern maker, how does the PeppinoPeppino design process work?

Alessio: Simona is doing her research on vintage garments, selects the pieces and shares her thoughts with me. After I receive the garments, I start to transform them into PeppinoPeppino designs. There are many details that are not reproduceable nowadays, so I rearrange styles, optimize the features, create patterns and industrialize the garments, always in coordination with Simona. I am also in contact with the vendors, checking the first protos, the samples and, finally, also the production to make sure to deliver the best quality possible.

As we know the denim production is dirty and quite harmful for the environment. How do you approach this topic?

Alessio: The textile industry is one of the biggest causes of global pollution and the denim production is the worst. All of us have the responsibility to act with a clear conscience, by using new washing techniques that minimize the use of water, chemicals and energy. PeppinoPeppino has embraced those, offering sustainable washes, accessories in a bio-based material called “viridis” (which has a leather like look but is made of yellow corn) and recycled polyester.

Simona: We have been working with the best and most sustainable Italian denim mills, such as Candiani, and Berto. There is a lot going on at the denim market, many brands claim to be sustainable. Of course, more and more companies introduce some sustainable practices but if you produce millions of garments, you are not sustainable. We prefer to use the word responsible instead of sustainable. For us being responsible also means delivering timeless and everlasting products that get better with the everyday use. On top of that, our collections are small, produced locally in Italy in small batches. 

Alessio: Actually, it is impossible for fashion to be 100 % sustainable. Being also a teacher, I do a lot of research on materials. The amount of organic cotton for instance is only 1 % of the total cotton production, which is nothing! Important is to be honest and transparent.© PeppinoPeppino Foto_6+7

The business model is the big problem in my opinion. Like Simona said before, if you want to sell millions of garments with constantly changing trends and styles there is no way of being sustainable or responsible…

Simona: We both know how the system works and who makes the money. I am Italian and the “made in Italy” is still, in my opinion, an additional value. I am not interested in easy margins, relocating the production abroad. I want my customers paying a fair price considering the quality, the details and the perfect silhouettes of our pieces.

How did you get through the pandemic?

Alessio: Luckily PeppinoPeppino was not tremendously affected, at least not as much as some bigger companies. Of course, some vendors were late, but we managed. The biggest challenge for us was that Simona and I had to work remotely and via Facetime.  

Simona: I think the effect of this pandemic will be seen much more starting from now. We are still very small and don´t have high costs like many others, so we managed to continue our journey. We are now selling our 4th collection and the new one is already at the proto stage. 
I am also observing that the consumer behavior definitely has changed. People buy less and buy better. I also see this with myself, I now buy a third of what I bought before.

© PeppinoPeppino Foto_8+9

How would you describe the PeppinoPeppino style?

Simona: Definitely timeless and unconventional. Our style breaks the rules, delivering unusual and yet easy to wear silhouettes and shapes, dual-gender premium jeans designed for longevity. Alessio’s fits are absolutely perfect, he is a magician! 

Your next steps?

Simona: I am planning to move back to Italy soon. Right now, it´s just Alessio and I who are responsible for the whole process. Our plan for the near future is to consolidate and improve what we have been doing so far and start to create a proper structure. We are not in a rush, we want to do everything step by step, thinking carefully about our distribution strategy. The next challenge will also be to continue staying relevant and evolve as brand, being always faithful to our style and our vision. We like to think that PeppinoPeppino is somehow a philosophy, this is why we have started to use a hashtag that a friend of ours has created for us: #peppinopeppinocommunity where everyone is welcome.© PeppinoPeppino Foto_10+11

Der Hauptmarkt von PeppinoPeppino ist Italien, seit einiger Zeit gibt es die hochwertige Denim Brand auch in der Schweiz, Japan und Korea, nächste Ziele sind Nordeuropa, Deutschland und vielleicht auch bald die USA. In Bozen findet ihr PeppinoPeppino, wie gesagt, bei Sublime. Die Fall21 Kollektion geht diese Woche online. Die Jeans kosten in etwa zwischen 240 und 290 Euro. Das ist nicht wenig, aber ich denke wir müssen uns (zumindest die, die sich das halbwegs vermögen) daran gewöhnen, faire Preise für Produkte zu bezahlen und die PeppinoPeppino Jeans sind ja auch „everlasting“.

© Susanne Barta Foto_12

Fotos (1, 3–11) © PeppinoPeppino; (2 + 12) © Susanne Barta, Susanne und Roland sitzen vor dem Sublime und tragen PeppinoPeppino Denim; (5) © Alessio Berto 

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