Interview | Antonio Ciongoli of Eidos Napoli

Antonio Ciongoli is the master mind behind Italian inspired label Eidos Napoli. After another stellar showing during NYFW, I was able to discuss the brand and the vision with the man himself:

First off, congrats on the new collection. It was absolutely amazing, and I am happy I could witness it in person.

How do you go about designing the Eidos collection each season?

I have this completely arbitrary rule for how to pick an inspiration for each season – I must begin with a person and a place. Once I have that, I can explore who I am designing for and the context in which the clothing will be worn. From there, each collection builds on the previous one. I feel like the design cycle never stops and its difficult for me to turn my mind off. Usually there are a couple new ideas that I’m starting to explore at the end of each season that end up creeping in as the jumping off point for the next one.

Where do you find your sources for inspiration and what tends to be most influential on your designs?

I try to keep an open mind as ideas can come from anywhere. You should see the photo album on my phone – random shots of Florentine window grates, mixed in with screen grabs from Anthony Pappalardo’s instagram. For the last 8 years, I’ve been keeping a massive image archive – both digitally via hard drive and physically in filing cabinets – that is organized into spring and fall. I go through every photo at the beginning of each season to see what sparks something.

Tell us more about the SS16 collection and what you were trying to convey with it.

Spring 16 is about Gianni Castiglioni and the incredible vacation home he shares with his family in Formentera. I was drawn Castiglioni for his simplistic but precise approach to tailored clothing. There are no gimmicks in how he dresses, just the perfect inky suit, dusty blue shirt and dark tie. After so many years of seeing how many loud plaids and check we could throw at a wall and make stick, this more subdued approach felt really refreshing. At the same time, I also found his wife Consuelo fascinating for being the seemingly polar opposite style-wise – Light hearted and adventurous, playing with prints, color blocking and pattern mixing. After some digging, I discovered a set of images of their “casetta in sabbia” (the name of our collection, translated to the little house in the sand) in Formentera. Its this incredible mix of both their styles – rustic and bohemian, minimalist and chic. This is where we started.

Christian Kimber collabed with you for the shoes, which are beautiful! How did that come about and how did you guys work together?

I met Christian at Pitti Uomo a few seasons back when his own line was still a side project and he was working full time as a buyer for an Australian menswear store. I could see right away how passionate he was about his product and the process that comes with developing it. I knew that I wanted to work with him. The collaboration has been the most fun of any I’ve been involved with to date. He’s like family now.

I spoke with Christian while at the presentation, and we both agreed that you are able to keep things interesting each season while maintaining the characteristics that make Eidos so appealing. How important is it that you stay within the realm of what Eidos has to offer, while still continuing to push the boundaries and create something innovative?

I think we’ve created a strong foundation of signature items – things like the lupo polo, the basketweave cardigan, the Ragosta field jacket – that belong in every guy’s closet. They have no shelf life and will always be part of our collection. From here, its simply building a wardrobe around them. Since each season has a specific setting, I try to put the collection together like I’m packing a bag for what I would want to wear in that place.

What can we expect from Eidos in the future?

A continued focus on refining our process and product.

Is there any designer or brand that you would love to collab with?

I think the brand that I’m the most interested in right now is shockingly Abercrombie & Fitch. I cannot wait to see Aaron Levine turn it on it’s head.

Thanks Antonio, and I look forward to see what else you create in the near future!

Antonio Ciongoli.

Antonio Ciongoli.