Created in 1980 from a small family-run business, today Il Gufo is an international brand, with its head office in Asolo and a world-wide network of single-brand and multi-brand stores. Exquisite materials, ongoing textile research and close attention to even the smallest details are aspects that, to this day, are fundamental to the brand's philosophy.
The collections are present in some of the most prestigious stores in Europe, Russia, the USA and the Far East, as well as in other world-renowned e-tailers. Today, export turnover now accounts for 60% of total sales.
Values, passion and children in the first place
Despite this continuing growth, the company objective remains that of producing the best of Italian style, featuring high quality in every garment and meticulous craftsmanship in all phases of production. Such results can only be achieved through the passion we put into our work and respect for other people's work, by selecting the best suppliers and ongoing research into style, fabrics and special production techniques.
The brand values are shared by those who project, manufacture, sell, and distribute the product, bearing in mind just one fundamental point, at all times: respecting children and their world.
When people talk about Il Gufo, they’re not just talking about one of the world'sleading companies for the production of luxury clothing for children up to age 14, but about people. About Giovanna Miletti who founded it. About her children Alessandra and Guido Chiavelli, who are driving the company’s projects and principles forward in a modern way. And especially, about all the employees and collaborators who bring it to life and themselves add value.
Some of them have been part of the company since the beginning, and have watched it grow next to Giovanna and her family.
And it is in such a way that the values of a family have become our company values, then the values of our products. And from mother to daughter they will be passed on and evolve.
Il Gufo's mother
Giovanna is the mother of three children, of Il Gufo, and in some way of all the kids she has dressed up over the years.
At the end of the 1970s, she gave up her career to look after her children and followed her husband to Asolo, near Treviso. And this is where her life took a decisive and unexpected turn.
There was a large house, a beautiful garden and three wonderful children to take care of, but this was not enough to exhaust Giovanna’s energy. She began spending her free time making little creations: bibs, crib sheets and a few vests.
These she made first for her children, then for her friends’ children, and then for the village children, until she turned her pastime into a real business.
She cut, sew, drew, embroidered, thus turned the greenhouse into her workshop, using the kids' tennis table as a work table.
But obviously, first there were lunches and dinners to be put on the table, the kids’ homework, talks with teachers, grocery shopping…so it was only at the end of the day, when the children were in bed, that you could hear the sewing machine’s constant rattle in the quiet home.
Giovanna and her first associates worked during the day, but especially at night, so much so that at home they all started calling her “il gufo”, the owl.
By the end of the 1980's, in Italy Il Gufo had already become a brand known and appreciated for its undeniable quality and simple, yet sophisticated style.
Then came the first Pitti fair in 1994 and its debut on the international market. Perhaps it was only then that Giovanna Miletti realized for the first time the scope of her business.
The greenhouse went back to being filled with plants and flowers, and Il Gufo’s women moved first into a large workshop designed by Marc Sadler and then, in 2000, in the building that – with various extensions – still houses the company today.
The brand is now established throughout the world, but Giovanna continues to design and produce clothes as if they were for her children, who, in the meantime, have entered the company.