Say it like this (KO'-DI-CHE)
Be Cool, Be Different!
Contemporary knits with a modern fit, “fashion” but wearable. The C O D I C E products exude energy and passion for Italian modern style, interpreted with quality & innovation.
CODICE embodies the polished, sophisticated ease that are the hallmarks of Italian style in a clean, spare, yet never overly basic collection of knit tops, t-shirts, polos & fine gauge sweaters. Each piece is peppered with thoughtful details like contrast stitching, piped yoke seams, novel graphics on the t’s, and every piece is so soft to the touch that the refined depth of the design is immediately evidenced.
Meet Codice designer Giorgio Filippi
Giorgio Filippi isn’t a typical designer. The 50-year-old Italian behind the Codice brand worked 25 years for several Italian knitwear companies. That experience taught him that most designers didn’t get to design—they were often merely heads of product. So he and his wife started their design and sourcing firm GBox, which stands for Giorgio’s Box of Ideas, and launched Codice.
Codice, pronounced KO-DI-CHE, isn’t a typical knitwear brand. It’s based in the small Italian village where Filippi was born. His wife Antonella makes lunch for everyone at the office. They don’t produce in the Far East and they don’t sell online. “We’re in the middle for price and at the high end for style,” says Filippi. “We can’t compete on price with the huge brands, but we can beat them all on fashion and details.”
The brand is aimed at well heeled regular men, and that means designing with a purpose, rather following big label trends, insists Filippi.
“There’s a gap today between what people actually wear and the big labels. We’re always looking at when men wear knits. Five days a week? During their free time? What will they wear it with? Menswear is always challenging — the difference between classic and fashion can be subtle. It might be a black sweater this year, charcoal sweater next year. We’re designing for a 35- to 55-year-old guy who’s fashion-minded, but not overly so. I’m doing in knitwear what Alberto is doing in pants: wearable fashion.”
Filippi’s process is intense. “If you don’t like playing with puzzles, don’t get into the knitwear business,” he laughs. “It’s 26, sometimes 28 hours a day. When you have a roll of yarn in front of you, it’s much different than a roll of fabric. Before you achieve something new, you have to work much harder. My strongest quality in design is never being happy.”
The new collection of sweaters and polos is full of details. “Nobody needs basics anymore — they can get that anywhere,” he says. “It used to be you could have a huge collection with five window stoppers. Our latest collection is 90 percent window stoppers, pieces that hit you on such an emotional level that you don’t need to ask price or consider the weight of the sweater.”
Codice is distributed all over Europe, the U.S and Canada and plans to expand to Asia, starting with Japan and Singapore. However, e-commerce is not in the cards. “Retailers will ask me, ‘Do you sell online? Do any major retailers sell your products online? The answer is NO and NO. And their reply is ‘Good.’”
Says Jack Makoujy, the distributor for Codice in North America, “Representing Giorgio Filippi is a joy. He is that rare designer; a man with superb knitwear ideas, and a business man with technical know-how and common sense.”
“As long as I work, we will be independent, and that means staying small,” says Filippi. “We have already made 50 samples started for Fall 2015! We can’t stop.”