Interview + Sneak Pages Rugged Style War Rome Book
After three years of work, Mirko di Giovanni is releasing with his friends Andrea Ventura and David Petrini their book ‘Rugged Style War Rome’ with publisher Schiffer this month. A book that is dedicated WWII-era American military jackets. It features around 100 unique pieces from their collections, and also some outstanding shots of Rome, Italy.
Time to sit down with Mirko, the co-author of the book, and have a chat about the book. In the interview you can also see some sneak pages already. So, sit back, and enjoy!
(More about Mirko here in Meet the Collector.)
Mirko di Giovanni.
LJ: Can you tell me a bit about your new book? And with who did you made this book?
MdG: Rugged Style War Rome (RSWR) is a book about WWII era coolest U.S. military jackets and Rome, the eternal city: these two topics, as shown in the book, are incredibly strongly connected.
I am a co-author with Andrea Ventura and David Petrini. Andrea is a collector like me and a graphic designer too; David is a photographer. Both are my good friends.
LJ: What is the topic of the book? And, why did you choose this angle for the book?
MdG: When we got into this project, we started with a simple reasoning: what we have? We have more than 100 jackets from the WWII era, and we live in Rome. And, it was a very good starting point.
LJ: You published it with Schiffer Publishing. Did you approach them for this book project, or how does your idea come alive?
MdG: I am an avid collector of books too, and I love many works from that editor (that are on my bookshelf. So we selected Schiffer as the first choice. And luckily the Pennsylvania publisher supported us from day one.
LJ: How long did you work on this book project? And, did you always had this idea in mind, to create a book?
MdG: The idea of a book comes out as a joke. Chatting with Andrea we said, “Hey buddy, we have so much stuff that we could do a book!”. From that words, it took 3 years of hard works!
LJ: You’re a fanatic collector. Are the items in the book only from your collection, or are there more collectors involved?
MdG: 95% of the garments featured are from my and Andrea’s archives. We added some pieces from credited collectors around the world just to “close the circle”.
LJ: How many pieces are highlighted in the book? And, from which era are they?
MdG: The garments featured are more than 100 and are all from the late 30s to the end of the WW2 era.
LJ: Which item is the most valuable, or rare in this book? And why?
MdG: There is so much rare stuff in the book that I cannot answer precisely. Basically, all the very ‘first patterns’ are very valuable as the custom ones: the flight jackets with the famous ‘nose art’ are unique pieces.
LJ: Are all the items clean shot in the book, or did you also worked with models? And, why did you choose it that way?
MdG: Rugged Style War Rome is two books in one. Half of the book has very “Japanese mook” cut with in-studio shots with tons of details (labels, zippers, patches, etc…), and original WWII era photos (from US National Archive); The second part of the book feat. 30 guys from Rome who love to wear American vintage jackets in their daily life. Each of them chooses a significant location for their life path in Rome (far from the tourist routes) for the shooting sets The result is the Manifesto of Rugged Style in “Roman sauce”, showing romantically how all these timeless pieces have arrived at us after 80 years of war duty and post-war hard work.
LJ: Is the book an inspirational book that is focused on the items themselves, or will the readers learn more about the WW2 period too?
MdG: RSWR is definitely a photographic book: we aim to share our collections but, at the same time, put the spotlight on our hometown, Rome, which is recognized as the biggest worldwide open-air set. We hope that this double soul – the shots are more than 600 (for 302 pages) will catch the attention not only of vintage collectors and fashionistas around the world but also of designers and people involved in the clothing business.
Moreover, the book is written in English and Japanese as we had to pay tribute to the vintage Japan movement.
Last but not least I want to say a big thanks to Mr. Doug Bihlmaier for the poetical foreword, which perfectly matched the mood of the book.
LJ: Can we expect a second book too with other items from your collection? If so, what will or can it be? Do you have another idea in mind already?
MdG: Yes, we are already working on the second chapter of Rugged Style War: many new-old unpublished American military vintage garments from WWII and new locations for the open-air shots. I can only say that it will not be in Rome.
LJ: How can people order a copy of your book?
MdG: RSWR is available on Amazon, on Schifferbooks.com, and in the selected bookstores and clothing/vintage stores around the world.