Continually breaking new ground, under the banner of ecology and freedom

«In a mass society, true luxury is to have objects that are unique pieces, handmade and not easily found through conventional distribution channels».
These are the words of Gianluca Piroli, one of those rare people capable of living many lives in the time we ordinary mortals struggle through just one.

For almost 25 years he was at the head of  Acmesign, an advertising and communications agency which has worked with some of the world’s leading brands, celebs and creative designers; he is also a designer and has worked for brands such as Replay, Mason’s, Breach, Gcw and Cotton Belt, becoming known as “one of the ‘fathers’ of vintage”.

And as if that was not enough, since 2003 Piroli has also been closely involved with one of the most way-out brands imaginable. Starting with the name: Toodog. In fact, more than a brand Toodog is a sort of “creative container” which over the years has launched capsule collections of clothing, accessories and designer items, and is distinguished both by the fact that it is highly experimental and that it does not have any point of sale, either physical or virtual.

At present Toodog — whose symbol is a bulldog, “the gentlest with the weakest” — is in the process of being relaunched, with a new website and a series of new items including t-shirts and shoes. Their peculiarity (and with Piroli there always has to be one) is that apart from being entirely Made in Italy, they are also 100% eco-friendly, animal friendly and socially responsible.

Up to a short time ago we used skins and hides discarded by the food industry; we have decided to eliminate these as well, in order to fully respect animal rights

This is because, amongst everything else, the designer is also actively involved with the non-profit Association for Human Rights and Tolerance and part of Toodog’s income goes to social campaigns such as United for Africa and United for Tibet.

But where does the income come from if there are no shops? Simple, from direct sales: purchases are made by writing an email or by sending a message via social media, with the certainty that Piroli will answer in person.

«We like to talk directly to our customers, also because every product is made exclusively to order. Items are dyed, treated and customised according to the specifications of each individual buyer so that each object is unique. Within a maximum of 10 days we can make and despatch the finished product», he explains.

And talking of unique items, the shoes are all fully organic, made of canvas, and have a vanilla-scented natural latex sole and brass eyelets. Some of the coloured models have been made using natural earth pigments developed in collaboration with the University of Modena and are even luminescent.