Ninali Attitude

Swimsuits, blouses, coats and hats

Do you remember the swimsuits by Ninali we introduced in this post about italian swimwear? Light, simple, elegant, incredibly versatile and packed in a wonderful book?

Today I want to tell you the story of Alice Grattapaglia, founder of this brand and producer of swimsuits, sinuous blouses, tailoring coats, hats and jewels.

Unique garments, characterized by the quality of materials and the endless possibilities to wear them.

So, who’s Alice? Born in the elegant and industrious Turin in a family of entrepreneurs and architects, Alice is a creative and wilful spirit. She travels, lives and learns. She studies architecture, she loves art, ballet and the circus. In addition, she inherits her grandfather’s entrepreneurial talent: he was the founder of a leading car company, which also designed patented toys and small gasoline engine vehicles, the go-kart’s predecessors.

After her first daughter’s birth, between swings and pencils, Alice taught her to paint, but instead of paper or canvases she used some old pairs of jeans. Her friends discovered them and asked for more.

That’s how Ninali was born, from the union of their two names, Nina and Alice, an expression of Alice’s love for her daughter and the fruit of her imaginative mind.

After the jeans it was the turn of the swimsuits, the real centrepiece of her collections: they were originally made of lycra – elastic and fascinating fabric – but now she adopts a new, patented material, which feels almost like a second skin. Selling them with a trivial packaging wouldn’t be consistent with all this attention, so Alice worked on an original solution, exploiting her imagination and culture. Since she was enrolled in the circus school at that time, she made fun packs inspired by juggling balls.

“Never judge things by their appearance.”

Mary Poppins

Ninali Attitude

Italian fashion: Swimsuits, blouses, coats and transformable hats

The creative packages contribute to this brand’s success.

During Bread and Butter, an international fair held twice a year between Berlin and Barcelona, Alice sets up a small fake sushi bar with real fridges and food containers in which she packs her collections: swimsuits, t-shirts and underwear rolled like real maki, nigiri and origiri. People are fascinated by this trick and stops at her stand.

There’s a lot of interest in this. Alice starts to sell her creations in Italy, Europe and Australia.

In the meanwhile she has three more daughters. Managing everything becomes more complicated, but uplifting at the same time. She scrupulously takes care of any detail, nothing is left to chance. From the research on materials to the selection of the best yarns on the market, all strictly Made in Italy. Everything is made with art, elegance and care.

Alice is strong like a flood: together with her daughters she gives life to the jewellery collection, in collaboration with a sculptor friend, to the long silk shirts (like the one I wear in the homepage), to the beautiful coats (we will talk about them in next post) created by Sartoria Teatrale Arrigo in Milano and to the hats, in collaboration with Patrizia Fabri from Antica Manifattura Cappelli in Rome.

“Turn an apparently negative situation into something creative.”

Alice Grattapaglia, founder of Ninali.

Unfortunately, the smallest of the daughters gets leukaemia and Alice spends one year in the hospital between chemotherapy and transfusions. Since she’s not able to attend all the fairs, Alice invents a sort of avatar, the mime, who goes in her place to the most important fashion events, creating shows, hype and curiosity around the brand. The mime will remain in Ninali’s heart and image as a distinctive trait of a story that always starts from research, originality and culture.

Today her child is alright and Alice continues with strength and courage to hatch the plots of her life. Here’s a ballet collection for the US market, available in the virtual showroom, and the new Christmas Holiday Collection made of elastic velvet and created ad hoc for Christmas time, with comfortable and elegant clothes perfect for the pleasure of vacation.

Brava Alice!

You can find Alice in her atelier, in Corso Francia 185 in Turin, or on her website

Gallery: Ninali Attitude the Italian atelier

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