A day before the start of the Milan Design Week, Gas unveiled 25 Days. A Project of Real Life, a book and manifesto in Italian and English, as part of its 25th anniversary at the end of 2009.

The book chronicles 25 days in the lives of 15 young creative talents, including emerging editors, designers, photographers, bloggers and videomakers, working inside Gas's head office in Chiuppano, near Venice. The aim also was to document the brand’s history and DNA, its managers, employees, and freelancers, as well as friends of the Grotto family, the brand’s owner.

The final result was a project based upon a key figure – the number 9. Nine is the number of chapters in the book. Nine machines are needed for producing a pair of jeans. And nine of the company’s collaborators are presented as living proof of the nine key elements in the brand’s philosophy, with nine aspects characterizing the brand’s manifesto and connecting the brand’s past history to the future.

Local and global; essential and versatile products; courage and perseverance in decision-making; sport and team sports sponsorships; frank sincerity in admitting one’s mistakes, and the brand’s strong belief in the importance of simplicity, transparency and spontaneity — such are the themes and elements that that stand out from this visual history of the brand.

“I have believed in this project since from the beginning,” said president and founder Claudio Grotto. “I think that any change can originate from the courage to pursue innovation while keeping in mind one’s own origins.”

The book 25 Days also would appear to be the first steps in a new direction for the company, blending creativity, commerce, contemporary culture, art and regionalism. During the book’s presentation, Barbara Grotto, marketing manager Grotto Spa, said the company was launching a new marketing initiative aimed at showcasing a new team of young international talents beginning in October 2010.

25 Days will be presented during Milan Design Week at the Gas showroom in Zona Tortona, April 14-19. It will later be distributed through Happy Books, reaching the best bookshops and concept stores worldwide, and also presented on a book tour to Barcelona, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Shanghai and Sydney.

Gas closed 2009 with a €105 million turnover and expects to maintain similar results in 2010. At present 65% of its turnover is derived from Italy and 35% from foreign markets, of which 23% is from Europe.

The company recently began expanding across China and Taiwan, following an agreement with Dabus. For the next five years it expects to open altogether 190 monobrand stores, shops-in-shops and corners. It opened its first mainland Chinese store in December 2009 in Shanghai and its first store in Taiwan, in Taipei, on March 24. In Japan Gas already operates eight monobrand stores and plans to increase its presence there. Forty corners as of S/S 10 have been planned for Australia in partnership with the leading domestic casualwear retailer, Glue Stores.

—Maria Cristina Pavarini