“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces” – George Santayana


Family certainly is the secret of Gruppo Sorbino and HAMAKI-HO success. It’s 1980 when the founder starts with the production of exclusive items for some retailers in Campania. He paves the way to his sons and the coming generations. The owner of a small shop in the center of a popular Naples, he is the deus ex machina of a dream that comes true. At the opening of the CIS – one among the biggest commercial poles in Europe – the Sorbinos buy a space that will become over the years the crucial center of a constantly rising business.

Their ready to wear is loved because it’s fresh, cheap, functional. However, it’s to embrace a more demanding market that  in 2007 they choose to found HAMAKI-HO, today’s jewels in the crown of the company.

The new brand is the ideal recipient for the all-around-the-world numerous experiences that the Group thinks to be necessary for the research on materials, contaminations, a productive technology and a sophisticated communication. Season by season, it manages to stand out thanks to its cosmopolitan and appealing taste, the wise use of white and black, the conceptual and yet deeply commercial approach. It is an ideal dichotomy that immediately turns it into a booming and well-established reality… even internationally.


Fucking Young! – The company’s motto is: ” There is no future without a true history.” So just tell me about your story… How and when was the Gruppo Sorbino born?

Marika Tedeschi – Their story begins with the grandfather, who owned a small pants shop in Naples. With him there was Ciro, the eldest of the three children and the one with a great taste in fashion, which helped him make the business grow. It was him to think: “Why just selling rather than producing pants as well?“. When the CIS was created – it is one of the most important commercial poles in southern Italy – they decided to take a structure that would allow them to crate not only trousers but total looks too: the brand Sorbino was founded, it was 1988.

Gianni Sorbino – Anyway, I want to emphasize that already in 1980 we did some small productions for shopkeepers and friends all around Campania.


FY! – And then, the first stores…

GS – Yes, in 1980 the first launches.

MT – Sorbino now is an established brand and recognizable in the middle sector, the commercial one. Strong because of the experience and the family’s growth, the children took over with their more innovative ideas.


FY! – Over 25 years of experience, indeed. Why the choice to focus on a specific slice of the market – the one linked to the masculine hemisphere – that is definitely a bit  more complicated and sectorial than the feminine one?

GS – Because we have always dealt exclusively with men, we can only do that! We are not so presumptuous to think we can do a job even if we do not know the basis.


FY! – Which are the main features, from the production process to the retail, that over the years have made of Gruppo Sorbino a leader not only at a national but also at an international level?

GS – We always focus on sale. Our clothes need to be pleasing, accessible, and recognizable.

MT – Surely at the basis there’s the analysis of the target market. We don’t want to be and we have never been a niche brand, that is beautiful but less saleable. Gruppo Sorbino has always wanted to clothe the target group, the archetypical customer. We start from the analysis of the target market, then we study the items that must be great to look at but saleable at the same time. The details, the peculiarities, the fabrics may make the difference.

GS – The washing effect, the dyeing, etc… We study and update all these things season by season but the lines and the wearability stay standard.


FY! – Let’s speak of HAMAKI-HO now. Over the years your identity has become stronger and stronger and a variety of brands have come to life. Among them, HAMAKI-HO which is no doubt the strongest even if not the latest one, which is instead Essence. When was it created and why?

MT – It was born in 2007 because of our intention to create a brand different from Sorbino both in terms of style and in terms of target but linked to it through the imagine. It was born as black and white, basic, minimal and fashionable. It addresses to a higher target compared to Sorbino’s. So the differences are to be sought especially in the production, the fabrics and the distribution.

GS – In the distribution, because Sorbino is still today ready to wear while HAMAKI-HO is about programming.

MT – The first HAMAKI-HO collection was, as I said, very basic, minimal, mainly black. All the first seasons were capsules giving us the opportunity to grow and get stronger, to increase our work gradually and to build an identity that is now at the top.

GS – Yes, the first collections had to be impactful because they consisted in 100 items at the most. We had to create something able to make an impression on the client. This is the reason why we chose exclusively black and white for some seasons and we got a good reply.


FY! – Lately your clothes have been also used at an editorial level…

GS – Today the collections are across-the-board. We’ve got 400 sample items going from white to black, from the streetwear to the jeans to the casual. We try to have anything cause the customers are more and more demanding.


FY! – HAMAKI-HO mood is urban, street, with some sartorial details bound to the made in Italy tradition. No doubt the concept is minimal. Having said that, who is HAMAKI-HO thought for and who could your ideal customer be identified with?

MT – HAMAKI-HO is conceived for a man from 25 to 50. That’s why it is across-the-board: anyone can identify themselves with the brand. We address to a tasteful man, who is interested in fashion but don’t care about showing the label. He wants to be fashionable without wearing big brands at all costs. He’s a man who loves details, is attentive to the style and stands out of the street crowd.


FY! – Your success was immediate. Not even 10 years from the foundation but a speedy escalation. What do you think your strength is?

MT – Our business’ historical importance.

GS – The Gruppo Sorbino.

MT – …our business’ solidity and historical accuracy. If we can propose such a product at a competitive price is just because we have behind us a great solidity and Sorbinos’ high credibility: from the suppliers to the manufacturers. I think this is the basis, our strength.


FY! – How much difficult and how much gratifying is to stand out in the national and international market as an absolutely made in Italy – and absolutely made in southern Italy – enterprise?

GS – Today it’s easier than almost 10 years before, when we started.

MT – It’s difficult but a great satisfaction as well. It’s the evidence that also in the south of Italy there are solid and healthy realities.


FY! – For FW15-16, the brand developed a collection ranging  from sartorial clothes, destroyed jeans and sporty-chic items with technical details, all in a mix and match with a contemporary flavor, now and then avant-gardist. Would you like to tell us something about it?

MT – As Gianni has just anticipated, it’s a wide collection. From the streetwear to the jeans to the leather coats. From a quite strong style to a more classic mood. We have wanted to clothe the man in the different phases of the day, also on the basis of his needs and state of mind. Our collection is for a man who can feel sporty by wearing jeans with different nuances and different treatments…

GS – … as the 3D and the cracked.

MT – There are items with urban features and black and white elements added. Indeed, there is a whole package in black and white that we propose because HAMAKI HO soul and basic identity still stay the same.

GS – It’s even true that our campaigns have always been in black and white, we never give up our way.

MT – Finally, the classic that is however an informally revisited classic. There are outfits in treated fabrics rather than in micro-patterns. The knitwear is very important. We’ve added the basic in merinos, that is something really new for us and helps complete the looks.


FY! – What about the inspiration?

MT – Vincenzo is the right person to answer the question but I think the inspiration comes from a cosmopolitan man.

Vincenzo Ciancio – We got inspired from the street and the skaters. The items are all very  technical. There are a lot of sneakers, backpacks and accessories reminding the idea of a daily but even more refined attire.


FY! – Any anticipation about SS16?

VC –  For the summer we worked a lot around the sea-theme. We stayed basic. As for the patterns, there are a lot of stripes that help us create a yacht mood. The colors go from blue to light-blue, from white to a very light grey.

FY! – As usual, our last question… For you, what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

MT – Being open-minded  is Fucking Young!. Today the most important thing is to go on, even in fashion, in the way you dress… I think HAMAKI-HO is really Fucking Young! in terms of irreverence. The man wearing HAMAKI-HO is a brave one who walks with his head held high.


FY! – And for you, Gianni?

GS –  I think the same as Marika. As for the magazine, I like it a lot because you manage to do your job without looking at the others, “the competitors”… Almost any other magazine does it.

MT – True! While leafing through the magazine or even looking at your websit,e I think that’s just this that comes out from the pictures, from the photos… You are not formal, homologated. You’re irreverent.