Claire Thomson-Jonville Lands New Role at Shoe Brand Giaborghini

MILAN — Florentine footwear brand Giaborghini has a knack for tapping different voices, which inject a new viewpoint.

A year after naming Danish fashion influencer and stylist Pernille Teisbaek its creative consultant, the label appointed Claire Thomson-Jonville to the newly created role of “editor in residence.”

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The title refers to Giaborghini’s first iteration of what is expected to be an annual program aimed at developing a new visual identity for the brand. In particular, Thomson-Jonville will be tasked with spearheading the brand’s visual repositioning, expand its reach to new demographics and offer guidance on possible design collaborations, key events and digital activations.

Scottish-born but based in Paris for the last 15 years, Thomson-Jonville will leverage her editorial expertise built throughout a career that saw her first at Self Service magazine — where she rose up the ranks to become editor in chief — and now as editorial director of i-D France. She is also a creative consultant and is known for personal style, which helped attract 171,000 followers to her Instagram account.

Thomson-Jonville’s viewpoint should help further pivot Giaborghini’s image in a more inclusive and Gen Z-oriented direction, a path the brand already started down with its spring 2023 collection. For one, starting from the latest collection unveiled in Paris last month, the brand will offer footwear sizes from 35 to 45. Style-wise, the collection had an urban vibe and referenced the ’90s as well as an R&B aesthetic in its display of camouflage prints, towering platforms with chunky lug soles, over-the-knee boots and neon or crystal-embellished padded slides.

“When I thought about how my aesthetic could be dialed into the Giaborghini world, my first thought was how to connect the current audience to a wider community by expanding into themes that promote strong individuality and confidence in one’s own personal style,” said Thomson-Jonville. “I feel any brand not trying to reach youth culture today is truly missing a key opportunity. Youth culture is also the ultimate barometer for a brand because as a community, it’s unafraid to tell it how it is or be unfiltered in their real opinions.”

A sneak peek of the Giaborghini spring 2023 campaign.
A sneak peek of the Giaborghini spring 2023 campaign.

Thomson-Jonville’s appointment also comes in a moment of expansion for the company, which recently debuted sunglasses and bags as well. The editor plans to engage a new audience with all these categories by betting big on storytelling.

“People are much more curious now about the story rather than simply what you’re wearing. This curiosity is what I hope to embed in the Giaborghini DNA and narrative by introducing new creative partners in photography, videography, styling and growing platforms like TikTok,” she said.

“Through her international background and authenticity, we are sure that Claire will be able to translate our aesthetics in a contemporary way incorporating more multicultural and diverse personalities,” said Barbara Borghini, who established the brand in 2016.

Claire Thomson-Jonville, Giaborghini's head designer Miguel Mateos Rodriguez and Barbara Borghini at the Giaborghini party during Paris Fashion Week last month.
Claire Thomson-Jonville, Giaborghini’s head designer Miguel Mateos Rodriguez and Barbara Borghini at the Giaborghini party during Paris Fashion Week last month.

Named after Borghini’s daughter Ginevra, the label became popular over time thanks to strategic tie-ups, which stand out their long-running nature rather than one-off hype.

For example, before being promoted to creative consultant, Teisbaek has worked on four shoe collections in partnership with the brand since early 2020. The sell-out styles helped put the brand on the international map as well as double sales, which eventually convinced the company to bring Teisbaek on full-time.

Another key collaboration is with model, actress and entrepreneur Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, now in its fifth iteration. The effort has a different vibe compared to the Giaborghini main line, respecting Huntington-Whiteley’s taste and minimalist flair and resulting in more sculptural and sophisticated styles. These are mostly rendered in a neutral color palette of chocolate, beige, white and black, occasionally enriched by olive green and tangerine accents.

The stylistic diversification further helped the company widen its reach and enter key retailers worldwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Selfridges, Browns, LuisaViaRoma and Mytheresa, among others.

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