The Giannetti Factory Reimagined Apparel Making. Now, it’s Helping in the Coronavirus Fight

By Andrew Evans
Made in L.A.: Charlie Giannetti is a rising star in apparel manufacturing, and the City of Angels has been key to his success. Like others in the industry, Giannetti has transformed his factory to respond to COVID-19. | Photo courtesy Giannetti Factory

The Los Angeles facility is aiming to make 30,000 face masks a week.

Charlie Giannetti has managed to find a niche in the competitive world of the fashion industry.

In just a short time, his Giannetti Factory in Los Angeles has become a popular one-stop-shop for designers to do their production under one roof. The facility, which specializes in creating high-quality garments with a vintage aesthetic, has manufactured stunning collections for designers like Reese Cooper, Staatsballett, and Bare Knuckles.

“I’m twenty-six years old and I have probably made more clothes than anyone my age,” Giannetti said.

But like many apparel manufacturers, the Giannetti Factory has abruptly found itself switching gears because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The facility has started production on face masks to help combat the virus, with a goal of producing 30,000 per week.

Maintaining the health and wellbeing of workers is a top goal, Giannetti said. Creating an environment where workers are safe and able to do their jobs is difficult, but Giannetti is taking precautions by providing hand sanitizer, encouraging frequent hand washing and limiting the number of people who are allowed in and out of the facility.

The Giannetti Factory is uniquely situated to help with the mask-making effort because by design it is meant to be flexible.

Giannetti works with a variety of designers to manufacture different types of garments, beginning the process by assisting clients in sourcing fabrics. Afterward, samples are produced and, if given the green light, are put into production. The Giannetti Factory even offers product photography to help shoot photos for each brand’s web store.

The factory offers designers a level of cohesion that many of his competitors cannot compete with. Instead of having to work with multiple manufacturers that have minimal communication between one another, everything happens in one spot.

Giannetti recognized the inefficient nature of production in the fashion industry early on. In most cases, apparel manufacturers separate the various parts of the process.

“Pretty much every aspect you can imagine, whether it be the pattern maker is one person, and they don't do the marking and grading, even that goes to another person,” Giannetti said. “The sample maker is separate from the production person, separate from the cutting person. It's just kind of built that way.”

And that can create problems.

“As soon as you have multiple people in it, not only do you have genuine mistakes, where things kind of get lost along the way, but also it becomes difficult to have any accountability as soon as it is separated out,” Giannetti said. “It just gets really easy for the person who came before to blame the other person.”

But by doing everything in one location and maintaining oversight allows Giannetti and his team to produce garments at a high quality.

For Giannetti, the decision to base the factory out of Los Angeles was a natural one. With every hoodie or flannel that is produced, Giannetti’s goal is always the same: maintain a level of quality and craftsmanship that cannot be duplicated. This focus on quality lends itself in Los Angeles, which was built historically off of the denim industry. 

With reputable dye shops and wash houses right around the corner from the Giannetti Factory, it made sense to produce in Los Angeles and take advantage of the preexisting textile infrastructure.

This symbiotic relationship between the producer and the city is evident when talking to Giannetti. He and his company feed off of Los Angeles. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, Giannetti and his team are working with what Los Angeles does best.

“Whether it be dye houses or embroidery studios or places who do particular embellishments, I'm seeing the stuff that L.A. is built for,” he said.

“So, as opposed to working backwards of like, ‘This as a Prada jacket, let's try and make it in L.A.,’ most of the brands I'm working with are being like, “This is a cool thing that a manufacturer I know does, how can we re-conceptualize it to work with our types of garments?’”

Giannetti added that it is important it is to him that he is able to create manufacturing jobs within his own community. He and his team have a level of pride and comradery for the work that they do, and creating jobs here at home rather than abroad fosters this teamwork and helps elevate the product to new levels.

“It is important to me. I have people who are doing overtime to get projects done because they care. They want to see these other brands succeed. I mean, especially when we have brands that we started with, that are growing so fast now,” Giannetti said. “All of us feel a part of it.”