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Roma Cult Files: Pizza Hype

Carlo Bartolomucci, Silvio Gianmarco and Alessandro Tanzi tell about themselves

Roma Cult Files: Pizza Hype Carlo Bartolomucci, Silvio Gianmarco and Alessandro Tanzi tell about themselves

It is midnight in Rome and I am in a secret location situated in the heart of "Africano" district. Is the headquarter of reselling collective Pizza Hype.

I am surrounded by some of the rarest and most hyped items of the season that literally invade the room. The three founders welcome me into their odd world. Their names are: Carlo Bartolomucci, Silvio Gianmarco and Alessandro Tanzi. They look totally different from the now-diffused reseller stereotype. They aren't wearing any hyped or expansive item to impress and the attitude they show is surely closer to punk than fashion. Irony is their way to talk about themselves and, even if they just came back from a long day at work, the first thing I can see on their face is a big smile. The guys deeply differ one from the other and any of them has his unique caratteristics and skills: Carlo is quiet, but has great leading and organizing skills, Silvio is charismatic and messy, Alessandro is the businessman of the team, always with money on his mind. Together they are able to bring the most absurd situations to life, yet they show a really strong energy that permeates the entire room. Pizza Hype in less then one year was able to become one of the most influential and recognizable reselling collective in Italy. 

Now it's time to get deep down in their world and see the things with their eyes. This for sure will be a long, long night...


#1 Tell me how Pizza Hype has born.

CB: We were sitting in a bar and we were really high at the point, we actually thought that a Yeezy on a Pizza could be a nice idea for our logo...

SG: Come on! Things didn't went that way...I was sitting on my porcelain throne and we were at the phone, speaking about what happened the night before. The idea was to start a reselling website, but, at the time, we didn't know how people could feel about it. So we decided to start with a fake blog and Instagram page in order to start reselling straight after. Then it came the shitty logo with the Yeezy and the Pizza and everything else...

AT: I joined them later, when the Yeezy Boost 359 Beluga came out.


#2 So how much time have you been in the business now?

About one year.


#3 How did your passion for streetwear and sneakers got started?

SG: My first obsession were skate brands. Then I started looking for London based independent brands, often just graphic tees printed on Gildan samples. I remember myself always being more interested in the culture, than in the stuff itself. Never have been and never will be into hype.

CB: My father used to go surfing, so I started from there. Then I started listening to more and more hip hop music and I got instantly trapped more and more into the streetwear and sneakers vortex.

AT: Honestly, for what concerns me, there is no such a story to tell. I started looking for streetwear and sneakers when I understood that one could make money out of it. The slowly I got involved and now my passion is real. Without passion is really hard to achieve anything in life.

SG: Don't resell if you used to wear Abercrombie (laughs).


#4 How would you describe Pizza Hype philosophy?

CB: Always looking forward and do as many things as we can! We try to buy everything that we can and invest as much as we can to ensure a quality selection on our store. Often we feel really poor, because of this!

AT: We always give something up for ourselves in order to grow. I prefer to invest my money in Pizza Hype, rather than in my personal wardrobe.


#5 What do you think about this sudden mass diffusion of streetwear, affecting especially younger generations?

CB: This is a business for us!

SG: Go on Carlo! (Yells)

CB: Let's speak frankly, often younger wannabes buy to resell, but they don't have the skills or the audience nor even the money to survive the jungle of resellers. So they will sell cheap and fast to get their money back and avoid losing money. We are always ready to catch steals, buying under average resell quotation and selling over average resell quotation. Resell to resell business is certainly a newway to make money.

SG: Resell is nothing new, we could define it the streetwear twisted twin. Yet now the maker has been saturated. All because of the huge diffusion of hip hop music worldwide, happened in the last years and also thanks to fakes. Personally I discovered Supreme 5 years ago, thanks to fakes. I'm not ashamed to say that. Fakes brought a lot of brand awareness to Suoreme, because they initially turned something limited and "secret"; into something everyone can see.


#6 Also reseller now have been turned into modern myths. From people overcast by shadow to overly-popular youngsters. How do you feel about it?

AT: I always see people on online forum or streetwear communities going around literally showing business cards with "reseller" printedon them. It's absolutely ridiculous!

CB: Also often this people don't make a single penny out of their reselling activity, while people who don't advertise themselves on social media keep moving the resell game. Of course there are some exceptions...


#7 Describe the profile of the usual client of Pizza Hype.

CB: Most of them are really young. That's why we usually buy a lot of Supreme tees, for instance. Because usually young people don't have so much money to spend, but also they are a large crowd. Of course we also have more adult clients that may spend over 3k in a month, then there are some spoiled kids also that spend even more than our adult clients.

SG: Spoiled kids are my absolute favorite! I love to see kids holding shopping bags, big fan. Also I really believe that being in contact with brand such as Supreme is really good for kids, because there is a lot of things that they can learn from a brand so deeply rooted into art, music and culture in general. Speaking of last drops a kid can learn from Supreme who Andreas Serrano is and developed his taste for art and photography, just starting from a t-shirt or a skate deck.


#8 How about hating?

CB: A lot of sneaker purists hate resell. They don't really understand that no one can stop resell market. This isn't about passion orculture, this is about money. People are capable to rob you or bit you up outside of a shop to steal your sneakers. That has nothing to do with streetwear itself, it's only business and we all know that business is savage.

SG: I can understand hating from a certain point of view. When someone put their dirty hands on your passion, that's not good! I can feel it myself sometimes. Yet it's all part of the game.


#9 What's in your closet?

CB: People usually think that reseller closet must be huge and full of hyped stuff. I prefer to reinvest my money into Pizza Hype and make it grow. For myself I just buy stuff that I really care about, Bape Shark hoodies for example. (Smiles)

SG: I have sold something like a hundred pairs of sneaker this year and just took one for my self the AM Ultra "Skepta" that I'mwearing right now. I'd rather have a few worn-off things, but capable to remind me about important moments of my life then a wardrobe full of insignificant stuff. My sneakers have to be completely dead before I change them.


#10 Is streetwear becoming a form of fast-fashion?

SG: Nowadays hype dies incredibly fast! Most of the things lose most of their value in few weeks, that's crazy!

CB: Due to media overexposition, when finally an overly-hyped item comes out, you're already thinking about the next one. Really few items can escape this mad cycle of fast-hype.


#11 What's the relationship of a reseller with his phone?

CB: I just downloaded a App that allows me to know how much time I spent on the phone during the day. It says 16 hours today. In the end I almost live a normal life, but with the phone always in my hand.

SG: I don't have any app, but I guess I spend even more time looking at the phone. My ex-girlfriend dumped me for this reason. This is how far I got.