Sal Giardina is passionate about menswear. He is also passionate about giving back and helping others. Now, he has been honored for both. Giardina, adjunct assistant professor, Textile Development and Marketing, and a menswear designer, has been inducted into the ancient Order of Malta. Additionally, he has received the prestigious Ragusa World Prize.
In a ceremony held at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Giardina was inducted into the Order of Malta as a Knight of Magistral Grace. The Sovereign Order of Malta is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilization. A lay religious order of the Catholic Church since 1113 and a subject of international law, today the Order of Malta is active in 120 countries caring for people in need through its medical, social and humanitarian works. It is neutral, impartial and apolitical.
Giardina is chair of the Connecticut Auxiliary of the Order of Malta, through which he volunteers in various capacities, most notably utilizing his design expertise. As the vice president of design for menswear line Blujacket (the name references the Navy manual Giardina used during his years of military service), Giardina designs clothes for the Order of Malta, producing items such as blazers and fleece jackets. Profits are used to send sick people to Lourdes and to fund soup kitchens, among other activities.
Giardina received the Ragusa World Prize at a ceremony and celebration held in Ragusa, capital of the province of Ragusa on the island of Sicily, where Giardina’s family has its roots. The award is traditionally given to Ragusan people whose achievements represent human excellence.
“It was a great honor to be recognized not only for what I do in my job but for other things,” Giardina said. “It gives me great joy to give back. It’s our duty as human beings, irrespective of our backgrounds and political beliefs, to make the world a much better place.”