An Italian Woman in Athens

Combining femininity, elegance, and originality, Elisabetta Franchi has made her brand recognizable globally. Just having opened the new shop-in-shop within Eponymo E>More at Golden Hall, she explains to us the secret to her success.

By Paris Kormaris

The occasion of our talk makes me think I must ask Elisabetta Franchi what her opinion is regarding Greek women and their relationship to fashion. Her response takes me by surprise: "Maria Callas was an extraordinary woman, strong and delicate at the same time. To me, this is what Greek women are." Her personal journey in the business of fashion shows that she herself hides an enormous strength behind her delicate exterior. "When I started in 1998, if you weren't good, you didn't last long", she explains. "That's why I'm used to fighting. You have to have very clear goals in your mind, in order to be sure you will achieve them. There is no space for the slightest doubt. I decided to target a very specific, very feminine type of woman. It doesn't matter if she is 17 or 50, as long as she wants to project her femininity". This, combined with originality and elegance, she says, are the basic characteristics of her name brand.

Starting out in Bologna, Italy, where she was born in 1968, Elisabetta Franchi begun working in fashion since her student years at the Istituto Aldrovandi Rubbiani, while working for a living. Her experience as a retail salesperson taught her something that set the foundation for her professional success: to pay attention to the needs of customers and to listen to their opinions. Today, she leads a business of 70 brand name boutiques throughout the world and more than 1.095 other points of sale. The opening of the new shop-in-shop in Athens, at the Eponymo E>More shop in Golden Hall, was a good opportunity to speak about the definitive milestones in her career. "An important milestone undoubtedly was entering the Milan Fashion Week", she recognizes. "Presenting our collections with a complete fashion show has helped my brand gain recognition and status in the global world of fashion. Another step, even more important, was the decision to use cruelty-free materials in my collections. I always loved animals and I believe we can create beautiful collections without making them suffer." Besides fur, she also does not use real feathers and angora wool, while since 2013 she has started a "dog sitting" program in the company's headquarters, allowing employees to bring their four-legged friends to work!

As a mother of two, she admits that her professional obligations are especially demanding: "Designing the collections, running a business, it is all very difficult: you got to work at 8 in the morning and come home at 9 in the evening, spending the weekends at work, while all the rest come second. But I love my job and the only way I know how to do it is with passion". How does she approach the creation of each collection? "I just close my eyes and open them again when the journey is over", she says, poetically expressing her inspiration. "The success of my brand is due to passion, determination, and strength of will, combined with a globally recognizable DNA. These elements are essential for achieving your long-term goals."

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Left to right: Elisabetta Franchi. Models backstage at the Spring Summer 2018 collection show. Accessories from the same collection.