HOLA - SPAGNA
INTERVIEW HOLA SPAIN – OCTOBER 31ST
Angelina Jolie, Adriana Lima, Kate Hudson, Lindsay Lohan, and Kourtney Kardashian wear her designs
WE VISIT ELISABETTA FRANCHI'S SANCTUARY, THE DESIGNER CAPTIVATING TODAY'S CELEBRITIES
[pg. 1 caption] Elisabetta Franchi, who received us at her Bologna refuge, where she lives with her family: her husband and her two children. “The house is the result of remodeling an old country farmhouse, along with the adjacent buildings,” she explains, “and it's surrounded by a wonderful garden where the children can play freely and the dogs can run around.”
[pg. 2 caption] An old country house, remodeled in a modern, sophisticated style, in Bologna: “It evolves along with its inhabitants, animals included. It was designed for two and has grown with the family.”
We enter the sanctuary of Elisabetta Franchi, the Italian designer dressing today's celebrities in her hyper-feminine and sensual fashion. An old country house, remodeled in a modern, sophisticated style. Minimalist, but warm, in light tones with touches of dusty pink, the designer's fetish color, in which the big windows illuminate the lofty spaces, offering views that seem like paintings that change with the seasons. It is here that the passionate and charismatic fashion designer enjoys the serenity of family life, pillar of her existence, with her husband Alan and her children Leone and Ginevra... and also her dogs, and where she has now received us to tell us, among other things, that she has just opened stores in Warsaw, Madrid, and Paris, and that Russia is in the pipeline, as well as the United States.
--Elisabetta, what sort of style would you say your house is?
--It reflects my own style: minimalist, but warm and inviting. The colors are light and pure. After a day of work I need serenity, something that can be transmitted by tones like ivory and cream. --How do you understand the word refinement?
--Refinement is simplicity: few elements, but combined well. Now, beauty is indisputable and what is beautiful is beautiful. The same thing happens with a beautiful painting, you might not like it, but objectively, it is worthy of admiration. In any case, I don't like excess and my house reflects this. My childhood was characterized by simplicity. I lived without much in a small house and that's why I've always dreamed of having a home free of useless objects. All the decoration, each object in the house is a part of me. Nothing is here by chance. Even the smallest detail reflects my taste and is a part of my story.
--White, black, and dusty pink seem to be your colors.
--The first two represent me. They are opposites, one pure and the other intense. As for pink, it represents femininity and sensuality.
[pg. 4 caption] “I don't like excess and my house reflects this fact. My childhood was characterized by simplicity. I lived without much in a small house and that's why I've always dreamed of having a home free of useless objects.” - “My greatest satisfaction is having made my dream a reality,” Elisabetta tells us. “I'm used to battle, fighting to reach my goals.” On the opposite page, the living room. “The house reflects my style: minimalist, but warm and inviting,” she explains. “The colors are light and pure. After a day of work I need serenity, something that can be transmitted by tones like ivory and cream.”
--How did you start your career and what was your path to the top?
--It all started with a dream. I wanted to dress women from all over the world and I started by dressing a doll, my “Betty”. With a few swatches I could give free rein to my creativity. The person and the designer I am today is fruit of my determination and my great passion.
--What's the secret of your success?
--Passion and lots of “hunger”, which keeps all my interests alive, even the most hidden of them. I'm a very strong woman. You have to have your ideas very clear in order not to be stopped by the first obstacle that comes up along the way.
--What are the biggest obstacles?
--Every day there are obstacles and challenges that have to be surpassed. That's also part of life, but with the necessary effort they can be overcome.
--Your biggest satisfactions?
--My greatest satisfaction is having made my dream a reality. I'm used to battle, to fighting to get results, and that's why every success tastes sweeter. When I started out, in '98, it was not easy at all: talent has been the key to success.
[pg. 6 caption] Eleven years ago she opened a small atelier in Bologna with only five collaborators, and today she is in seventy-five countries, with seventy-eight singlebrand stores and nearly 1,100 multi-brand stores.
--What is your inspiration for each collection?
--Everything that surrounds me. Any element can stimulate my creativity: a film, a toy store, a tree, a book. Creative people like me are capable of being inspired by
anything and in any place. This fall, for example, I have been inspired by Evita Perón, a very charismatic woman, capable of bewitching the crowd.
[pg. 7 caption] “I'm a very strong woman. You have to have your ideas very clear in order not to be stopped by the first obstacle that comes up along the way.”
“WITHOUT LOVE I WOULDN'T BE ANYBODY”
--What is your current concept of fashion, has anything changed?
--In fashion there is no past nor present: it evolves with each one of us, it develops along with us, following our changes.
--Creativity and business—how do you manage them?
--I never forget either of the two. I manage them both at the same time. In spite of this, I know perfectly well that creating some outfits can satisfy my ego without any thought of the economic side of things.
--What about love and the importance of family?
--Love is everything for me. I'm a passionate woman. My heart needs to be warm and beating at all times. The love of my family is fundamental and has been throughout my whole life. Without love I wouldn't be anybody.
[pg. 8 caption] “The love of loved ones provides the strength necessary to combat even the toughest challenges of life. I try to be always present and dedicate as much time as possible to my family.”
“Refinement is simplicity: few elements, but combined well,” reveals Elisabetta Franchi, pictured above with her husband Alan and her two children Leone and Ginevra. Below, the swimming pool area. On the opposite page, the main bedroom with direct access to the garden, and a sitting area by the chimney. “It all started with a dream,” recalls the designer. “I wanted to dress women from all over the world and I started by dressing a doll, my 'Betty'. With a few swatches I could give free rein to my creativity.”