MADAME FIGARO RUSSIA, JUNE 2018

MADAME FIGARO GREECE - INTERVIEW - JUNE 2018
Italian Signature

Devotion to a vision and endless love for life are behind the success of fashion designer ELISABETTA FRANCHI.

On one hand, there are the collections she creates, filled with pieces you desire, made with fine materials, and with the right dose of sexy mood and noticeable details. On the other hand, there is the designer herself, a joyful, dynamic, and busy woman, who wakes up each day with good spirits, jokes and makes faces, and loudly sings J.Lo and Adriano Celentano in her Instagram stories.

Elisabetta Franchi is not just the successful creator of a fashion empire. She is the joy of life. I met her during her recent visit to Greece, and thirty minutes were enough to inspire in me the positivity and strong will that we all need in our everyday life. The 50-year-old designer from Bologna, who started turning her dream into a reality in 1996, when she created her first personal workshop, has everything so clear in her mind, that you cannot help but admire her (for this among other things!). "If you do not have a precise idea of what you want, you risk being influenced by people who think they are giving you good advice. You have to constantly balance other people's opinions on what you want to do. For me the most defying moment was when I decided on the type of woman I want to dress - she was a woman like myself. Even if I lost 90% of my fortune, this is the woman I wanted to dress, and that is the path I follow", she says.

Observant and dedicated to her goals, she started off with a team of five people, to end up leading one of the most successful Fashion Houses, with high turnover and 150 employees. An impressive advancement, the result of the philosophy of the brand, which she tells me is "the femininity and sensuality we must always have as women, no matter the circumstances. This is what I believe, and this is the identity I want to build when I design". The power of femininity is reflected in her current Spring/Summer collection, behind which lies a strong message: "I was inspired by 1800, when women wore heavy fabrics and dresses covering the legs all the way down. But in a small town in Massachusetts, women started making their skirts shorter and wearing more lightweight fabrics, like chiffon and lace –a revolutionary act for that time. This is where women in America first got the right to vote. Generally, this is a time that often inspires me, because it exudes femininity and strength at the same time".

The Constant Designer

Creative and a dreamer, Elisabetta Franchi has nevertheless her feet firmly on the ground. When I ask her about the secret to her success, she has no trouble answering: "Consistency. Continuously wanting the same thing and remaining faithful to your vision. This is the message I want to get across to all those who 'follow' me, because many people only see what shines. The path to success is uphill, tiresome, and in order to succeed you need to be consistent and to be ready to make sacrifices".

How does she manage until today to balance being a career-person, a designer and a woman with a family? "When you are a designer and a business person at the same time (ed. she was forced to deal with the businesses side when her first husband died unexpectedly), every day is important, because every day I need to make serious decisions which will shape the future of the House and my future. Every day, I fight a battle. But I always wake up smiling. I enjoy my work, but also motherhood, I like spending time with my children. And of course, I always feel like a woman. I am lucky to have a man who looks at me and treats me like I am the most beautiful woman in the world. The way we feel shows on our face - people who are not happy show it", she says, disarmingly summarizing her philosophy. "Never feel sorry for yourself, just live your life, I often say..." This is a life motto which is impossible to forget.

The Elisabetta Franchi collection is available at the Eponymo E>More, Golden Hall and at selected shops throughout Greece.