Elisabetta Franchi

The designer who succeeded in building one of the fastest growing fashion brands, speaks to In Style about fashion and inspiration!

By Penny Karakasi

Her history in fashion begun in 1996, when she opened her first workshop, designing and “breathing life” into her own designs. Starting with a team of five, it wasn’t long until she grew, leading to today, when she is director of a fashion house of 200.

Her love for fashion, but also her ethics (which guide her to create 100% animal friendly clothes and accessories), have helped her become one of the most successful fashion brands.

One of the first things I read about you is that you use 100% animal friendly practices. What do you think the fashion world must do to become more environmentally friendly?
Wearing animals is a real barbarity! I think we can create great collections without the need to make animals suffer: for this reason, I chose to use cruelty-free materials for my creations. I believe that the problem involves all those who work in the fashion world. Everyone should act accordingly, eliminating the materials of animal origin from their collections.

Tell my about your inspiration and how did you decide to design women’s clothing.
Fashion has always been part of me: I remember that as a child I loved creating clothes for my doll, dreaming to dress one day all the women of the world with my creations. This passion has grown with me over time and has led me to build a career and a strong brand constantly evolving.

Do you have a favorite fashion icon?
Madonna is one of the characters that I love the most and that has always inspired me. I love also Jacqueline Kennedy: she was a real style icon. She was the only one who could wear an elegant dress in the most natural way.

What is your opinion about all these social media stars and influencers who end up working in fashion?
Surely the social media have given the opportunity to many to be known quickly and affordably. But I believe that most of them will have a short life in this world. Only those who work hard, putting commitment and determination in their work will survive in a prolonged way.

How can I woman be stylish if she can’t afford many fancy clothes and can only buy a few every season? What should she get?
I think it's important to focus on versatile items, to highlight your elegance and femininity without exceeding. For sure a black, dusty pink, or red dress is a real must-have for any female wardrobe.

Many celebrities and influencers have chosen clothes designed by you. How do you use that to shape your label’s image?
Many celebrities choose to wear my creations because they appreciate my style and the design of my collections: appearing on international red carpets and in many important events they give a great visibility to my brand. A good example of this is the launch of my new First bag: several celebrities and influencers have enjoyed this new accessory, sharing some photos on Instagram showing they wore it in their everyday life. These include Negin Mirsalehi, Marta Lozano, Cecilia Rodriguez, Noor de Groot, Leena Kaziz, Teresa Gonzalvo, Veronica Ferraro, Iris Mittenaere and others.