A woman who can stir emotions and be touched by them. Her life is itself an emotion. One she lives fully and unconditionally with one single purpose: make her childhood dreams come true, for in fashion she always reflected her soul and purest essence. This desire did turn into reality.
This is the story of Elisabetta Franchi, the beating heart of the namesake brand, who managed to rock the female universe with her style and creativity: her success rests on her unlimited passion, painstaking care for product design, sheer devotion to her job and a good share of pragmatic sense. The story began in Bologna, the city where Elisabetta was born in 1968, the fourth of five children of a humble family led by a mother who struggled very hard to raise her children on her own: years later Elisabetta remembered how the lack of a father and the family hardships, mixed with her passion and determination to turn her life around brought her to following her dream with great obstinacy, without giving up before the struggles of life. Her best friend for playing and escaping reality together was her doll who reborn today as the Betty Doll: the same who made true her dream to dress all the women in the world.
She made her debut in fashion during her studies at Bologna’s Istituto Aldrovandi Rubbiani. Meanwhile, she made a living by doing several temporary jobs, for instance, she worked as a salesgirl, which taught her to pay attention to the consumers’ needs and listen to their opinions. This lesson was crucial for her, so much that it would lay the foundation of her professional success.
In 1996 the designer opened a small atelier where she began to give shape to her ideas and fashion her first creations, following her instinct and with only 5 people to help her (now they are over 150).
In 1998 she founded Betty Blue S.p.a to fashion the CELYN b collection, a name that resonates with the unmistakeable Paris style and where the letter b stands for “Betta”, short for the designer’s name.
In 2006 the designer bought the facilities of an old pharmaceutical company; in 2008, after two long years developing and renovating it, the building became the maison’s headquarters: over 6,000 m2 of modern and functional beauty, Miami style, surrounded by the Bologna countryside. The restyling project followed the eco-sustainable architecture paradigm and restored the building to its old splendour while expressing the passion Elisabetta Franchi has always nourished, right next to fashion, for architecture and design.
From 2012 the design chose to sign with her own name her creations, giving life to the homonymous brand, ELISABETTA FRANCHI.
In 2013, Elisabetta Franchi chose Milan to open her first showroom, located in Via Tortona 9, standing as a black 950 square-meter, 6-storey monolith.
Thanks to the stylistic evolution of the brand and the always-careful attention to details, Elisabetta Franchi has become one of the most required brands by the Star System, dressing international celebrities as Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Emily Blunt, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Kendall Jenner, Dita Von Teese, Kourtney Kardashian and many others. Always standing for animals’ rights, Elisabetta Franchi has always tries to combine her passion with her professional mission. In 2012 with the Fall-Winter collection launch, the brand started its collaboration with LAV: joining the Fur Free Retail Program, Betty Blue eliminated permanently the usage of animal fur on the production. In 2014, the Maison banish from its collections animal feathers and angora wool. Then, with the launch of FW15-16 collection, it takes part to the Animal Free project, promoted by LAV.
The love for small four-legged friends has led the Designer to start a dog hospitality program for her employees. The company doors are now open to dogs thanks to this program that seeks to create a family-like, positive atmosphere in the workplace.In 2013, the Trilantic Capital Partners investment fund took part to the Betty Blue S.p.a. to develop a process of internationalization of the brand. After nearly 4 years, in 2017, Elisabetta Franchi acquired the 100% of the society share.
These are the thousand different facets of a woman who said about herself that “designing collections, running a business, it’s all very hard: you go to work at 8 in the morning and go home at 9 in the evening, I spend my Saturdays and Sundays at work, and all the rest moves to the backseat. But I love my job, and doing it with passion is the only way I know.”
Her determination is rewarded every day by the affection and admiration of all women who interact with her on social networks – where she is quite active – to thank her for making them look more feminine than ever. As she herself said, “My fashion is feminine because I do not follow the trends but believe in the value of femininity and use it as a compass for my creations. Since day one”.