I am so incredibly happy to present my current favourite designer, Federica Lanari as part of my women empowerment campaign “Me For Her”. When I was in Milan last week I had the pleasure to visit the showroom of Mixte Consulting and take an outfit for our photoshoot with one of Lanari’s exquisite designs. I also had the chance to interview her and learn about her vision of the modern, strong woman in the 21st century. So without further ado, here is our interview:
When did you become interested in fashion and decided to pursue a career in this field?
My journey began with a strong interest in Art and Contemporary Culture, with a focus on creativity, style and elegance. I began by studying Art and Photography initially in Bologna, where I now live, then in Manchester UK. At 23, I moved to London to pursue my true passion, completing a Masters Degree in Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni. This allowed me to transform my dedication to fashion into my profession.
When and how did you decide to start your company? What are the challenges of having your own business?
I’ve always loved channelling my creative vision into a way of life, seeking new challenges whilst incorporating my curiosity and energy into modern yet feminine collections. After a few years practising as a freelance designer for other companies, in 2016, I then decided to establish my own business. The biggest challenge was finding the courage within myself to begin this project. Deep down, I wasn’t sure that I was ready to take such an important step. Furthermore, I had to find the right team to share my vision.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
The most important advice I received was from my parents. Both being medical professionals, they had limited knowledge of the fashion industry. Therefore, their advice could be universally applied. I was encouraged to believe in myself and practice constructive self-reflection. They advised me to further my knowledge and experience in my chosen field. This allowed me to form my own opinions and strategies to achieve my objectives. Just as important it is to keep an open mind to be able to react to the changing landscape of the industry with confidence and knowledge. This is the same advice I would offer to anyone else seeking to transform their dream into their profession.
What are three things that you should keep in mind when starting a business in the fashion industry?
My most important rule is “never give up”, no matter what obstacles you encounter. Pick yourself up and start again. The world is big and full of opportunities, but only for those willing to take them. Secondly, feed your curiosity with vibrance and vivacity. Being a personality in constant flux feeds your creativity. The world may be big, but your uniqueness will make you stand out. Finally, love your profession and you will never work a day in your life.
Being an Italian, how did living in London impact your fashion vision and your designs?
My roots are firmly Italian, but I guess one can definitely tell I have absorbed and maintained some British influences, which I cherish. Living in London gave me the incredible opportunity to be exposed to global inspirations and, there, my everyday life was constantly soaked with the most contemporary tastes and personalities of the fashion world. I had the opportunity to meet people from cultures vastly different to mine. This was an extraordinary boost to my personal and professional skill sets. As a result of this exposure, I honed my skills in recognising trends, including colours and moods. From then on, I have always tried to combine my British experiences with the “Made in Italy” measure of couture, in which I strongly believe.
What are the inspirations behind your collections?
There are many. Sometimes I find inspiration in fabrics. Other times, whilst looking at an image in which a detail has captured my attention, is when everything starts. Generally, I pay particular attention to the world around me through everyday life, not only to understand current trends, but also to be able to translate them to the actual needs of the “modern woman” in today’s society. Classy, elegant, but still active in her day.
How do you cultivate your creativity?
I cultivate my creativity with my love for art and beautiful things. These constantly incite me to discover new and past artists and their works. What definitely motivates me the most is the realisation of what was initially just an idea.
How do you want women to feel when they wear your designs?
Definitely comfortable. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a beautiful woman in an amazing dress, in which she feels uncomfortable. The beauty of a dress gains much more allure when a woman wears it well and feels special. She must love it in order to love herself even more.
Who is the woman wearing the ‘Federica Lanari’ designs?
A dynamic woman, who works and who has busy days. Who wants to look confident and polished. She is a woman that maintains traditions but also likes to stay on top on what’s current. She loves seeing herself in “Federica Lanari”, making her feel contemporary and sophisticated.
Where do you see yourself and your brand in 10 years?
Precisely here, creating what I love.