Alice Etro, that touch of gypsy

Born in 1987, Alice Etro has a thick mane of blonde hair, a minute physique and eyes the color of ice. She's the kind of girl who immediately grabs your attention. She also has a special story, yet none of the attitude of someone taking things for granted, on the contrary; humility seems to be a character-trait of her DNA.

Just to make things clear: born in Milan, the daughter of Monica Bottigelli of renowned family Miani and of Kean Etro, of the homonymous fashion label, Alice was raised on bread and fashion. After studying Fashion Design at the Marangoni Fashion Institute she took her first steps as a model but – from 2009 onwards – decided to move into to the creative side. Today she works for the family company and since debuting her first collection, Collezione Donna Larusmiani Autunno Inverno 2013/2015, Alice has never looked back.

What are you busy with at the moment?
I work full-time for Larusmiani and I'm developing some other top secret projects.

What dream do you envision for your future?
My dream is to always be able to do the job that I love and manage to balance it with my passions.

What are your main goals professionally?
Each collection and project, when you see the fruits of your labor, is like a piece of you that finally takes shape. The beauty is it's always a new discovery.

You've been in the field for some time. Have you noticed any small or large changes in the fashion world?
There are various currents that merge into the same sea: it's all constantly moving, you have to be able to immerse yourself into various contaminations while at the same time keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Right now everything is moving faster, everything has to be precise and targeted.

Do you think there was a turning point in your career?
I rather have the feeling there was a flow that took me to where I am now and that will continue pushing me forward to explore new avenues.

What projects are you most proud of (and why)?
There are many projects I'm very proud of, among these is the collection I designed for Larusmiani. For example I'm very attached to some of the pieces I created, because each of them is connected to a memory or inspiration I'll never forget. When I design a garment, it's always the product of a feeling of the moment, which I hope to transmit to the person who wears it.

What do you think of fashion designers who want to be trendy at all costs?
I'd say trends are present and fleeting by nature: you have to know how to identify them and reinterpret them constantly.

Tell us about a cultural event you enjoyed this year.
I really enjoyed the Escher exhibition at Palazzo Reale in Milan: I find it genius how his aesthetic is the result of logical, rational, mathematical and yet incredibly creative thought.

Alice Etro's creative life: who or what inspires you?
Traveling, exhibitions, books, music, people... You can always find a detail that will make the difference.

How would you define your style?
In the day my outfit is composed of jeans and a sweater (possibly cashmere), a tailor-made coat and boots if it's winter, or jeans and a colorful silk or velvet kimono in the warmer season.
In the evening it can vary from something long to something short, but always with a touch of gypsy.

What do you consider to be your greatest talent?
I always make an effort to learn from anything and anyone. And I try to do so quickly: I'm very careful about what happens around me and learn from it.

What are the challenges of your job?
The major difficulty consists in being able to always offer something new that fits into the trends of the moment and satisfies the final client. You have to transmit something to the person who chooses your garments: emotions are the fundamental aspect.

Can you reveal some of your go-to places?
If given a choice I prefer flats to hotels: I like having the chance to cook, which is an activity I really enjoy. In Milan there are various restaurants I like to go to: for Japanese cuisine the spot is Sumire, it's characteristic and authentic. If I want Thai I go to Koh Thai Bistrot, a place of wonders, in which you'll also find artisanal objects and jewelry. For Italian cooking there's nothing better than L’Isola dei Sapori, a restaurant that's always very lively and that uses the highest quality ingredients. To eat in a more homelike atmosphere then L’Incoronata: soft lights in a retro setting full of personality.

How would you describe your apartment?
My home is the fruit of many contaminations picked up on one of my numerous trips, or carried with me from childhood, or generally connected to my passions. It's constantly evolving and definitely friendly. My flat mates are Grace, my dog, and Kimba and Alaska, my two cats.

Do you follow a motto?
Always adapt and renew yourself, everything flows, you have to know how to follow the current and sometimes you have to sit on the bank of the river and wait, because “things happen that are like questions. Let pass a minute or years, and life answers..." (Alessandro Baricco).

Interview by Marzia Nicolini
© larusmiani.it

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