Lavinia Biagiotti is the president and CEO of the Italian Fashion House, Laura Biagiotti, a family business I have got the opportunity to work with during the last chaotic Milan Fashion Week FW20. She discussed with us the worldwide pandemic, environmental duties and her all time muses.
Words by Charlotte Coquelin.
You were the first ever fashion show showing live only, how was this experience ? Was it hard to cancel so many guests in such a short time?
Closing the doors to our audience was not an irrational decision, nor was it determined by fear. It was an act of respect and responsibility in a moment where the exposure to the news regarding real danger, was dramatically increasing. I decided to close the doors of our fashion show and to be live on streaming a few hours before the show began. The fears were legitimate, I felt it was a responsibility to protect everyone. I had no doubts about the fashion show: we would have set it up exactly as if the theater had been full and it was in any case an exciting experience.
The motto that has always guided me is ''designing the future '': beauty, experimentation and creativity are crucial factors to invent new languages and new formats.
The opening look was all green with a 'Go green' scarf. Can you tell us your environmental resolutions in this new collection?
BE GREEN - It is the motto of the collection, which is also printed on the “talking scarfs”, which fuse together the logo and the logos. Yet, it is also a distinctive element of the brand, which operates with natural fabrics and has always invested in what is GREEN.
ROOTS and RECYCLING are found in the recovered cashmere Integral Shirt, in the braids of tradition or the total, plain simplicity of ankle-length sheath dresses, or pullovers that embrace the silver lunar reflections and a fur coat that is not simply ecological but entirely biodegradable.
Thus is your second having a mum and daughter, Pat and Ann Cleveland to perform during your show, how did you meet them?
It has been extraordinary to host Pat and Anna Cleveland on the Biagiotti catwalk. Pat was a muse for our collections already in the nineties and it’s so exciting to have her daughter Anna as the interpreter of the latest Biagiotti collections. Anna and I have known each other for 25 years, our wonderful mothers have sent us a great heritage: creativity, vision and a mindset focused on life and work made by curiosity, joy and courage.
Pat and Anna Cleveland for the first time were present on the catwalk together at Milan Fashion Week, interpreting the message of a family story and a connection between generations dedicated to the cultivation of fashion, art and culture.
This shows the importance about family in your company, you are running the business of your mother, was a it a vocation for you to follow her path?
My mother left me an enormous legacy. She lived all her life in great balance, combining her extraordinary vision, her pioneering attitude with an extreme attention to the “simple things”. She focused on priorities better than anybody else and this made her successful in handling her family and her career. I guess this is the “secret formula” that every woman seeks. And when I asked her how did she do it she always answered to me “the secret that I learned from your grandmother Delia, is to try to live in peace with yourself, accepting time for what it is, without escaping in the past or in the future, somehow living a gentle and self-ironical “carpe diem” like the Romans taught us. And, my beloved Lavinia, be always curious, that will keep you forever young. I am grateful, conscious and as far as I can, happy, that is my daily goal. I commit myself to handling pressure and always to growing and developing. I keep my mind open and I have a fearless and curious approach to challenges.
Your new collection is once again very poetic and colorful, where do you usually find your inspirations?
I look to the future and place solid foundations onto the research of those “drops of beauty”, which thanks to a dress, can brighten every woman’s day. The result is a “forever wardrobe”, which is timeless, ageless and limitless and where dressing everyday becomes an act of extreme self-respect: opportunities and fun; a sort of light and unconscious (but not reckless!) body art.
It’s a privilege for me to be the third generation of an iconic company, which is perceived both as a company and an "Italian flag". However, this honor represents above all a challenge and a daily commitment. Italian fashion must continue to satisfy the primary need of beauty and must be able to invent always new stories.
The common denominator is the culture of the family business, the love for the job and the commitment. These are the basics of each initiative, which I inherited from my parents. A strong female imprinting, which however does not create "gender" barriers. The passion for this profession, which has roots in tradition but draws its lifeblood from innovation, applied to all industries. The sense of sacrifice, which allows you to bring your heart over the obstacle, renewing enthusiasm also in the most difficult moments.
Modesty is the ingredient of those who want to work in fashion; it is certainly useful in all industries, but in our world, it is a primary requirement. Receiving the honor of representing a “Made in Italy” company means accepting a challenge, getting involved, loving tradition but above all having a vision, being competitive, flexible, responsive, curious and tireless!