Interview with Sofia Sizzi of Giulietta
Sofia Sizzi is the designer of Giulietta, a refined line of womenswear inspired by the iconic emblems of Sixties beauty – actresses Catherine Deneuve, Sophia Loren, Charlotte Rampling, and the models of the same era, Veruschka, Jean Shrimpton, Marisa Berenson, as seen by the lenses of Avedon and Newton. The Italian-born designer was a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2012, and most recently participated in the CFDA’s initiative, Americans in Paris, in September 2014. Sizzi continues to design beautiful collections season after season, and we sat down with the designer to hear more about her early days in New York City, her industry mentors (Tom Ford, for one), and growing her business.
WHEN DID YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH FASHION?
“I've loved fashion since I was a child, I used to make paper dresses with my mom. I grew up in Florence, and I came to New York City in 2001.”
WHEN DID YOU LAUNCH GIULIETTA?
“I launched Giulietta in Fall 2011 during New York Fashion Week. I had small and intimate presentation at a friend's loft… Oh my god, it feels like 100 years ago.”
GIULIETTA IS INSPIRED BY 1960’S FILM AND CINEMATOGRAPHY.
“I am a sucker for vintage movies. I think I started developing a fascination for them in my early 20's.”
TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRESS.
“Press was always good for Giulietta. I think I was lucky to launch the collection at a moment when a lot of big brands and magazines turned back to reference the 60's, so we ended up fitting right in.”
AND YOUR FIRST RETAIL ACCOUNTS?
“Barneys is my first and favorite. It was always my favorite store! Mark Lee and Daniella Vitale came to see my first collection and they bought us every season since then. I really value our relationship.”
WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACE IN YOUR BUSINESS?
“The biggest challenge for us is to finance the business when a new collection is at an initial stage. I've struggled with this until just recently, when I was able to sign a partnership with my production company Cieffe, which will allow me to bring the collection to the next level.”
WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS?
“I think I have learned from all the amazing designers I've worked for so far in my career; Tom Ford at Gucci, Donna Karan, Francisco Costa and Michael Kors.”
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE CFDA/VOGUE FASHION FUND IN 2012?
“It was challenging. It taught me to be focus and have discipline when designing my collection…and of course I got to meet Anna Wintour!”
AND YOU WERE AWARDED MEMBERSHIP TO THE CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) IN 2013.
“It was amazing! I think I'm the only Italian, or only one of two ever!”
WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR BUSINESS?
“The amazing success that it will be in a few years!”
SOFIA, WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS A DESIGNER?
“Fantasy, creativity, inspiration, poetry. I am a big dreamer and I am only happy when I let my creativity run free!”