Image Source: Francesca Marotta
Francesca Marotta is a head designer of two labels: one being a womenswear and the other being an eco-friendly childrenswear. She’s also a stylist, a creative director, a movie costume designer, and too many others to mention. Her many experiences make me wonder if there really is an area in the fashion industry that she hasn’t got her hands on.
Born in Santa Elisabetta, Sicily (she now lives in London), Francesca said that Sicily has a big influence in all her work. “It’s a beautiful and vibrant island where anything can be a source of inspiration, whether it’s the people, the food or art seen on balconies or at churches. Aesthetic is in our blood,” she said. What’s more interesting is she doesn’t use her creative mind to only focus on her own label(s). She always welcomes new challenges and never hesitates to jump into opportunities that she knows will force her to learn something new, even if it is out of her comfort zone. She has collaborated with many emerging designers, and still dreams for more collaboration in the future. “It can be overwhelming at times but it does push me to stay creative.”
How does Francesca, a woman of many talents, do it all? Can we learn from her experiences, on how to always push ourselves to a new level of creativity?
Englave: Tell us the two labels that you are currently working on
Francesca: Francesca Marotta is my eponymous women ready-to-wear label and Hey Baby Clothing is a childrenswear label for the trendy and eco-friendly babies and toddlers.
Englave: What inspired you to start your children’s wear brand?
Francesca: I have always wanted to have my own kidswear brand but thought that it would come after my womenswear was more established. Coincidentally, a dear friend of mine in LA, asked me if I wanted to become the creative director of a line he has had in mind for a while. I could not say no to this new venture, and absolutely enjoy preparing the launch of Hey Baby Clothing. It is a complete different way of creating but it is so much fun!
Englave: Why do you like exploring different creative areas in the fashion industry?
Francesca: It has either come naturally or by accident but I find it very fulfilling to be able to know exactly what I want, how I want it and how it is going look at the end.
Englave: Which job is the most rewarding for you? Why?
Francesca: Designing. I just love creating and seeing how feminine and sexy women feel when they wear my creations. Designing is my passion, I started at the age of 9 and I cannot stop. It’s very very hard to stop myself from designing, but my sons are my number one passion.
Englave: Which one is the most challenging job? Why?
Francesca: Designing. There are a lot of tears, blood and sweat involved and you never know if your vision for a season is going appeal to buyers and press alike.
Englave: As a stylist, are there any particular emerging designers whose work left a lasting impression to you? In what way?
Francesca: That is a million dollar question, there are many I have worked with. Claudine Abou-Sawan from Claudine London, she designs futuristic handbags; she is a true craft woman! Lislie Yeung a shoes designer; her soles are simply exquisite and so well made. Milko Boyarov, he is a Bulgarian Jewellery designer who has won the Swatch Award, what he can create with Perspex is pretty unbelievable. I also love Imogen Belfield, another jewellery designer, her creations are very organic. I own pieces from the four of them, but hardly wear them to make sure I keep them pristine and beautiful. Their creations to me are more like collectibles. I have actually collaborated with Claudine, Imogen and Milko on my womenswear, that is how much of an impression they had on me.
Englave: Do you have a dream collaboration with an emerging designer? What kind of collaboration do you have in mind?
Francesca: Oh yes, but he is not an emerging designer. To me, he is the best glove maker in the world. His gloves feel like a second skin and I really wish one day to be able to watch him doing his magic work and to collaborate with him. I absolutely adore this man, he is a true inspiration in my life. His name is Daniel Storto, the glove maker from Gloversville in America.
Englave: Are you being very selective when it comes to collaboration? Do you mind sharing your criteria?
Francesca: I am super selective. I will only collaborate with designers whom I believe in, I feel passionate about and that I feel that their vision and mine will complement each other 1000%. They must be as on point as I am when it comes down to details and quality. Lastly, they need to be as critical of their work as I am of mine.
Englave: Where do you usually get your inspirations?
Francesca: Music, films, life icons, different cultures, childhood memories, food, and inspirational people I have in my life.
Englave: What do you do when you feel that you are suddenly stuck and not inspired?
Francesca: I go to the gym for a hardcore circuit training, or I cook (I visualise the best when cooking, hence my favourite place at home is my kitchen, which has this boho feel to it!), or I meditate!
Englave: Do you have any advice for those who are trying to break into the fashion industry especially designers?
Francesca: Work hard, be focused, and know your market. Do not let the industry get in your head, stay grounded. And never forget to enjoy the industry because it is tough for sure but it is such a fab fun career!
Well, if you are a designer or a boutique owner who reside in the UK or EU area, you now have a go-to visionary creative director who can help you with your projects. The photos above say it all! If you are a buyer who is looking for a unique brand to add to your merchandise collection, you can contact Francesca directly for her amazing latest collection.