Tomorrow is the opening of my “for winter” collection which is a very important moment for a fashion designer. So if I appear nervous, please be patient with me. Fashion, fragrance, cosmetic and a new age is what I would like to talk to you about today. Fashion has been, for me, a very important part of my life ever since I was a child. I grew up in a family of ten fashionable women. It started with my grandmother, my mother and eight aunts. I was brought up to be always aware of style. I used to overhear my grandmother speaking to my aunts about style, fashion, fitness, posture, skin care, walking, and above all, cosmetics and a sense of smell.
I grew up in a huge house and wherever you took a turn, there was always a full length mirror. That was my grandmother’s way of teaching us how to develop a sense of self-awareness. I remember being quite young and overheard her saying to my mother, “Watch that child, he eats too much.” That was me. She would also say, “It’s not important to look good for yourself—it’s more important that you look good for others.”
It was Catherine d’Medici of Florence who introduced fragrance to France when she married King Henry II of France. She wore leather gloves impregnated in fragrance to protect herself from the maladies of the 16th Century. The leather tanneries were centered in Grasse. She brought her alchemist to Grasse and planted all the herbs and florals necessary to create her perfumes. This is why this area of France today is the center of perfume of the world. But as an Italian, I am very proud to remind you all that it originated in Italy.