A brief history of who I am, what I do, and why we should be friends 🙂
I grew up in Milan raised by a high-fashion tailor and a sales manager of luxury fabrics.
Both my parents wanted me to be a school teacher.
By growing up in a fashion environment I developed a strong passion for what happens “behind the scenes”.
As a kid, I only wanted to play with Barbie’s boutique, setting windows and styling Barbie’s mannequins to attract other dolls inside my boutique and change my clothes for each occasion.
I always wanted to follow some sort of artistic path but I was really bad in two subjects (believe it or not): art and English.
So, as my parents kindly suggested, I ended up attending a teaching school learning about philosophy, anthropology, and psychology.
After two years I was fed up: I decided to switch to an art school and start all over again.
It wasn’t easy.
High school was not the brightest period of my life, the only two highlights were:
- I discovered Caravaggio and his art, that I still love and feel so deeply connected with.
- I followed the rise of Tom Ford and the glorious renaissance Gucci in 1995. His work as Creative Director for the brand is a very strong inspiration for me even today.
Once I got my diploma, I wasn’t sure on which school to attend next: I was hesitant between Marangoni and IED.
Fees were quite high and I couldn’t make up my mind, so my mum suggested to start working in a showroom -since she was working in one- to see if I could figure it out.
Long story short: never get back to school ever.
The first job was folding t-shirts, thousands, all to be folded in the same dimension, the range of color, on the same shelf. A million times a day.
While working as a showroom assistant, I always offered myself to stay for the night shift to help the visual merchandising team on anything they needed.
It’s from these experiences that everything bloomed.
I followed my dream to be a Visual Merchandiser (link to video) for different brands, between Italy, Russia and UK (where I lived for 3 years); you can check my full work experience here.
In 2009 I moved to Japan for 7 months without a job or a master plan, neither knowing the language.
Just, you know, to challenge me.
I worked a few months for Roberto Cavalli Japan(link to gallery portfolio) as Visual Merchandiser and also got to see Mount Fuji (Woop Woop!).
Then it was time for a big decision: with the money in my pocket I could live one more month in Tokyo or three months in New York City. I pick the second and booked the flight.
In Manhattan I found out that some of the dreamy 5th Ave’s window displays weren’t that cool, so I started to take pictures and create Youtube videos where I explained and analyzed their weakness (link to first videos).
I never expected that it could turn into a chance to gain new clients: trust me it was January 2010, not yet the multi-billionaire Youtuber era.
Some independent retailer contacted me with asking to re-make their windows, so I started my career as a freelance in New York and moved it to Milan in March 2010
What do I do now?
With over 15 years of experience in the Fashion Retail Industry, I define myself a Visual Merchandising Expert.
In the last few years, I built my network mainly on Youtube and Instagram.
It’s thanks to these two platforms that retailers, brands, and schools find me and ask me to work together.
Today mainly I teach... mum and dad were right!
I do consultancy, workshops, master’s classes and also teach to independent retailers how to increase their sales using visual merchandising.
I collaborate with different associations and companies in order to share my knowledge about retail.
Since this wasn’t enough, back in June 2016 I met Fabio Colturri, founder of Haigō.
He found me via Instagram and wrote me an email to ask for advice: differently, from others that simply ask and demand, he had the project of opening a design concept store in Milan based on multi-sensorial experiences: Haigō.
I immediately saw the great potential of the project and decided to join as I see it as a chance to innovate the future of the Italian retail industry.
Oh Yes! Almost forgot.
I’m also a single mum of 2 kids (10 and 4 y.o.) and I have a horse that loves cuddles like a cat.
Who’s happy with just one life?