My parents got separated when I was 9 months. I’ve never experienced the idea of a traditional family made up of a Mom, a Dad and brothers, and sisters. My dad had 3 other kids with two other different women and although I’ve always loved my step-siblings, we grew up apart, had very different lives and, except sometimes for holidays, never spent much time together. My mom never had any other kids so I grew up more as an only child.
This condition made my childhood and my teenage very lonely. As a single woman, my Mom would work all day to pay for my school and the bills, coming home only at dinner time. When I was 8 years old, my mom felt confident enough to leave me home alone and have my grandma, who lived in the same building, check on me every now and then. My mom rules were very strict: I could not go out to play with the other kids for any reason, so I was forced to stay inside the house all the time. I remember standing at the window staring at the other kids playing in the courtyard while I was there all by myself in that big apartment. In the beginning, it felt like an injustice and there was nothing I could do about it, so I started creating a fantasy world in which I could escape and feel less lonely. I would spend my afternoons watching films, reading stories, drawing, writing or playing with my stuffed animals giving them names, voices, and different personalities. That’s how I became so passionate about Films and Fashion.
My imagination expanded day after day and my fantasy world became more real to me than anything else. When faced with the “real world”, I’d often be considered an Outsider. At school, I’d be left out of the “cool” groups and couldn’t really mingle with some of my classmates who considered me weird and different. I felt the same. I was attending a private French school and most of my classmates were very much alike. They all dressed the same way, the trend was 501 Levi’s jeans, Adidas Stan Smith shoes, Polo Ralph Lauren t-shirts and Aspesi puffers. In high school, they’d go to an afternoon club for teens that was considered the “hot spot” in Milan and they’d go on vacation with their families in trendy locations. I was left out of all of that. Plus I couldn’t afford it.
My teenage years had painful moments but when I look back at that time, I can’t help but smiling because I can see how being different made me the person I am today and shaped the rest of my journey.
One day I woke up and thought: “I want to make a difference in the world” and my desire was to inspire people to be different as well and express their Unique Beauty and Voice. I was committed to it. That was the beginning of a very long and challenging journey.
’til the next one!