Fashion Mogul, Internet sensation and designers’ favourite it girl, Anna Dello Russo created a spectacular buzz with her visit to host one of the biggest and most memorable fashion parties in the country: Tory Burch’s store opening. We sat down for a candid talk with the fashion icon on all things Burch, social media and her love for Middle Eastern taste…
Bari, Italy, native Anna Dello Russo knows a thing or two about today’s fashion. Self proclaimed passionate fashionista, the icon is now the editor-at-large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan. For 18 years, Anna was at the helm of Vogue Italia as fashion editor and for six years she served as editor for L’Uomo Vogue. Now, she is still in full-throttle mode, inspiring the world about what she knows best: fashion. Best known for her extravagant and exotic looks, described as a “fashion maniac” by one of the top photographers in the industry, Helmut Newton, Anna visited Qatar for Tory Burch’s store opening and for an exclusive and intimate gathering with women in the region. Tory and Anna’s friendship goes way back to when Anna would attend New York Fashion Week, sitting religiously on the FROW at all of her shows. “I met Tory in Milan, she came for the opening of the store and then again I used to come to NYC for her shows.” Not only did their friendship blossom via fashion shows and soirees, but also through special collaborations: “We spoke about doing something special and that’s how Doha came to life,” says the trend-setter.
Wearing a pink kaftan dress from Tory’s latest collection inspired by a wholly Middle Eastern vibe with a beautiful and exotic statement necklace talks about Tory Burch as a brand and what it represents for her as an individual. “She and the brand represent a lifestyle, an American lifestyle. The message it gives is not only about a fashion lifestyle, but also as an attitude, a healthier choice. The great thing about her is that she is a designer, but also a mother and a wife, so it’s important to see a woman like her doing all these things and not losing any part of her femininity.” When asking Anna about her favourite piece of the collection, kaftans take the prize. “I love the blue kaftan, it’s a long one, but there are also short versions of it. Tory has made a travel
expedition in style with embroidery, kaftans, very close to the region’s culture.” The brand started off purely as an accessories label, which later became complete and went global with fuller collections.
“The brand became international with all the additions, it’s a great evolution of the
American dream,” adds the icon. However, how will Qatari consumers embrace the brand? Anna, who ensures the brand is perfect for the region adds her love for the Middle East: “The region is amazing. People love fashion, every proposal given is accepted – I love going to events where I get to meet interesting people who love fashion and create a festive atmosphere – not just a commercial party.” And when it comes to Middle Eastern fashion taste, Anna adds: “ I like the obsession of jewels and accessories here, bling bling, glamour stuff and makeup for example – it’s very interesting how they consume fashion in a limited area, but very strongly.” Anna doesn’t hold back about her thoughts on today’s power factor that keeps many businesses afloat: social media. “I love it, it’s new power media, another way to communicate, a big revolution – it’s all related to the young generation.”
With a new era on the horizon, social media taking charge and younger minds ruling the world, Anna has been in the game for years, changing and molding today’s fashion industry. Yet, what does it truly take to stay relevant in an industry that changes by the minute? “Communication. Being able to talk to the new generation is key to survival. I must pay attention to the new audience,” she asserts. “It’s a big revolution moment, it’s all about the youth. You can say I am part of the old moment because now everything is going to change with the new revolution of the web.” New or old, Anna Dello Russo has set high standards in a fickle fashion world. Love her or hate her, Anna is here to stay.