STORY BY + VIDEO EDITING RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – SHOP Marina Moscone – PHOTOS + FILM FOOTAGE BY BRIDGET BADORE FOR THE STYLE LINE
“Travel, exploration, adventure – they all play a
big role in my life,” says fashion designer Marina Moscone. “Nowadays I regularly travel for work, and I always try to sneak a couple of days after meetings to discover a new city – it resets me and fuels and inspires me. But inspiration doesn’t always have to come from something so obvious; I am inspired by the most unconventionally beautiful things as well – there is a real poetry in finding the beauty in that.” With that idea in mind, and in addition to our mutual love of travel and exploration, celebrating the unconventional is something we also deeply value here at The Style Line. Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that we were honored to sit down with today’s featured interviewee, Marina Moscone, who is seamlessly blending modernity, romance, and storytelling through her eponymous brand.
While the emerging luxury line is already starting to make waves, Marina herself is no stranger to the industry. The seasoned fashion veteran’s talents derive from her many professional experiences – Specifically (and most recently), her tenure as the Design Director at celebrated contemporary fashion house Peter Som. Naturally, Marina’s penchant for aesthetics has translated into the brand’s overall refined look (though we love her more surprising touches, including bold color palettes and eye-catching silhouettes). If these elements don’t speak for themselves already, we’ll be the first to say that Marina has been able to call upon her dynamic skill sets to build a brand that caters to what modern women want but more importantly what they need. And as Marina mentioned in our interview below, “I look to tradition because it’s beautiful and more thoughtful than ever, and I make it ‘modern’, luxurious and desirable by putting into the context of her life today.”
Today we’re thrilled to share a glimpse into our visit with Marina (along with her business partner and sister, Francesca) who kindly gave us a tour of her airy Chelsea design studio. Discover our full conversation touching on topics including modernity, feminism, travel and more, featuring exclusive photos and footage from our time together captured by Bridget Badore for The Style Line.
When you are so passionate
about something, your personal and professional life kind of merge – that’s what I love about my life. Work dinners actually turn into friend dinners…meetings turn into catching up, etc. I work with my sister, we are partners. Her and my parents are the MVP’s in my life…we hang out a lot together, whether it’s traveling, cooking or just visiting each other in our cities. That close knit bond taught me to value the deep-rooted relationships I have with my friends, and because I’ve lived away from where I grew up for some time, my friends have become my family. One of the best aspects of my job is that it affords me a lot of travel, thus I get to see my friends from all over the world. I’m also a big foodie. The first thing I do before a trip (before even picking the destination), is look at the restaurants I want to try and where they are. That informs most things for me…and luckily I have like-minded travel companions! I love having people over and making the apartment a nice space to live and hang out in. And on occasion, I enjoy taking the time to cook something for an intimate dinner party…the whole thing from picking the company to choosing the napkins, the colors, sourcing the ingredients and finalizing the menu.
My favorite most guilty pleasure, of course, is ‘il dolce far niente’ – the sweetness of doing nothing…preferably under the Mediterranean sunlight with great company and scenery!
From Vancouver to New York, how would you say the idea of travel or exploration plays a role in both your personal and professional life? Would you say you have any unexpected sources of creative inspiration?
Travel, exploration, adventure – they all play a big role in my life. I think growing up in a multi-cultural household really ignited that for me. With my mother being from South Africa and my father from Italy, we traveled a lot. Nowadays I regularly travel for work, and I always try to sneak a couple of days after meetings to discover a new city – it resets me and fuels and inspires me. But inspiration doesn’t always have to come from something so obvious; I am inspired by the most unconventionally beautiful things as well – there is a real poetry in finding the beauty in that.
What is one question you wish people asked you more often when it comes to your design process?
What’s the first thing you imagine before starting a collection?
The idea of “modernity” is something we talk a lot about in our stories with designers. What does “modern” style mean to you and what do you hope Marina Moscone as a brand offers to the modern woman’s wardrobe that she may not already be getting elsewhere?
I suppose ‘modernity’ is an evolution of tradition. There is a quote from an Italian novel by Giuseppe Tomasi called Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), “Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga com’è, bisogna che tutto cambi”. It essentially reads: if we want things to remain the same, things must change. I think there are some beautiful aspects in fashion that are very, very traditional, things we have learned from the ‘masters’ per se – old school tailoring, textiles, and yarns from mills that have been around for generations, patternmaking, draping, handmade finishing’s – there is an abundance of heritage in fashion. What’s important is we evolve these traditional techniques and resources into something new and something that fits a woman’s life today. The Marina Moscone woman is everywhere – she’s at work, she’s educated, she’s traveling, she’s enjoying her downtime… so the wardrobe must follow.
I look to tradition because it’s beautiful and more thoughtful than ever, and I make it ‘modern’, luxurious and desirable by putting into the context of her life today.
There is a growing conversation around fashion’s synergy with feminism. Does feminism play a role for you as a designer and how do you hope to empower the Marina Moscone woman?
I am a female in a fashion climate where there seem to be more male Creative Directors. Having said that, I do believe I have the advantage of understanding a woman’s body and fit, as well as a woman’s needs and sense of well-being… and I believe that she wants to feel beautiful without being fussy so that she can have the necessary tools to accomplish what she sets out to do. The clothes I make reflect that but are such a small part of feminism. Francesca and I work with and are surrounded by a lot of women, it’s a pretty natural environment for us. It’s important that I support, teach and help these women around me – that is an important role. I think that’s a way to empower women.
How do you celebrate personal style and if you weren’t a fashion designer do you think your approach to style would be different?
I am of course very passionate about design and beautiful materials – the things that adorn oneself. But I do believe personal style comes from your core and your comportment, the way you carry yourself. So it’s not what you wear, but rather how you wear the things that reflect your style, that’s what makes it personal. I have always believed in these principles, and I just celebrate my style my wearing (and offering) the things I feel best in.
How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and what role is Marina Moscone playing in this movement?
Creativity is the past, present, and future. Any leader, innovator, entrepreneur or anyone anywhere who has to move forward and grow will tell you that! The only way to achieve progression is to be creative – one must think outside the box and beyond the parameters of what is conventional.
I remember when I was a child my mother told me that, “in order to achieve something, you have to have a vision.” It’s the simplest thing and it makes the most sense. I have had a creative vision for everything I’ve done and set out to do…and I’m just a hair of the way there! At Marina Moscone, we have a lot in the pipeline because we constantly aim to progress across all channels – design, business, marketing, wholesale, to name a few – and tying it all together in order to grow. It’s incredible to be surrounded by all the people we work with who help us achieve these goals, and it teaches us to further think creatively and to push and support others in doing the same.
How would you advise the next generation of designers to leave an imprint in the world, simply by doing what they love?
Be humble, be certain and believe in what you do. If you don’t believe in your products, the market will feel it eventually. Back up your passion with the necessary infrastructure – a business mind and a team with a like-minded vision. Make a plan and grow steadily rather than abruptly. And stop along the way to celebrate the little victories. And most importantly, get up every time you’re down and get your ‘people’ up. It will be worth it.