Name: Anna Dello Russo
Occupation: Formerly of L’uomo Vogue, now Fashion Director at Large & Creative Consultant, Vogue Nippon
Her World: High fashion, High credit limit
After finishing her degree in Italian Literature and Art History and attending the Domus Academy in Milan, Dello Russo’s rise in the fashion industry was swift. She spent just one month at Donna Magazine, after which she met Annalisa Milella, who at the time was working with Vogue Italia. After only 8 months of collaboration with Milella, Dello Russo found herself working full time at Vogue Italia. She spent 18 years as a part of the Italia family, working at both Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue and in 2006, she parted ways and began to work freelance. Officially, Dello Russo has said that she was tired of working in men’s fashion and wanted to get back to her roots, but rumor has it that her activity as a professional consultant was hindering her relationships at the magazine. It is reported that she was making so much money it caught the attention of the Revenue Authorities and the Journalist Association. Although she has clearly articulated that she was never made to choose, Franca Sozzani has been quoted saying that she ‘[could not] allow that people working at [her] magazine [would be] consulting at the same time.’ Dello Russo’s client list is said to be only important and international clients but she keeps it very private in efforts to not out shadow the brand’s fame. “I’m called to make the cake but all the ingredients are already there.” As fashion director and creative consultant for Vogue Nippon she still has an office in the Milanese quarter of Conde Nast but she spends most of her time contributing to the creative vision and branding of designers and fashion houses alike.
Despite her grand contributions to the international fashion community, Dello Russo is best known for her impressive wardrobe and incomprehensible fashion collection. Obsessed with image, Dello Russo admits that clothes are like a disease for her. She doesn’t just shop, she collects; buying clothing she might only wear once, if ever. She has an obsession with jewelry and accessories; including a collection of over 4000 pairs of shoes and keeps a display window of her favorite shoes and another for jewelry in one of her homes. She keeps a separate apartment exclusively for her clothing. Everything is tagged and enveloped, she keeps very accurate archives and dreams of one day having her own foundation.
THE FINAL INSIGHT
"Everyone has a strength. The English people sell very well because their editorial style is a little avant-garde; they are always the first at looking for new ideas. We Italians, have a very beautiful product that no one can beat, for quality, efficiency and tradition. The French people have that allure; in Paris you can feel a fantastic glamour at each show. The Americans have the money and the power, can you ask for more?"
"I'm obssessed with image" says this young woman which Helumt Newton once reffered to as -fashion maniac-. "It's true, clothes are like a disease for me. I collect them, maybe I'll wear them just once but I have to own them. I have 4000 pair of shoes. My entire house is a closet, I even invaded part of the kitchen and the basement . When you enter my house is like going into Barneys because everything is tagged and enveloped in a maniacal way. My true weakness is jewelery because I think that it makes a difference in an outfit. And since I come from the south of Italy when I was a little kid I used to look upon Barese women and I wanted to wear jewelery like them."
Anna was born in 1962, has a bachelor in Italian Literature and Art History. In 1986 she moved to Milano to attend a prestigious master at the Domus Accademy. Gianfranco Ferrè was one of her teachers.
Her first job was at Donna magazine, which lasted only one month. Then she met Annalisa Milella, a journalist who, at that time, worked for Conde Nast. The two began collaborating and after 8 months Anna is at Vogue Italia. She will work there for 18 years (for the last 6 years she is the director of L'Uomo Vogue). Things are going well but in 2006 she decides to leave and become a freelance. The official version of the story says Anna was tired of being in charge of men fashion and wanted to go back to feathers and laces. The other version says her "activity" as a professional consultant were incompatible with her role at the magazine. She made such a huge amount of money that she caught the attention of the Revenue Authorities and the Journalist Association. Anna says "No one ever made me choose: I gave up the previlege of the direction to dedicate to other interests. But it's not only about logic, also deontology: being a freelance gives you more freedom" When asked about stylists Franca Sozzani says "At the beginning you just style for your magazine, but when you understand how it works you have to decide. I cannot allow that people working at my magazine are doing the consultants at the same time". She couldnt have said it clearer.
When Anna left Vogue she had a fancy goodbye party where Sozzani declared "It happens in almost all the respectable families to have a divorce, but since we don't have children we do it pacifically. We are still going to see eachother" And in fact Dello Russo has still an office in the milanese quarter of Conde Nast. She is fashion director and creative consultant for Vogue Nippon. But the biggest part of her job consists in giving her creative contribute to designers and maisons. "I feel I'm much more an art director rather than a stylist. I make up the story behind a show, take track of the direction, realize the communication: I let the brand grow."
It's being said that she has a lot of important and international clients, but she denies. "It would be a mistake (to say it's true), you could outshadow the brand's fame. Im called to make the cake but all the ingridients are already there."
Her wedding dress was made by Dolce & Gabbana " It was a gorgeous dress, it had a chiffon train, 18metres long, I eventually used it to make my curtains"
About her job she says "It's a lot about luck. My hobby is going shopping and I get paid to do it everyday for the rest of my life. Plus you make good money and can allow yourself many luxuries. But off course, you go through sacrifices as well. You learn to consider your physical shape and appearence as a necessity: because it helps to establish a good image and its good for your mind as well. To stay young and to challenge yourself are essential things. If you give up and start wearing your slippers you risk everything. To say it briefly, this job teaches you the rules of the game in a ferocoius way. So always be curious, keep yourself moving, leave the door open and keep your eyes focused. It s hard but it is worthed."
She has a strong Pugliese accent and some people make really bad jokes about it. Someone swears to have heard Anna confusing The Tenenbaums with the Talebans. We asked if, in her opinion, it's fair to allow mean comments due to fame. "It's like soccer. There you have a lot of money involved and high competion, like in the fashion bizz. When you are choosing players for your soccer team you don't want anyone to take your best player, so some teams will play hard. But eventually everyone comes back to the market and you choose the best one. (??I didnt really get it....) Anyways it's true what they say. I can't write or speak well because I'm dyslexic. Sometimes I say incomprehensible words, I make up names, mix different tongues but fortunatly I express my work through images. And no one can tease me about this because in the world of fashion everyone understands it."
When asked about international collegues she says: "Everyone has a strenght. The english people sell very well because their editorial style is a little avant garde, they are always the first at looking for new ideas. We, Italians, have a very beautiful product that no one can beat, for quality, efficiency and tradion. the French people have that allure, in Paris you can feel a fantastic glamour at each show. The americans have the money and the power, can you ask for more?"
translated from "Alla corte di Re Moda " by Fedi and Serlenga, Salami editore
from thefashionspot.com (thanks to Londoner13)
"TOM FORD’S FALL/WINTER 2003 COLLECTION FOR YSL IS DEFINITELY HAVING IT’S MOMENT IN THE STYLE SPOTLIGHT ONCE AGAIN. CARINE ROITFELD WAS SPOTTED IN LONDON AT THE BURBERRY SHOW SPORTING A LACE INSERT SKIRT AND THIS PAST WEEKEND IN MILAN, ANNA DELLO RUSSO WORE NOT ONE, NOT TWO BUT THREE PAIRS OF THE CHERRY SANDALS FROM THAT COLLECTION WITHIN A 24HR PERIOD."