The driving force behind her family’s womenswear collections, Veronica Etro moves seamlessly between tradition and innovation. Here, she tells us about her design philosophy and how to create a look which transcends the trends.
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Veronica Etro has spoken candidly about her boho label
Who encouraged you to go into the family business?
"My father Gimmo, who I still work with. He taught me to be curious and to seek out beauty and originality.
"I remember coming into the office when I was about six. I painted or made patchworks, sitting on the tables. It was a very colourful playground."
So you grew up with the company’s philosophy?
"I think that we have grown and evolved together. I often try to imagine myself wearing the clothes that are on the catwalk, picturing myself as an Etro woman – a cosmopolitan globetrotter."
Do you think it’s hard to dress well?
"Clothes are like a second skin, so it’s essential to be able to express yourself freely and choose your own style, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the current fashion.
“That’s why our collections are positioned between cutting-edge and tradition – what we call New Tradition, which means clothes that don’t go out of style but are recognisably ours."
Veronica revealed it was her father who convinced her to go into the family business
Which other designers do you most identify with?
"I’ve been keeping a close eye on other labels where, as with us, the print isn’t just a seasonal trend, it forms part of the label’s DNA, like Dries Van Noten."
Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
"Unfortunately, time moves very fast in the fashion world. The collections come out one after another at a dizzying speed, which makes it hard to find time to research – the part that I find most stimulating and exciting."
Read the full interview in the HELLO! Autumn/Winter Pret-a-Porter Special
Should a designer be a perfectionist?
"Mistakes can often be turned to our advantage, uncovering interesting angles. Personally, I don’t like to follow themes from A to Z. I prefer to work with a bit of ‘contamination’, adding contrast and breaking moulds."
Why is fantasy so important in fashion?
"Imagination is a basic requirement if you work with prints and colour. Each collection is a blank canvas that you need to fill. You need to be a bit of a visionary, with a child’s imagination and the ability to perceive an alternative reality."
Which of your creations are you most proud of?
"Each collection is like a son or daughter. It has its own unique character and personality and it’s hard to choose a favourite, because each has its own raison d’être."
For the full interview, see Hello’s Autumn/Winter Pret-a-Porter Special, on sale now.