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Icon and Model Simonetta Gianfelici on Fashion, Commitment, and The Eternal City of Rome

By: Veronica Costanza Ward | Icon and Model Simonetta Gianfelici in Paolo Scassa

Cultured Focus Magazine's Open Talk with Fashion Consultant and Talent Scout Simonetta Gianfelici on Altaroma Fashion Week

After last edition of Altaroma, the intention to bring Rome and Roman fashion back to its origins of excellence and center for the training of new designers seems clear and strong. The choice to give space to young emerging designers involves an inevitable research process, continuous concept renewal, and the creation of creative inputs for our kids is the cornerstone of each edition. Furthermore, the union of many artists and craftsmen with different backgrounds gives life to an exchange of ideas and visions that generate an important personal and professional growth in their training path.

Simonetta Gianfelici


In this last edition of Rome Fashion Week, we saw a smaller but very accurate brand selection, the conscious and sensitive vision of the future is also explicit in each collection, as well as the need to return to a simpler, clearer vision of life. A proud focus on quality and Italian artisan tradition has been a common note. A future built on a precious past, is the feeling correct?

No doubt this latest edition has given us the feeling that the recovery of the Italian artisan and manufacturing tradition, combined with a greater sensitivity towards a more responsible fashion, are becoming essential elements in the creation of new emerging brands collections. Thus, tradition mixes with contemporary creating 100% Made in Italy avant-garde collections, in the production process as well as in research and choice of materials. Fabrics are now more and more often recovered from the past and revisited in a modern concept in respect of the product and tailoring tradition.

2022 has been a year of great losses in the world of fashion and creativity. What did it mean for you, an eighties and nineties fashion icon, committed to conscious and visionary fashion, both from a personal and professional point of view? Has anything changed in your approach to life and work?

Human loss is always something that copes with emotions, it’s something that generates a moment of reflection and self-analysis sometimes necessary to overcome transitory phases in an individual's life. When personalities of a certain depth are missing, you realize what they have left you but at the same time you have the opportunity to metabolize and internalize what you can and really want to pass on to others. Today, I try to pass on all the good that I have received to the young people I meet and work with to try to make their work experience in the fashion world richer and more complete.

Last year we saw Valentino show on the stairs of Piazza di Spagna in Rome, the show for the Who's on Next Award in collaboration with Vogue in Piazza del Campidoglio. The eternal city center again after difficult years. What show we expect for July edition?

Rome is undoubtfully at the heart of Altaroma project. Rome, with its thousand facets it’s a great ally when it comes to impressing with suggestive locations; at the same time Rome is uniquely capable of enhancing the pure aesthetics of fashion, strengthening its cultural and media value. There will be surprises, like every year.

Altaroma always offers, along with fashion shows, a wide program of initiatives and appointments which combine the fashion focus with social issues, cinema, and art commitment. A choice which is not obvious but necessary. Is that so?

Fashion is an art and like all arts it’s the result of many different influences which together can be an inspiration for an entire community. Altaroma becomes a space where multiple creative minds can express themselves and compare their visions, transforming this experience into a moment of personal and brand research and development. A precious experience that occurs every edition and makes us proud of the work we are going in and around fashion.

See you in July!

Simonetta Gianfelici Photo Gallery (Pictured: Vivienne Westwood, Setchu, & Thierry Mugler)

ABOUT SIMONETTA GIANFELICI After studying fine arts, Simonetta Gianfelici moved to Milan in the mid-80s, where she appeared in numerous advertising campaigns, publishing services and on prestigious magazine covers. Hers is a rapidly growing career: between New York, London and Paris, she is immortalized by the greatest photographers in the world: Ellen Von Unwerth, Fabrizio Ferri, Helmut Newton, Miles Aldridge, Paolo Roversi and Peter Lindberg, among others, and becomes the face of numerous advertising campaigns and commercials, as well as the face for beauty brands such as Dior, YSL, Chanel and Helena Rubinstein. She parades in major international fashion weeks for the most prestigious fashion houses like Balenciaga Comme De Garçonne, Dior, Fendi, Ferre, Versace, Gucci, Hermès, Gaultier, Della Renta and Valentino and works with Thierry Mugler and Vivienne Westwood, to whom she is both friend and muse. Even today, she lends her image to fashion as a testimonial.

Passionate about cinema and theater, she appears in the Robert Altman film “Prêt-à-Porter” and Jon Josts’s “The Long Shadow” , and was the star of several readings including “The Life of Hunger by Amélie Nothomb” and “The The Vagina Monologues ” by Eve Ensler, the latter in favor of the V-Day movement and associations working with women who are victims of violence. After a degree in photography, Simonetta Gianfelici worked as a fashion editor with magazines like Donna (Hachette Rusconi), Vanity Fair and Vogue Gioiello.

Thanks to her vast experience in the fashion industry, in 2003 she began working as a consultant focusing on scouting for new talent, giving birth in 2005 to the “Who is on Next?” contest in collaboration with Alta Roma, Italian Vogue and Pitti Immagine. From 2013 she collaborates with the Ethical Fashion Initiative – a program of the ITC, International Trade Center, an agency of the United Nations and the WTO – focusing on scouting for designers and photographers from Africa.

In June 2013, she was awarded the High Distinction of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, for her constant commitment to the spreading of Arts and Letters in France and worldwide.


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