In the fashion editorial world there are quite few really charming and always smiling, yet quite strong ladies. I believe Silvia Grilli is a role model for those business ladies who would like to manage perfectly their successful career and happy family life. We met Silvia in her magnificent Mondadori office – a solemn building created by famous Oscar Niemeyer, just outside Milano. The GRAZIA Italia editor-in-chief is surrounded by multiple GRAZIA covers. Some of them are feauturing amazing models, some – actresses and some even hot males. My first question is right about it
Who is the cover girl of GRAZIA? Do you always choose the cover model yourself?
S. The fashion stories are entirely produced by us and we actually choose the person we wish to see at the cover. For instance, once I have chosen the Brazilian girl in honour of the Champion Cup in Brasil, then there was Dakota Johnson who made a special shooting for us on the occasion of the Venice Film Festival. So we can basically say that our cover girl (or a boy sometimes) always has some connection with current events, as film festival, fashion week or other.
Do you play chess, by chance? The question might seem sudden, but don’t you think that situation in fashion seems to be conducted by someone who is strategically moving fashion designers as if they were chess figures . In past few weeks there were quite a few transfers that literally shocked fashion community.
S. I do not play chess but I understand what you mean. And here is my vision of the situation. The fashion world is quite small. Fashion is global, from Latin America to China, and in the end,what goes around eventually comes around. Real creative power and true talents are not that numerous. For instance, Alber Elbaz is a genius and I am sure LVMH is well aware of it. Yes I agree, fashion is a chess game, but in a (strategically) specific way: if you have financial power, you decide who is best for your company to make it prosper in the nearest future.
At the same time I believe nobody becomes completely forgotten in this world neither. The best example is John Galliano who had a great misfortune, but time has come for him to emerge.And look, now he is doing quite well! So I am convinced that really great designers could not possibly sink into oblivion nowadays and itshows certain solidarity in between brands and designers.
How do you explain the fact that now we witness a rise of new stars in fashion design,basically unknown yesterday, but totally adored today, as for instance, Alessandro Michele of GUCCI?
S. In fact, Alessandro Michele was not an absolute stranger in the fashion world. He has been making Gucci collections for many years side by side with Frida Giannini. Since she has decided to dedicate much more time to other activities, the Gucci Group has taken a decision to change the art direction position. True, he was not very famous to the big audience,but in the end he follows a new strategic line – that is of a very cool effortless luxury , if you know what I mean.
Together with Nicolas Ghesquere and Hedi Slimane they pursue a new aesthetics: a young girl in the big foreign world. She is a bit out of place and out of order with her very lost look and hair perfectly undone. It’s not an easy aesthetics –quite the opposite – it is a complex study about the lost generation. She might be from high society, yet completely weak and perplex. For example, Louis Vuitton in its last collection has shown us a survivor girl, a little warrior like Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games – that’s what I mean by today’s aesthetics.
We love this new image, we find it totally attractive for fashion and movie stories. In your opinion, how would general public react? Would they wear it?
S. The real truth is that the biggest deal for fashion brands is not the clothes but accessories – bags in particular. The major players, like for instance Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent and Gucci make their important numbers on accessories.Making bags leads to a more classical approach. Meanwhile in garments collection designer might go beyond any limits in creativity. This new Gucci girl actually helped a lot to sell a flower bag that became an absolute must-have this season. Jennifer Lawrence promoted the small Dior bag as well. So there are few really devoted fashion fans with enough financial potential whodo buy brands clothes.
Coming back to your magazine, GRAZIA has two versions: a classical and a digital one. Do you follow any statistics of how many people prefer the classical magazine and who actually reads only the digital version? What do you think will be the future of the press?
S. Being a weekly issue, GRAZIA digital version has the most incredible number if followers in Italy and this is also valid for the Grazia social network.
However, a lady who reads a classical GRAZIA magazine has a very attentive approach towards the fashion world, she also follows a lot the social and political events that we are covering.GRAZIA is not only about fashion, it is also quite a serious media for social alerts and issues.
In this sense I believe that the relationship with a paper magazine is much closer physically, it is exceptional sensation just as a book in your hand. Meanwhile, digital issue allows you to reach life in a faster way. I honestly love the both versions.
Actually a great generation of contemporary bloggers such as Eleonora Carisi, TamuMcPherson and Candela Novembre – they were all “born” in GRAZIA and afterwards have created their own businesses.
They live in a world of the 20 year old girls who will become ladies one day and will eventually buy the paper version. I have heard saying that GRAZIA is the magazine of the MAMMA . The generation gift that is given from mother to daughter
– A little bit as a Birkin bag
S Exactly as a Birkin ba
Among all the Fashion editors that I see you are the most charming, gentle and smiling lady despite your intense working schedule and social engagement comparable to a First Lady. How do you manage your time, how do you find the balance, your inner harmony and time for yourself?
S. I actually do not have time for myself – I have found time space for everybody: Grazia,my husband, my daughter and I do not have anything left for myself.
I am really amused by my job and I prefer it to any other pleasures. I firmly believe that there was one fundamental thing that helped me a lot: not to have a sense of guilty. Never! I had my daughter quite late after I have been worked, travelled and lived a full life. In the end I understood one simple thing – it’s not you, it’s the public opinion that makes you feel guilty and you have to avoid it!
What do you think about Instagram? Do you believe that all that beauty on the photos really correspond to real life models?
S. The truth is that in the last months Instagram has become quite real. It’s not fashionable anymore to make all kind of perfections, to embellish yourself. It’s more trendy to show your real side. And the most trendy hashtag now is “#noretouch”. Ok for filters but all the false beauty is definitelyOUT!
What would you advise to contemporary women with kids? How could they possibly keep the balance between work and family?
S I’d say if possible, bring kids with you as I did with my 3 years old daughter bringing her to Intimissimi on ice. She had so much fun and I had my work done! I spend all the evening with her as well and the only problem that in order to see my husband I have to go upstairs, as if we were still dating! So here is the balance. An eternal romance! And the understanding partner to share this romance with!
What would you have done if you did not pursue the journalist carrier?
S. I would have achieved a diplomatic statusif I had a chance. I have graduated from the political science and literature so I would have chosen a diplomatic path since I love finding out new cultures and my curiosity brings me everywhere.
If tomorrow there was no more INTERNET, would we survive – what do you think? Might we come back to the Fashion of the 80-s?
S. I think we would definitely come back to the style icons of the 80’s and to the less fast fashion. There would have definitely beenless vanity, less faux stars, less fast beauty and probably less bloggers. The most talented among them would have probably created other shapes of business, others would have simply disappeared. And we would have probably come back to the glorious triumph of the classical GRAZIA magazine!
Thank you so much Silvia! I am sure GRAZIA will be always in fashion despite this fast changing world!
Photo by Polina Shalaeva