Runway Maven

Alberta Ferretti Opens Up About Her Decades-Long Career and Style Secrets

Our fashion editor talks with the design visionary.

By Heather Dunhill February 26, 2016

Picmonkey collage ziwfak

Italian designer and visionary Alberta Ferretti has always been a touchstone for romantic evening wear for the confident, approachable, modern woman. For decades, she’s been driven to create timeless designs with the guiding principle that the woman wears the dress, not the other way around. When you hear just a few names from the miles-long client list, you’ll know it’s true: Helen Mirren, Princess Madelein of Sweden, Naomi Campbell, Imogen Poots, Sarah Paulson, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Richie and Kate Beckinsale. 

If you haven't seen Alberta Ferretti's latest collection, or worn one of her divine creations, pop into The Met on St. Armands Circle.  But, before you go, I caught up with the iconic dressmaker for a quick Q&A on what's changed since she began her journey to what more women should do. With that, here's Alberta Ferretti herself.

Alberta ferretti ritratto colori fvqaou

Tell us about this dreamy resort collection–it’s everything for the modern romantic.
For this resort collection, I imagined an independent woman on a romantic getaway in an exotic country. She’s wearing light and delicate fabrics that create fluid forms in sensual colors.

What makes designing special for you year after year?
I'm inspired by the women of today. They are typically mothers, wives and career women. They are socially engaged and blessed with a strong personality.

Sandra bullock sqyubg

What’s one of the things you’ve changed since beginning this journey?
Nothing. I’m just as determined as I always was, with the same desire to look ahead.

02 naomi   campbell   for   alberta   ferretti   limited   edition 642x1024 pglnex

Where do you find refuge away from the hustle of fashion design?
I love working with a team and having a social life filled with friends. However, when I need to get away, I’m fortunate to feel my best in the house where I live. It’s in the middle of a park, with old beautiful trees, and it’s on the water. Looking out to the ocean and being surrounded by nature always regenerates me. It’s my favorite getaway.

Nicole richie qqv6ue

 And for the lightning round…

More women should…
Believe in themselves and be aware of their worth, their strength and their position in the world--without ever sacrificing their femininity.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being a designer and I never wanted to be anything else. It wasn’t just a choice; it became a natural progression. My mother had a tailor’s shop, so I was surrounded with fabrics, patterns and women constantly trying on clothes. I grew up with fashion all around me. If I didn’t become a designer, I would have chosen a creative career that transformed ideas into reality.

What is your most treasured piece of clothing?
I think the value of a garment depends on various factors, and for this reason, I always find it difficult to choose only one. The most precious item of clothing I own is a vintage velvet caftan with golden hand-embroidered details that I bought in Myanmar, and a sari that once belonged to a Maharani that I bought in India.

The price of a garment is not necessarily important to me; I care about how unique or special it is and if it tells a story or evokes an emotion. I’ve created my personal vision by making pieces that last a lifetime. I believe that clothes should conjure emotions so that we are reminded of them when we wear it on different occasions. A dress is often more important than one would think. For me, a dress can change your life.

03 imogen   poots   for   alberta   ferretti 681x1024 zseyel
Filed under
Show Comments