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Anna Dello Russo On Today’s Fashion Business

In front of a group of promising fashion students at l'Istituto Marangoni in Paris, the school’s ambassador, fashion veteran and trendsetter Anna Dello Russo was there to present her book ADR BOOK: BEYOND FASHION, and give some solid advice about the industry.  

Is it a good thing that fashion is becoming more inclusive?
Yes it is a great thing. Because finally everyone is being invited to the party, it’s becoming a cultural mix and very diverse. We don’t only have Italian or French fashion, but international fashion from all over the world. For example, Virgil Abloh (an American) is handling a French maison like Louis Vuitton, which was generally given to French people only.

There is more opportunity for new students to get promoted and handle big fashion projects. New fashion jobs and titles are being created everyday, not only traditional ones like stylist, hair and makeup artist or photographer. 

When did you start with social media?
I jumped on the bandwagon quite early from the very beginning I would say. I contributed to the street style fashion phenomenon. I understood that I had to go with the flow, people were looking more at us than at models on the catwalk. So I started my blog to give all the details and it was a success. This was the new editorial era, an editorial of myself. 

So is it true you change up to five outfits per day?
Absolutely. I want to give new material to the photographers because they get bored of the same look. I want to show fashion on real people. Street style was very strong for the past 10 years, but now it’s changing again. Now everyone is looking for a new step. Fashion is a party, a musical that wants to bring more and more people to it. 

How much clothes do you own?
I have no space anymore and I really needed more room. When you obsess too much it means something is going wrong. I wanted to recycle my looks and share the passion with other people. So we donated them, and I felt so relieved when we raised so much money for fashion students. We sold many pieces between Christie's and Net-a-porter. It was a very important part of my life, I feel more conscious and less fanatic. It’s my time to give back; I mean I don’t want to go to the tomb with these clothes.

Everyone says that magazines are dying, what do you think?
Print magazines will be forever; maybe they will be more of a book and not issued massively. But now we have a new way of doing journalism, like podcasts, Instagram, blogs. You get all the information instantaneously.

Talking about books, we are here to celebrate yours. Explain why you wanted to do it?
It is not just a book but also a magic box. I didn’t want just a fashion book but an experience of my last 30 years. Fashion is liberty and freedom. So you have different parts, if you want to read about me you can open the diary, and if you want to know more about fashion catwalk, you go through the popup book. You also have the looks, what to wear and what not to wear and the editorial part too. It’s kind of my form of obsession in details.

What is the newest fashion rule?
There’s no rule. Everything is now old fashioned because it keeps changing. I think we are in the middle of a fracture, 5 years feel like 10 so you have to be more flexible. 

I am proud to be in the middle of it all. I think the best school was the 90s where everything was aimed for high quality, we didn’t make a lot of money but we wanted to have constant quality. 

What is your advice for a better life?
Go to the gym, exercise regularly, a healthy mind is in a healthy body. Please practice something everyday, tango, gym, yoga… any activity. Especially in the morning, take some time for you to feel the strong energy. Clear up your mind so you become less obsessed with your competitors and make your body stronger. A lot of people go into a downward spiral because it’s a tough industry. Your body will tell you when is the right time to go and when to step back.

Finally, what are some tips to succeed in fashion?
You have to fight for your dreams because it’s the fire that keeps you going. Now you have to be smarter and more original, you have to be unique. You have many more tools to express yourself and reach out to the source of your dreams. I was from the south of Italy where fashion was inexistent, so I decided to go to Milan and work like crazy to reach my goals. Don’t be lazy, decide to move forward. Everything can be an opportunity to seduce your boss. 

Purchase Anna Dello Russo’s new ADR BOOK: BEYOND FASHION here.