Fashion through the eyes of a guru

Natural, funny, lively, intelligent and a well-established woman; but also a wife, a mother of two, Beatrice and Federico, and grandmother of  Rebecca and Tobia.
Adriana has gained experience in the luxury industry since the very beginning of her career, dealing with the most important names in the business, playing a key role in the buying decisions of the most prestigious multi-brand store in Hong Kong. 
The interview with Adriana Camerini Saralvo.


Q: Can you tell me a little bit more about your career and how you started working in the fashion industry?

A: I started working in fashion, for a multi-store buying office, called AGAM, as a market representative for Neiman Marcus. I was overseeing three departments at first: Menswear, furs, and home, getting responsibility for them all after three years. I worked at AGAM for ten years, then I was appointed Manager of Joyce HK, one of the most significant retailers in Asia, resident buying office in Milan.

Q: As an Italian, how do you feel working with people with a completely different culture from yours?

A: It’s a challenge but it’s interesting. It is very important to understand the company’s mission and vision and the customer’s tastes and needs.

Q: What are Chinese customers looking for, from luxury brands nowadays?

A: Mainly luxury brands with a good reputation and brand awareness;  but some customers are now getting more conscious about fashion and more confident of their own taste and style and so are getting more willing to explore new brands not that recognized. They are basically starting to appreciate their own individuality.

Q: Which are the top brands for these clients?

A: As always Italian high-end designer brands, the “usual” ones, and new such as OFF-WHITE, Vetements, Balenciaga, more in general edgy street style brands.

Q: Which are in your opinion the best emerging brands in Italy?

A: Sara Battaglia, Attico, Alanui, LaDoubleJ. These brands, despite their “short life”, are still bought by important and renowned stores worldwide. Is not easy to give to a collection an edgy style with strong personality, good quality and a valuable and distinctive fashion content. Chapeau!


LaDoubleJ: Girls Gone Wild

Q: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

A: Joyce Ma. My style teacher

Q: What do you think are the most important skills for a buyer?

A: Passion, fashion attitude, customer understanding, organisational capabilities and little math 🙂

Q: What is luxury to you?

A: Exclusivity in fashion. Silence in my life…

Francesca Borroni

10 Questions to…

I had the pleasure to interview a very nice man, Andrea Franchini. He is now based in New York and he is working at Hotel Americano, a  boutique hotel in Chelsea from Grupo Habita, famous for its Bar Americano,its amazing design, for its magic rooftop pool and not only!

Here are my 10 questions to Andrea Franchini!

1. As you are working in a boutique hotel, what is your idea of “glamour and luxurious”?

I work for a Mexican hospitality group, Grupo Habita, whose founders developed a chain of design hotels in Mexico and the US.  I live in New York and Hotel Americano is my base. Our hotel is design driven and it is an “under the radar” destination.  Hotel Americano was developed in West Chelsea, the gallery district, when literally nothing was around.  It quickly became a destination for the art and fashion community because of its distance from the crowded and more glamorous places in NYC and because our hotel, restaurants and bars became a sort of artsy club without the need of a membership. So to answer your question we offer an experience different from what comes to mind when most people think of glamour and luxury. We deliver a unique and cultural experience.

  1. Why do you choose hospitality sector?

I didn’t choose it. My career brought me here by coincidence. You know were you start, you don’t know where you end.

  1. Which are the principal aspects in a hospitality career?

Definitely the pleasure of hosting people and understanding your guest’s needs in advance. Of course “vision”. And hard work, work, work.

  1. Is it different from the career of other sectors?

It truly is. It is a lifestyle.

  1. What about your professional records? How did you get there?

After managing night clubs for many years in Rome and other fancy destinations like Capri, Porto Cervo and Cortina, I founded the marketing and advertising agency “Selected Adv” in 2007 along with 2 classmates (we were still students at Luiss Guido Carli in Rome!). We developed a unique network amongst the top 10 Italian universities which hired us as the exclusive agency to sell marketing and advertising campaigns within their premises. The business turned out to be quite successful as it matched the needs of students (services and fun activities), corporations (brand and sales activations) and colleges (fund-raising). Every actor involved was getting something out of this business model.

  1. What are your main daily activities as a director of events and brand development?

I was recently promoted to a more involved role which expands my responsibilities to all the new hotel openings in the US, the next ones being Chicago and Los Angeles. I supervise all the special events, partnerships and opportunities to develop our brand and business. We do so leveraging from the deep connections that Hotel Americano has built during the past years within the art, fashion and design industries.

  1. Shows, exhibitions, parties. What are the main events in your hotel?

We partner with many art fairs like Frieze and The Armory Show in NY and Zona Maco in Mexico City, as well as with many exhibitors coming to New York during Design Week. Many art galleries, fashion brands, and museums host their after show parties and dinners here at Hotel Americano. Of course this fun energy spills out to the other public areas of the hotel and provide our hotel guests with a whole experience. “Lobby Socializing” is very important.

  1. What are the best promotion channels for a Hotel, and why?

We only advertise the hotel in a select few publications like Interview Magazine, Artforum, Surface Magazine, Cultured Magazine, Apartmento, Wallpaper. We have a series of very cool ad pages which include our logo and one object. Other than that, it is through events and partnerships that the hotel promotes itself. The organic word of mouth and buzz is the most powerful tool to promote a boutique hotel. Social media of course is another channel we use for promotion.

  1. Which are, in your opinion, future trends to focus in the tourism market?

I believe nowadays it is all about delivering the right experience to your guests.  

  1. As an Italian, how do you feel and live in the US?

New York is still the capital of the world. Each person you meet as something interesting to share with you. You learn something everyday.

I love my country but unfortunately I see things getting worse year by year. I partially disagree with those pointing fingers against our politicians. They are Italians as well. It is a much deeper issue: it’s a cultural and generational problem. Italy owns its heritage and the country has one of the most impressive landscapes. Unfortunately tourism operators can’t do that much when infrastructure is lacking and bureaucracy represents a barrier to attract and develop business. Within this negative background I see pleasant exceptions like Milan. The Expo helped the city to change its shape. Arts and culture attracted clusters of international brands, designers, artists, students and professionals. Change ultimately comes from creative minds.


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10 questions to Confindustria Federorafi

Confindustria Federorafi represents more than 500 Italian companies (industrial and artisanal) that work in the gold silver and jewel segment. Most of the companies are located in Arezzo, Vicenza, Macerata, Milan, Valenza and Naples and transform in jewels more than the 70% of the gold, silver, platinum and palladium wrought in Italy and then exported worldwide.
Federorafi is the most qualified interlocutor of the gold-silver-jewels smith Italian producers not only because it protects their rights and interests but also because it takes part in the debates of national and transnational problems of general interest.
Thanks to my professor Andrea Bellomo, I had the chance to interview Stefano de Pascale, Director of Federorafi, and Dimitri Stella, Vice President Vicar, who shared with me the panoramic of the Made in Italy gold silver and jewel segment.

Continue reading “10 questions to Confindustria Federorafi”

10 Questions: Giovanna Brambilla


Graduated in Economics at Bocconi University, Giovanna Brambilla started her career as marketing manager at Calzaturificio di Varese, part of Benetton Group.

In 1992 she became part of TMC Amrop International, a Human Resources consulting group, as responsible for research, then became consultant and partner of the TMP Worldwide Search.

Mrs Brambilla has been part of board of director of Alumni Bocconi for four years.

Nowadays with significative experience in Industrial, Customer, Fashion and Luxury goods, she is a partner at Value Research, a human resources consulting firm that helps companies to find leaders and specialists within Europe.

Continue reading “10 Questions: Giovanna Brambilla”

10 Questions to Alberto Festa, President BULGARI USA By Linda & Federica

Here we are with a very special interview to a “big” of Luxury field: Our protagonist of the day is Alberto Festa.

We had the chance to meet him during a lesson fully dedicated to the luxury watch sector, his passion and carisma completely stole our attention and that’s why we asked him to go more in deep for what concerns his career and experience.

He is part of the Bulgari family from Sept 2000, he worked as Area Managing Director for Italy and South Europe, managing the second largest market of company in all product categories. From Jan 2012 he became President North America, managing US and Canada for all channels DOS, wholesale and perfume.

Actually he is President Bulgari USA. Continue reading “10 Questions to Alberto Festa, President BULGARI USA By Linda & Federica”

10 Questions to Carlo Mazzoni

Carlo Mazzoni is an Italian writer and journalist based in Milan.
We decided to interview him because of his new challenge, the launch of his new magazine The Fashionable Lampoon.


Q: You have a background made of very different experiences. Which is the fil rouge that connects all? Which is the activity that rapresents you the most?

A: Well definitelly, I’m a dentist! (laughing ed), I have a degree in medecine; people define me as the “fashion acrobat”, like crazy! My first article was published on Vogue Italia, I was 23 years old and in the meanwhile I had the dream to publish a romance; the dream came true in 2007 when “I Postromantici” was published. Later on in 2009 and 2011 other two romances came out, “Disordine” and “Due amici” and I decided to found with Martina Mondadori “Memoria”, holding that nowadays is in charge of all my editorials projects. Without any doubt the activity that mostly represents myself is writing. Writing romances is a dream, fashion publishing is a job. I see fashion as a lively sector, energetic, rilevant abroad, part of a worlwide system that still brings values and economic rilevance to Italy. Continue reading “10 Questions to Carlo Mazzoni”

Interview with Madina Visconti di Modrone: “A thin line between fine and fashion jewelry”

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Twenty -four-year old jewelry designer Madina Visconti di Modrone, who is following in her mother’s footsteps, has created a line for the the brand Osanna e Madina Visconti di Modrone by combining her sense of style with her love for nature. She associates nature with her childhood and with the recollection of the time spent in her garden, in Grazzano Visconti, near Piacenza, where she used to revel in the different varieties of flowers and plants. A ring she always wears – made from a stone she picked up in the garden- is a reminder of those happy years which are also reflected in her early creations of ivy flower and feather headbands, a harmonious synthesis of present, past and future.

atelier madina

madina atelier1 Continue reading “Interview with Madina Visconti di Modrone: “A thin line between fine and fashion jewelry””

Interview with Alberto Moretti: “A Beacon of Enlightment in Shoe Design”

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Alberto Moretti, a Florentine entrepreneur, revamped “Arfango”, a well-known brand on the “Made in Italy” footwear scene, by relaunching it in 2008. His fondness for “his” shoes and his passion for his work immediately becomes apparent as he proudly describes his creative work.

Alberto grew up following in his father’s footsteps. In the late 1990s entrepreneur Antonio Moretti, from Arezzo, became a partner in Car Shoe, in which Alberto collaborated in product development. This experience and his passion led him to create his own collection. Taking inspiration from Arfango’s traditional leather loafer, Moretti revolutionized it by using silk velvet to create what is now known as the “Velvet Shoe”, a silk velvet, hand-stitched loafer available in a wide range of colours, from flame red to royal blue, from mauve to the more traditional brown, blue and black. Alongside the original brown leather loafer, entrepreneur Alberto Moretti’s creations also include a women’s line.

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Continue reading “Interview with Alberto Moretti: “A Beacon of Enlightment in Shoe Design””

10 Questions: Laura Polinoro

ALESSI3 Laura Polinoro, LPWK’s Art Director working for ALESSI S.p.A. , who created over 400 products for this company, explains some details of her precious work for this “Italian Factory of Design”.  Specifically, Laura Polinoro has been the head of the Alessi Study Center (“CSA”) since 1990, working as a meta-project Designer besides being Art Director.  She regularly meets with the company’s chiefs to focus on strategy and positioning. They brainstorm on where the company is at the moment and future strategies. Mrs. Polinoro listens to the company’s needs, and then creates a meta-project to develop a new product line, thus enabling the company to explore new horizons and ideas. Continue reading “10 Questions: Laura Polinoro”

Let me introduce you “The Hands” behind fashion

What would happen to fashion designers without someone able to actually reproduce and recreate their beautiful sketches?
Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld


Diane Von Fustenberg


Valentino sketches


I wanted to dedicate a post on this beautiful, but not so recognized (at least not as it should), profession: the tailor. Last summer I had the chance to meet Belma Salihovic, a talented young tailor that used to work for the Haute Couture of a famous fashion house and one day decided to leave that job to pursue her aspirations and follow her own creativity.

Continue reading “Let me introduce you “The Hands” behind fashion”