The driving force behind fashion house Etro's womenswear, Veronica Etro moves seamlessly between tradition and innovation, creating cool clothes that are perfect for the "cosmopolitan globetrotter." The designer, who just unveiled her latest collection at Milan Fashion Week, told HELLO!'s Autumn-Winter Pret-a-Porter Special about about her design philosophy and how to create a look which transcends the trends.
HELLO!: Veronica, do you think it’s hard to dress well?
Veronica Etro: Clothes are like a second skin, so it’s essential to be able to express yourself freely and choose your own style, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the current fashion. That’s why our collections are positioned between cutting-edge and tradition – what we call 'New Tradition', which means clothes that don’t go out of style but are recognizably ours.
Veronica is head of womenswear for Etro, her family's fashion label Photo: Getty Images
H!: Which other designers do you most identify with?
VE: I’ve been keeping a close eye on other labels where, as with us, the print isn’t just a seasonal trend, it forms part of the label’s DNA, like Dries Van Noten.
H!: Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
VE: Unfortunately, time moves very fast in the fashion world. The collections come out one after another at a dizzying speed, which makes it hard to find time to research – the part that I find most stimulating and exciting.
Etro's spring-summer 2016 debuted in Milan on September 25 Photo: Getty Images
H!: Should a designer be a perfectionist?
VE: Mistakes can often be turned to our advantage, uncovering interesting angles. Personally, I don’t like to follow themes from A to Z. I prefer to work with a bit of ‘contamination’, adding contrast and breaking molds.
H!: Which of your creations are you most proud of?
VE: Each collection is like a son or daughter. It has its own unique character and personality and it’s hard to choose a favorite, because each has its own raison d’être.
H!: Why is fantasy so important in fashion?
VE: Imagination is a basic requirement if you work with prints and color. Each collection is a blank canvas that you need to fill. You need to be a bit of a visionary, with a child’s imagination – and the ability to perceive an alternative reality.
For the full interview, see HELLO!’s Autumn-Winter 2015 Pret-a-Porter Special, now available for digital download.