She is so elegant, and all while mixing bold colors and embroidered skirts to perfection. It’s something I’ve always admired about her collections – they’re vibrant and fun, yet with this undeniable lady sensibility, much like Stella’s personal style.
To top it off, we got to shoot her at the home where The Great Beauty was set – it was filmed all over Rome, indulgent parties included, and it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film! A real treat, combined with sincere hospitality from Stella.
Describe your style in three words.
Mètissage, cultural trompe-l’œil, counter-colonization.
If you had to pick one outfit to wear every day, what would it be?
A striped shirt for my European roots and a design motif skirt to represent my Haitian roots. It was the native island of my mother, and the first independent black republic in the world!
Your collections are full of amazing prints, and your passion for them shows in your personal wardrobe. Where did your love for patterns come from?
Prints just amuse me! In my creations, they also play a role in counterbalancing the often structured tailoring. All of my designs are a mix of traditional Italian craftsmanship and, opposing, my Wax & Stripes philosophy.
Such unusual prints aren’t always so accepted, but I’ve noticed that certain places, London for example, are ready for this trend.
How has your blended heritage of Italian and Haitian guided your style?
My two worlds exist side by side in balance, and they each totally influence my work; my inspiration always comes from my personal story, from my Italo-Haitian origins.
Few countries can boast the artistic, historical and cultural layering experience of Italy, and the value of tradition is here but we still move with the changing times. On the other hand, Haiti’s cultural métissage is inherent in my work. I believe fashion can be a cultural translator, re-establishing one’s perception of symbols, stories and worlds through style.
And how does living in Rome influence the way you dress?
There is a lot of Italian influence in my style – I would say exactly half! Strolling through the streets of Rome, you are so inspired by the infinite inspiration, especially the history and art…
Your glasses are a signature. What do you love about these in particular?
It’s a frame for those who don’t want to hide, but embellish, stand out!
What is your fragrance?
My signature is Jasmin Noir by Bulgari.
Do you have a fashion muse?
What has always inspired me, even today, and continues to affect my artistic and human sensibility are the stories of women who are common but extraordinary in their own way. It’s definitely always been the oppressed who have inspired me most – slaves and prisoners, rather than queens or princesses.