Photo: Courtesy of Anna Dello Russo
Most famous for her extravagant outfits, fashion icon Anna Dello Russo speaks to Vivienne Tang about her wanderlust, love of yoga and how she detoxes from fashion once in a while
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT FASHION PUBLISHING?
I grew up in Condé Nast, in Vogue. For me, print was my first love. It was the best school where I learnt about life. Franca Sozzani taught me so much. Working on a print magazine means you have to know everything. You learn everything, because first you’re a stylist, then you become an editor, a designer, and so on. You approach fashion from many different angles, and so it is the best school. I’m a journalist at heart, but it’s an evolution. You never stop. That’s also why I agreed to be a teacher.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN A FEW WORDS
Schizophrenic (laughs). I can change my mind in a second.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I always work on three levels. Vogue Japan is my main thing right now. I’m the creative director there, and that’s on a corporate level. Then I also became an ambassador and teacher at the Istituto Marangoni, which is a fashion school in Milan. That’s very experiential. And the third thing I’m working on is a special project that has to do with myself…after the launch of my book I’m now working on my documentary.
NOW THAT EVERYTHING IS ONLINE, DOES PRINT STILL HAVE A PLACE IN TODAY’S WORLD?
Absolutely. For me it’s just another channel now. The web is incredibly powerful. We have to be open to change. We should never be nostalgic, and I think that’s what fashion teaches you, how to be flexible and open to change. But for sure, magazines will become more like fashion books. There will be less than before. But yes, in every area, such as design, branding, etc, there is kind of a web tsunami. But it’s fantastic. It has opened another world and created opportunities and jobs.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF FASHION BLOGGERS?
It has become a real job. Bloggers have become influencers. Influencers have become designers. Designers have become artists. It was a starting point. It was a new approach. If you evolve, you can basically create a new job. Look how many influencers have invented their own role, like Chiara Ferragni. For me it’s an evolution. The important thing in fashion is to never be stuck in one place.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG?
It was always very clear in my mind that I wanted to be a fashion journalist. I was obsessed with magazines.
YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE OUTFIT
My favorite outfit is the next one. I don’t like nostalgic clothes. I did a big charity sale last year where 100% of the funds went to the British Fashion Council Education Foundation. All my clothes are gone. I only have a few pieces left.
YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER
I love all of them. You can’t just have one. I like to promote young designers.
YOUR LIFE ON IG LOOKS SUPER GLAMOROUS. IS THAT ALWAYS THE CASE?
I know how to edit pictures (laughs). And yes, I’m very privileged. I feel so happy and grateful for having this job. It makes my life very easy. I’m very lucky, I have the chance to go to the best places in the world, to see the best and also work with the best and most glamorous people. This is a privilege. That’s why now it’s time to give back. One year ago, I started to share all my stuff with the people. My life is incredibly beautiful, thank God. I’m really grateful.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
I’ve had a lot of mentors in my life. One of them was Franca Sozzani. She taught me to never give up and make the impossible possible. Be bold and trust your instinct. Trust your dreams.
YOU’VE JUST SPENT YOUR VACATION AT HURAWALHI AND KUDADOO. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE EXPERIENCE THERE?
The life in the water. I’m a total wellness person. I practice yoga and swim every day. For me to spend the whole day in this amazing ocean, watching the fish…this was the best experience. I enjoyed it so much. It was the first time for me to be in the Maldives and to see so much life under water. I was so surprised how beautiful the experience was, to snorkel and go scuba diving. Nature for me is the best teacher.
See also: Charlotte Olympia – Style Maven
WHAT TYPE OF YOGA DO YOU DO?
I’ve been doing Ashtanga for a long time. But every kind of yoga is good, also meditation and pranayama. But I always wake up very early, because I really think yoga is the best way to start the day.
TREASURED HOTEL OR RESORT
The last one I just visited. Kudadoo is one of the best places I’ve seen in my life.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION
South of Italy where I come from and where I have a house. I can really have some time out there. I live in the middle of nowhere with my cat and my boyfriend. It’s a very quiet place.
3 THINGS YOU WOULD PACK
When I pack for a holiday, I go really light, because I need to detox from clothes (laughs). I always have my yoga stuff, my bikini and my swimming goggles.
YOUR FAVORITE SPA
All the spas in Asia. I love shiatsu and Thai massage.
YOUR SIGNATURE SCENT
I have my Acampora perfume oil from the South of Italy.
YOUR BEAUTY SECRET
Yoga makes me feel young. If I don’t do it every day, my body can be stiff. But of course, beauty comes from within.
WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT? WHAT DO YOU WORRY ABOUT?
Worry? I don’t worry, I’m very happy. You don’t have to worry about anything, that’s a very paranoid way to live. You always have to be positive.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Literature, theatre, music, art. They come with a beautiful expression of creativity. It keeps me young and curious.
ON YOUR PLAYLIST
I listen to Italian music, classical music, also opera. But that can change. I also love Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West.
FAVORITE ACCOUNTS YOU FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM
I follow a lot of fashion accounts, artists, musicians. It’s mostly about my job. But I like all the Kardashians. I like how they communicate on Instagram. And this whole new generation on the web…I find it very interesting. I follow Bella and Gigi Hadid, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez…this whole generation that was born into social media.
WEBSITES YOU REGULARLY VISIT
Mainly for fashion information. BOF, all the Vogues. They’re all friends of mine, so I want to see what they’re doing.
THE BOOK ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE
The last book I read was The Picture of Dorian Gray. I needed to reread it.
SOMETHING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
We need a pair of high heels (laughs).
To pray every day and to be grateful.