This blog post is about Stefano Guerrini, my teacher for Publishing Companies at IED and self-confessed pop archaeologist, style searcher and fashion enthusiast. His classes were anything but boring, full of information about all the who’s who in the fashion industry that every fashion student must know. He has an impressive career that includes collaborating with magazines like Donna, L’Uomo Vogue, manchic.com, bellomag.com, EFF magazine, MFF, www.ashadedviewonfashion.com , as well as some work as a stylist. Currently he is editor at large of www.dapasserella.it and is collaborating with Velvet and modemononline.com. With the creative group I.n.I. (founded with Michele Pollini), he deals with exhibitions and shows related to fashion and art. He is also an active contributor on the web through his website www.webelieveinstyle.it and blog http://lepilloledistefano.gqitalia.it/.Thank you for this interview and for encouraging and inspiring all your students by sharing your passion with us.
Cover photograph: Stefano by Luigi Miano
Photo by Isa Castano
Adayinthelifeof: Why did you decide to make such a big change in your career path and choose fashion?
Stefano Guerrini: I’ve always been a very lonely boy while growing up. I spent my days on tv, watching old Hollywood classics and my aesthetic process began there, with Fred and Ginger and Hollywood glamour! Then as a teenager I went crazy for people like Madonna, Duran Duran, George Michael, Spandau Ballet…all music stars with a very specific link to fashion and style! At the beginning I didn’t know how to turn my passion into a job, a lot of things happened by chance and many things happened and transformed a young guy following supermodel around at the fashion shows and taking autographs and pictures into what I am today (considering that I don’t consider myself important at all!).
Adayinthelifeof: What is fashion to you?
Stefano Guerrini: Fashion has always been my escape from reality. I was studying something else, but every now and then I came back to that same pages of Vogue Italy and Interview magazine, wondering how I could be part of that but at the same time knowing I was responsible for my choices which led me somewhere else…in the end destiny decided in a way for me. But still today fashion is a dream for me, but a very serious one, at least one that I take very seriously. Fashion is a world full of wannabes, like every other world, but also full of very very, very talented and serious people, who work a lot and who, as me maybe, dream a lot!
Adayinthelifeof: Describe a typical day in your life
Stefano Guerrini: Don’t have one!!! I spend a lot of time on trains from my home country to Milan and back, so it depends on where I am! If at home I try to sleep a bit so I wake up a bit late! And I spend the day in front of my PC writing, a bit of time with my family and sometimes going to meet some friends at A.N.G.E.L.O. the important vintage place that happens to be in my home town or to the Mazzini Archives that happen to be in a town near mine! If in Milan I’m often at IED teaching or around town for fashion meetings to see the collections, to choose clothes for fashion shoots and talk to people presenting myself, my work and so on!
Adayinthelifeof: If you woke up one day and you had turned into Anna Wintour, how would you spend the day?
Stefano Guerrini: Talk to Andre and Grace a lot, since they are my fashion heroes! Going around to see preview of designer collections, trying to be a bit more avant-garde. But I think Anna is doing a wonderful job! Can I change the name in the question with Katie Grand’s one? :O) I’d love to be in her shoes and create my own personal ‘LOVE’issue! It’s totally me!!!
Adayinthelifeof: Who is your style inspiration? Why?
Stefano Guerrini: I haven’t a style icon I can base my style on. I have a very peculiar body (let’s call it curvy) so it was difficult growing up to find a personal style that could fit me. In the end I know I’m not a minimalist so I tend to love people who aren’t afraid to dare like Andrè Leon Talley. My love for scarves, brooches, vests, bracelets…was something I discovered as an adult. I understood that i love to dress very basically, but to maximise my look with accessories!
Photo by: Andrea Ferrato
Adayinthelifeof: Name 2 things you cannot start the day without? And 2 things you cannot end the day without?
Stefano Guerrini: A ham sandwich or a good cream brioche (it depends if I’m home or away). Also checking emails and social networks is something I immediately do in the mornings. Cannot end the day without a hug to my dear parents, if I’m away a phone call with them and having checked my blog and my site. Also a list of things to do the next days is something I do every day.
Adayinthelifeof: Who according to you is the biggest loss to the fashion industry in the recent years? Why?
Stefano Guerrini: I’ve always loved Alexander McQueen, I’ve always admired his eye on fashion, the craftsmanship of his work, his wild imagination and all the cultural things that he managed to put inside just a simple garment. So I think his death was a really great loss for the fashion industry although Sarah Burton is doing a wonderful job taking his place. I will miss Lee a lot. Same for Isabella Blow, she was a huge cool hunter and an amazing character, seeing her around the fashion shows was always refreshing and funny. And we all miss her amazing eye on new talents! Can I say that also the loss of Italians Ferré and Versace had a huge impact on me. I grew up with their amazing works and I think they have gone away really way too soon!
Adayinthelifeof: In the coming five years what major changes do you foresee in fashion?
Stefano Guerrini: Web and social network have had an huge influence on fashion in the last few years so I think we are only at the beginning. I don’t think magazines or typical fashion shows will disappear but I think a lot of things are going to change. Everything will be supported by new media and technology. In Italy, sad but true, we are a little late in adopting it! At the same time I think GLOCAL will be an important word…people will like new small, peculiar and very well done things, something unique and I think local specialization will help style. So new local realities, but that can go global, selling for example through the web, thanks to etsy, farfetch whatever, will be very important. People who create at home but will have new interesting ideas and selling worldwide craftsmanship and beauty!
Adayinthelifeof: If given the chance to spend the day with a celebrity who would you choose and why?
Stefano Guerrini: I’m very afraid of answering this one. They say: never meet a person you idolize, cos you could be deluded! But If I really have to answer..ok…M-A-D-O-N-N-A. She has always had a huge influence on me and on my visual world.
Adayinthelifeof: What indispensable piece of advice can you give to fashion students today?
Stefano Guerrini: I always say to students that there are two aspects you can relate to in this work the first is something I really suggest to work on and it’s: study study study. Enter each link you find on the web, google every name you hear of at school, go to every exhibition you can, read a lot and , especially see every movie you can! Culture is an important part of working in fashion in my opinion! The other things is based on connections and it’s something you can work on but sometimes you cannot. Being at the right place in the right moment is something you cannot work on, but you can work on connections that can help you being in the right place at the right tme. Also I always say to be humble, open and gentle. First: you’ll never know which will turn to be the person with whom you have been not gentle, second: when I meet someone I have to work with I choose the humble one, not the one who thinks he/she is Lady Gaga without having the same experience and background.