Exclusive! Editor of Marie Claire Italy Antonio Mancinelli: “Sincerity and individuality are the two most important things in the fashion industry”

14:12, July 5

It’s not every day notable representatives of the fashion industry visit Yerevan, and in this sense, the visit of editor of Marie Claire Italy Antonio Mancinelli was truly an event. Why only Marie Claire? Signor Mancinelli’s portfolio features his work as a correspondent for prestigious periodicals such as Vogue Italia, Elle, Vanity Fair and Style, as well as his studies at the prestigious Academia del Costume e della Moda. STYLE’s editor sat down for an interview with the renowned journalist and fashion expert on the sidelines of Fashion Forum Yerevan 2019 (the forum ended recently) and was surprised to find out that it’s easy to interact freely with Antonio; he is not pretentious or arrogant, unlike the main character in the famous film about a fashion magazine…

When there are usually talks about fashion magazines, people immediately picture scenes from the film “The Devil Wears Prada”. Generally speaking, what goes on before the release of another issue of the magazine?

It’s often much more complicated (laughing-ed.)…As a news correspondent for the magazine, I can say that the process of releasing an issue of the magazine is, shall we say, complex. The team and I decide on the topics of news articles, and there is a director who tracks the photo shoots. The director is the one who decides whether we take photos in the Scottish style or in a punk or rock style…I make decisions on the reports, news stories, interviews, etc. I am currently in Yerevan, and of course, there will be a lot to write about…Our boss, Antonella Bussi always holds staff meetings, and we often have heated debates over the new issue of the magazine. Moreover, this is not just about fashion. We discuss serious topics about human rights, women, their role in the fashion industry and more…So, this is not “The Devil Wears Prada” at all. It is sometimes tougher because we are extremely careful with our readers, especially since there are three other magazines besides Marie Claire in Italy, including Vogue, Elle and Amica, and each of them has its own image. So, we need to make sure our magazine always sparks interest…

Since you talked about making sure the magazine is always interesting, judging from the content of fashion magazines, we are all ‘hostages’ to certain standards and clichés (being thin, having big lips, having big breasts, big butts are in style…)

Unfortunately, society is addicted to this, and this is exactly why Marie Claire tries to show different kinds of people. For instance, our cover recently featured ‘oversize’ model Ashley Graham. She is a beauty and famous, but doesn’t fit in the universally accepted concept of beauty. There have been photo shoots with Winnie Harlow, who suffers from the rare vitiligo disease. Would you like other examples of an appearance that is not clichéd? We have also released a cover featuring transgender actress and model India Moore, and this is also a non-standard image… 

I have also had an absolutely shocking experience…I was interviewing an amazing woman, activist and ambassador of Diversity Fashion Sinéad Burke. Although she is very short, it wouldn’t be correct to refer to as a dwarf. Sinéad is 28. Gucci, Armani and Tommy Hilfiger design clothes especially for her. She has reached the point where the word “dwarf” has been removed from the Irish dictionary and replaced with the words “small person”. She is an extremely smart woman who, if we can call it that, defeated me with her judgments. She asked me why there are no trendy and beautiful clothes for the elderly in Italy, which is the second country in the world with the highest number of elderly people.

As far as breasts, lips and other parts are concerned, there is a high percentage of plastic surgeries in Italy. What is the most painful is that, in essence, these plastic surgeries don’t save one from aging. After the surgery, you will still look 60, and people will clearly see that you have undergone a plastic surgery. You will not look like you did when you were 16. At Marie Claire, we often try to find out what can be done to have a better appearance without undergoing a surgery.

The mix of styles, brands and trends is the most in style nowadays. It is accepted to mix haute couture with mass-market. You have worn Gucci sneakers with an absolutely “democratic” shirt, and there is no glamor. Nevertheless, there are fears that mass-market will eventually win and push Haute Couture aside.

Of course, I strongly disagree that there are such fears. Look, you purchase an Armani jacket and have quite good taste to mix it with an ordinary Zara pants or Converse keds. Isn’t it wonderful? A young, modern mother likes to dress up and can allow herself to purchase expensive Gucci sneakers or a corrugated blouse. So, what’s the matter? Overall, sincerity and individuality are the two most important things in the fashion industry. Have you noticed that women have almost stopped buying overcoats? It’s not profitable. Dresses also aren’t too popular. Instead of that, they wear shorts, pants, shirts and skirts…Basically, they wear whatever they can combine. I would like to share a funny story about my good friend, Alessandro Sartori, who is a stunning artistic designer for Zegna which, as is known, is the institute of elegance for men. We were at a conference. He called me and said he wanted to give me a Zegna suit as a gift. They didn’t want me to wear anything else, and of course, I agreed. When I appeared in the stunning Zegna suit, he looked at me, got upset and said the following: “Why did you wear black shoes? No, no. Only white sneakers. Go to the boutique, and right now.” I was dressed wonderfully, but I went and purchased Zegna sneakers.

During your lecture at TUMO, you drew many parallels between Jaqueline Kennedy and modern-day female politicians. Does she symbolize style for you? Is she the perfect woman according to Antonio Mancinelli?

She started it all. She created what we refer to as “the image of the First Lady” and conveyed splendor to the White House. She knew very well that people who vote for her husband are covertly casting their votes for his wife as well. A lot depended on how she looked. Basically, she was an indescribably smart woman, just like Michelle Obama, who is a fantastic woman. As for Melania Trump, frankly, she is wretched. It seems as though she is going against this amplitude and stays in New York with her son…It is as if all the commotion of officials is boring for her…

Can you describe a person, his or her traits and persona based on that person’s appearance and look?

Of course, I can (laughing-ed.)...

How would you describe me?

I won’t give the description since it is very personal. As far as Signor Antonio is concerned, if there was no restricted time limit, I could talk with him longer and not only about fashion. I might have another opportunity to meet him again…

Anna Satyan

Photo- Arsen Sargsyan

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