Culture, Diversity & Ethics in Fashion With Francesca Marotta E27
E27 – Arab-descended, Sicily-born, Belgium-raised, London-living (via Los Angeles), Award-Winning Designer, Creative Director, Fashion Stylist and Magazine Editor-In-Chief – Francesca Marotta. A proud, indigenous woman of the world, Francesca personifies passion.
Since falling in love with the sewing machine as a very young girl, Francesca has expressed herself through fashion. Self-employed from 18, her work has been published in magazines on every continent (apart from the North Pole!)
A civil rights activist from the age of 9, Francesca’s experiences of discrimination have framed her worldview and led to her keeping social justice and professional integrity at the forefront of her ethos.
Topics discussed during this episode:
- White privilege.
- Diversity, inclusion and representation in fashion.
- The pressures on women, especially mothers and female carers, in the male-dominated fashion industry.
- ‘Fashion as art’ and not just clothing.
- ‘Fashion as a form of modern-day slavery.
- Fame & empire-building vs integrity.
- Investing in yourself.
ISSUE ONE OF ZION ZANE. “WE ARE INDIGENOUS”
Designer in the soul, Londoner of heart and Sicilian in the skin…”
“The New Enfant Terrible of Fashion Entrepreneurship” – A creator to the end of her fingertips
Sicilian-born Francesca says her roots play a significant part in how she envisions and creates her Business Ventures. She embraces and embodies all of her ancestries as a Sicilian, American Indian, Mediterranean, North African, East African, Middle Eastern, and Ashkenazi Jew.
Her taste for designing, creating a concept and couture has been with her since the tender age of four. By age ten, she started designing and sewing outfits for her little sister’s dolls. Her designs had an edge to them, a different touch to them.
They are rare, those designers who can honestly say that they know how to sew, alter, iron, etc… that they are 100% involved from the designing to the production and the shows.
Her designs and creations have won her numerous awards in the UK, France (Talons Aiguilles and Best Young Designer Award), Turkey (Young Designer Award) and Italy (Praemium Award).
Francesca Marotta has had shows at London Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Philadelphia Fashion Week, Istanbul’s Marmara Fashion Week, Made In Medi Fashion Week in Italy, Los Angeles Fashion Week, Oakland, California, Lille in France, Liège in Belgium, Dublin in Ireland and Osaka in Japan.
Celebrities such as Lauryn Hill, Natalie Dormer, Natasha Bedingfield, Jessie J, Ana Matronic, Whitney Port, Andreja Pejic, Skin from Skunk Anansie, Jhene Aiko, KarruecheTran, Kristin Knox, Kelly Brook, Irina Lazareanu, Jodie Kidd have worn the label.
This is the label to wear if you want to stand out in the crowd and make a statement.
Discover an Artist who never waits for other people’s inspirations to dare her differences! She is simply conceptual; a trend-setter, an ‘Avant-Gardiste’.
As a wardrobe designer, her main accomplishments were to work with cinematographers: Michael Seresin, Vanya Peirani-Vignes, Jude Campbell AD, Francesco Caradonna, and Toni Castells on his “Life from Light” Opera.
This is where her work ethic, creative vision and strength lie. Her approach to style has the “Je ne sais quoi” factor.
Her thorough knowledge of the fashion industry, designing and garment construction, and her deep love and respect for craftsmanship and textiles translate into her work.
Her work has been published in: Harpers Bazaar China, Vision China, Zink Magazine, Vogue Japan, Vogue Italia, Vogue USA, Vogue UK, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times “How To Spend It”, Creem USA, Treats, British Journal of Photography, Rankins issue of S Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Fabulous Magazine and 500+ other publications.
Her Celebrity folio includes:
The Scissor Sisters, Stuart Zender, Charlotte Hope, Andreja Pejic, Sophie Anderton, Ye Mingzi, Amy Lennox, Camilla Kerslake, Meeta Raval, Sir Steve Redgrave, Gianluca Vialli, Great Britain National Rugby League Team, to name a few.
Companies such as Warwick Guitars, Agresti Luxury Safe Boxes, Malmaison Hotels, Hotel Du Vin, Toni & Guy, Trevor Sorbie, and Vidal Sassoon have trusted her vision.
She is associated with Ki Price, Nicolas Velter, Casey Moore, Squiz Hamilton, Arron Dunworth, Oggy Yordanov, Woland, Andrew Farrar, Paulina Surys, Alexander Beer, Nuno Veloso, Julius Zulkarnaen…
As a Creative Director and Visual Merchandiser, one of her career highlights was being in charge of “Cultural Invasion” Pop-Up Stores by CMG Global in California.
Career paths included international design, consultancy, directing, broadcasting, styling, and business mentoring experience; Francesca started a new creative venture, Zion Zane magazine.
She has interviewed the likes of Prince Koussou Alam-Sogan (Prince of Dahomey), The US Secretary of The Interior Deb Haaland, Leonard Peltier (The Longest Serving Political Prisoner in American History), Patricia Manfield aka Heir, Renato Balestra, The Bloom Twins, Wen Jun Lau, Ninette Murk, Oscar Wang, Nina Runsdorf. The list of personalities goes from musical artists to fashion icons to entrepreneurs, and royalty, including members of the British Royal Family.
She is currently styling and working in art direction, brand and creative consultancy, guest designing, casting and production.
There are people that you would like to see every day once you’ve met them. You know…when in a split second, you are sure that you are dealing with someone nice, someone who is worth it.
Someone you can appreciate and can admire their talent and their work. You can spend hours watching them in the middle of their creating stages…
She definitely has The Midas Touch…well…
She does it all with evident and deep pleasure.” – francescamarotta.com
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington. The author is one of Francesca’s ultimate civil rights and entrepreneurship heroes.
Francesca started work as a civil rights activist aged 9. She had a school teacher who would the class write to Amnesty International every Friday, which led to Francesca organising my first anti-racism march aged 12.
Grinding All My Life by her late friend Nipsey Hussle, whom she was blessed to have known and who, she states, gave her business advice like no other. The lyrics of this song are indeed a definition of Francesca – “I know His Spirit would love to be mentioned”.
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