Eleonora Carisi: Picture Perfect
To celebrate couture, Lifestyle Mirror caught up with It Girl blogger, concept store owner, and designer Eleonora Carisi as she raced between fashion weeks in Paris and Milan. Get her insider’s perspective. Directed by Robert Rabensteiner. Photos by Raphael Lugassy.
Among a crush of well-heeled people at the Paris shows, your eye immediately goes to Italian fashion blogger Eleonora Carisi. Maybe it’s her wavy brown hair—playfully ombre’d with pinky-purple ends. Or perhaps her distinctive beauty mark sets her apart. Or maybe it’s the camera clutched in her hand.
Carisi has always stood out from the crowd. Born and raised in Turin, Italy, she launched her wildly successful blog called JouJouVilleroy in 2004. Two years later, she opened an innovative concept store in the heart of the city called You You Store. To the initial confusion of some residents, she only sold items from emerging artists. Since then, she’s morphed into a trendsetting, globe-trotting front-row fixture at fashion weeks all over the world.
Lifestyle Mirror: When you first opened your concept store, you said that people in Turin didn’t understand what you were trying to do.
Eleonora Carisi:Turin is big but it’s not a metropolitan city, so when you propose a new thing, it’s harder. Italy is also very conservative in style and in general "different" is sometimes frightening. Now, thanks to the Internet and the world of social networking, prospects are larger and people extend their thinking.
LM: What inspires your own clothing designs?
EC: Color, people, my travels. My favorite color is orange—very energetic and also good luck. I get inspired by everything that surrounds me. Almost as if I were a sponge, ready to absorb everything and to process it in a new form later. New York is the city that gives me more energy. Looking up, I see the clouds reflected in the mirrors of skyscrapers.
LM: Who are you designing for? Tell me about the kind of girl who wears your clothes.
EC: I’m inspired by a feminine and elegant girl who know what she wants. Think colors, pattern, lace, sheer.
LM: Describe your personal style.
EC: Colorful, versatile. I like to dare with my clothes.
LM: What’s your go-to clothing item in your closet right now?
EC: A pair of skinny jeans.
LM: Who are your style inspirations?
EC: I like women from the ’50s! Women of the past like Greta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn had a different style from that of today. They were refined women, who were fighting for their independence, self-confident but fragile in a world that started in black and white and going into color. They could interpret roles very well—mixing masculine with feminine looks, with long dresses and accessories to the mini, complete with jacket and cigarette trousers.
LM: What other careers or projects are you dying to explore?
EC: Fashion editor or TV presenter. There is a program I want to do, but I'm superstitious.
LM: What are you reading, listening to and watching right now?
EC: I’m reading Fantasia by Bruno Munari, listening to Moderat’s “A New Error,” and watching Moonrise Kingdom.
LM: What’s your take on the difference between American versus Italian style?
EC: Ouch. So different. We have the real...coffee!
LM: What are your favorite cities to shop around the world?
EC: New York, Berlin, Singapore
LM: Favorite places in Turin to eat and drink?
EC: Eataly is the best. To party, San Salavario is a nice and new area where you can find nice bar, restaurant, and little place to listen to good music.
LM: Let’s talk about that infamous street style photo of you wearing a sheer shirt sans bra. (See the NSFW photo here.) How did that come about?
EC: It was just me and my friend Ed around New York, shooting street style. He asked, “Do you have something black?” I said, “Yes, a wonderful dress by Stella McCartney.” That’s it.
LM: You caused a frenzy in the fashion blog community with that photo. Did that surprise you?
EC: A bit.
LM: Do you regret being photographed that way?
EC: Never. Why do I have to regret that?