WHO IS SCIASCIA?
As the International Editor at Large at Vanity Fair Italia, and formerly, the Fashion Director for Vogue Italia, Interview, Marie Claire and Jane— Sciascia has not only pioneered groundbreaking editorial also content for these global publications but has also consulted & styled iconic fashion campaigns for Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Valentino, among others.
From beauty to luxury womenswear to affordable fashion, Sciascia is a recognized style influencer and lifestyle expert with a competitive record for rebranding and launching creative and commercial properties across print, digital, and social media platforms globally.
A resident of Milan and New York City, she is a published journalist and writer as well as wife and mother.
Made in Italy.
AN INTERVIEW WITH SCIASCIA
How did you get started in the fashion?
I was in college studying modern languages in Milan, but my passion was to draw comics. My friends pushed me to show my work at a teen magazine called “Lei” , whose editor in chief was Franca Sozzani, who later became editor in chief of Vogue Italia. She saw my drawings and said she actually needed a fashion assistant, so I started that same day.
What was your first big break?
After a couple of years working with Franca Sozzani, she was nominated for the post at Vogue Italia, and she brought me along as Fashion Director. I was 25 and basically inexperienced, but i was catapulted on sets with major photographers in New York , and Paris. Most of the times they thought I was the assistant to the stylist. It was hard work, but I learned fast and…furiously.
What about your work makes you feel the most fulfilled?
The process: The idea, developing it, the outcome. There is not one favorite moment, they are all equally as fulfilling and they teach me something every time.
If you would create your dream job and your dream platform, what would that look like ?
It would have to be in the format of a magazine, even without being one. A Tv show or a web channel that offers that same expectation and surprise that magazines used to bring to the reader. It’s story telling, visually compelling and unexpected.
What is your most recent work? Who are you working with now?
I’ve worked for many of the glossiest magazines, from Vogue Italia to Harper’s Bazaar, and then I decided to take a challenge and try working for a weekly. I was hired as Fashion Director of Vanity Fair Italia to re-shape its fashion content and it has been very exciting. Imagine shooting hundreds of spreads a year, and have this crazy short deadline of a weekly. It is insane and beautiful, but exhausting. I decided to return to New York and work for the magazine now as an International Editor, so I can also concentrate on other adventures like costume design and fashion consultancy for other brands. My experience is also allowing me to challenge myself in other fields, like theater and video, books and digital platforms. I approach everything with the same editorial eye and the attention to details I’ve learned to call my trademark.
What is a signature shooting by Sciascia Gambaccini?
You won’t find a total look in one of my shoots. I break it up, I layer and i deconstruct because that’s how women dress when they open their closets. If you wear one designer head to toe you’ve lost your personality. One detail that is my signature styling trick is a shirt tucked inside a waistband: I make it diagonal so the eye is attracted to the middle of the picture, as breaking the monotony of balance.
Who are your all time favorite designers?And what about your current ones?
As an Italian I have a visceral appreciation for a master like Giorgio Armani , but I’ve worked extensively with designers in New York like Calvin Klein and Donna Karan, and I love the American aesthetic of sportswear .It’s so empoweringin its simplicity.
How do you choose your projects ?
I’m fascinated by designers like Demna Gvasalia for Vetements, because initially they have little impact on me and then, once I photograph one of their garments, there’s no going back. I appreciate quality. Creativity without quality is a trick.
What is the fun part of your job? And the tough one?
Fun is creating a team, bouncing ideas and going on our creative journey from point A to point B. The tough one is negotiating all the obstacles in that journey, that undermine creativity and freedom.
You were born and raised in Italy, share with us a childhood memory.
I grew up in Florence: museums, art, beauty, elegance, history and…Gucci. Enough said.
Did growing up in Italy affect your sense of style?
It did, but it also could have had a limiting effect. It wasn’t until I traveled and got out of Italy that I realized how much style is everywhere. I am grateful I was exposed to a lot of different cultures, and they all influenced my style.
Tell us how you are also american, you are bicultural, because of your mother how has this affected your outlook on life?
I was half American growing up in Italy, because of my American mother. I am half Italian now because I live in New York. I think it’s a great gift to have these cultural layers in your upbringing. I grew up in Florence eating pancakes for breakfast, but once I moved to NY I would fight to my death for a good espresso!
How do you start working on a new project?
I let it grab me. I don’t like preparing too far ahead, it loses its magic. A big project will never be done and finished a month before its deadline, it has to be refined, tweaked and restarted if necessary. When someone tells you you’ve done a great job, it’s time to change.
What is that you are aiming for when you are on a set?
I look for energy and balance. I want everyone to feel happy and secure, but at the same time, I don’t want to waste my time. Loud music and a collective adrenaline rush can create beautiful results, but everyone has to be tuned in!
What happens if things don’t go as planned on set?
More like “what happens if things go as planned on set?" very rarely things go as planned: cameras break, models cancel, storms show up out of nowhere. You name it. I usually keep a sense of humor and allow the creative process to happen. A good team will make miracles no matter the circumstances.
Please tell me the funniest thing ever happened to you while shooting? And the scariest one?
The funniest thing is also the scariest: I was on a shoot for Calvin Klein in Hawaii and the crew was so huge, there were so many vehicles, that at the end of the day we all left and I thought my assistant was in one of the vans. Instead, she had been left behind on this deserted beach, and she called us hours later after climbing up the hill in the dark to find a phone. This was before cell-phones and I felt horribly guilty.
What do you think of the recent obsession with bloggers as influencers in fashion?
I don’t quite understand the obsession from the follower's side, how hysterical they get, and how alienated they must be to become that way. But I am totally in awe of those influencers who found a path and used it to their advantage. Some are very smart business people, and they work very hard in moving their brand forward and adjusting to the flow of the market.
Let’s get on a time machine and go to 2117: how do you think people will relate to clothes and to the narrative of them?
Just like communication will evolve among people, so will clothes. I can’t predict how we will dress, but I can certainly say this is a universal language and it won’t stop defining who we are.