Interview with Simone Racioppo

SR Jewels: an Italian fashion designer at the Carrousel du Louvre

30 NOVEMBER 2014,
Gothic 6 Photo by Raissa Bi
Gothic 6 Photo by Raissa Bi

It should not be particularly easy to be born and live in Miglianico, a little village in Abruzzi, Italy and come to exhibit the own collection at the Art Fair International 2014 at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris, the temple of International art and culture. Simone Racioppo, born in 1977, was successful in this challenge.

After having presented the Parisienne Collection (jewels in precious fabric and Swarovski) inspired by the divas Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale and Emmanuelle Beart at the latest edition of the Venice Film Festival he is ready for the Louvre Museum where with Doriana Roio (his managing director, manager of an international network and designer of an own luxury brand) and Bieffe Effebi (visual at Palazzo Fendi and organizer of exhibitions and events) he will present his collection from 24 to 26 October 2014. After starting in Laura Biagiotti and Mariella Burani’s ateliers, Simone Racioppo starts in 2001 his independent activity of fashion designer creating outfits for the Italian singers Gigi D'Alessio, Fiorella Mannoia, Morgan, Laura Pausini and the actress Micol Olivieri. In 2012, Simone Racioppo with the help of Doriana Roio created the outfits of the Italian edition of the talent show X Factor with particular attention to Morgan for which they also created the costumes of the representation of Cimarosa's opera Il matrimonio segreto of which Morgan was also director.

We are now facing a new journey of the Abruzzi fashion designer, a new debut and also a new commitment. In this collection Simone Racioppo is inspired by three International icons known and recognized not only for their professionalism and beauty but also to be a "certain" kind of woman: pugnacious, determined, socially engaged. Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale in fact embody the commitment to women's rights in a historical period in which it was imposing a new model of woman, free and independent, aspiring to a social and professional role equal to the masculine one. Emmanuelle Beart, however, is widely known for her activism against French policies on immigration: in 1996, in fact, along with other demonstrators occupied a church in Paris to protest in favor of illegal immigrants (sans-papiers).

I met Simone Racioppo on the eve of the opening at the Louvre taking the opportunity to ask him some questions. Can you talk about this new collection and the type of woman to whom it is addressed?

Certainly. This collection is addressed to a liberated woman who likes to stand out with class and sophistication without ever giving up her personality. It is also an independent and passionate woman very determined to achieve her goals and what she seeks.

The fashion world is very often presented as an unreal, ephemeral, superficial world really in contrast with the real world and its different types of (civil, social, political, etc.) commitment. How did you develop in your project this kind of feeling and desire?

The sensitivity and desires are innate, they are part of me and in this way the parents of all my projects. It is important to never lose our deeper voice despite we suffer every day, more or less unconsciously, influences of every kind from those around us, from the society to the environment in which we work and live. But in the end it is up to us to decide what we want to live in a positive way and what we choose to lose. We have a responsibility to defend strenuously the emotions, the sensitivity and our desires because they're priceless.

There is a type of woman to which your production refers? Is it an ideal or real type?

It is a woman of today's world that gives a nod to the past, who knows how to carve out a place in the world using head and heart. This woman who inspires me is my manager Doriana Roio that has been able to nurture my talent and revive my career unlike many others. She has a strong personality and a remarkable talent for management. She is sweet but also tough and uncompromising when it's time to be hard-shelled. Se always aims to innovation, to never repeat, to stand out always bringing elements of the past completely reinterpreted. It’s no coincidence that we refer to her as the new "Queen of Abruzzi"; She was able in times of recession and deep economic crisis to create a network of international business which I belong too and at the same time to develop in a short time as a fashion designer her luxury brand in several foreign countries. In all these activities she includes her political engagement and journalism. Unfortunately we are surrounded by a lot of mediocrity and many illusory figures who lead to success only the words. Only with her and her talent in a few months I came to important goals. So, this is the woman I am referring to: an out-of-the-common woman, a winner woman.

How did your passion for fashion is born and how it has developed over the years?

The passion for fashion was born in the cradle; it is something I have always felt to be part of my DNA and as such it has grown between sacrifices and a great tenacity. It never wavered, not even in front of the most difficult moments; indeed precisely in those situations it was felt stronger than ever: it was impossible for me to ignore it. Over the years it has gone through several stages: for a long time it focused on wedding dresses: sweet, romantic, sensual dresses and it is not by chance that I spent a lot of momentum to create outfits for most important Italian music and entertainment leads. Now my passion is addressed to the new SR Jewels linked to the world of Italian and international cinema and art of which I am particularly proud and excited.

Have you worked with leading figures from the world of entertainment. Are you planning to implement or have already implemented the lines of dresses or accessories, as in the case of SR Jewels, addressed to a wider audience?

The celebrities always give me great emotions. Of course everything goes to change and be completed with those people who are not in the show business but want to feel unique and special and to wear an original and unique jewel: to wear their distinctiveness. A wider audience than the niche of big names loving to be unique with the SR Jewels. The wealth is in the stand, in having something that many others can not have. The beauty and the value of these jewels linked to luxury are their rich fabrics and hand embroidery with Swarovski river, in the oneness of the work and in the emotion that they give when you worn them. The cultural and artistic grandeur of the Louvre will be the background of great prestige to the international presentation of the SR Jewels form 24 to 26 October at the Art Fair International 2014 through three jewels selected from the Parisienne collection and inspired by the three divas Loren, Cardinale and Beart. I emphasize the efficient collaboration of the visual Bieffe Effebi met a few months ago; back from a professional collaboration at Palazzo Fendi in Rome, she has been in the organizational staff of important exhibitions like the one dedicated to the Etruscans always in the Italian Capital. I am sure that she will do a great work also in Paris where she will take care of the setting up of our exhibition space with elegance and professionalism. And finally, a special mention for the organizing staff of the curator Sabrina Falzone who has given us the opportunity to make the international presentation of SR Jewels in an amazing place as the Louvre and took us step by step with a constant willingness.

What are your future plans? Can you tell us some previews?!

New projects are part of my everyday life, I could not live without goals and dreams to realize. In fact, as often said my manager Doriana Roio, beauty is not feeling never arrived, you should always strive towards new desires and growth paths whilst enjoying and appreciating their achievements. Of course I expect a greater market penetration in both the Italian market and in the international market: this is a monumental challenge in which I dive with great enthusiasm and without fear. Similarly there are new projects related to the world of the Italian show business to which I will start to work as soon as I return from Paris.