"My woman is a true princess and a real rebel" – Ungaro's Fausto Puglisi
In conversation with the designer
M eet Ungaro's Fausto Puglisi. As the Creative Director behind the maison's eponymous brand, Puglisi is as passionate about his craft as he is the field in which he works. Here, in a one-on-one interview with the Sicilian-born creative Farouk Chekoufi discovers what ignites Puglisi's intelligence and ingenious designs...
What made you want to become a fashion designer?
A wild passion! That burning passion that makes fashion design the centre of your life and keeps you up all night to define and sketch a collection.
What are the values you bring to Emanuel Ungaro as Creative Director?
I believe my work as the Emanuel Ungaro Creative Director is to infuse energy and the vision of a strong powerful woman into a vast iconic heritage. The style of Ungaro is for an effortlessly chic woman with a strong image and a passion for luxury details.
How would you describe the current state of Ungaro?
My Spring/Summer '17 collection for Emanuel Ungaro has been all about a royal rebel, a fearless woman who is not willing to compromise and wants to be free.
How do you inject your own DNA into each collection?
I love a strong powerful woman. I infuse my style into an existing style code that has my same origin: Monsieur Ungaro has created a Maison that is still a reference for elegant women all over the world and my job is to keep it alive and fresh, appealing for a younger generation who search French luxury with a Mediterranean twist.
What's the most outstanding detail you've included in the collection so far?
A detail that it has a couture quality: the ruche, styled in taffeta or leather, with a tailored and rock 'n' roll vibe to it.
How do you keep your ideas and the creative dialogue fresh?
By living with people on the streets. By giving myself time to live and chat with normal people. By not closing myself up or staying locked in my studio to design without keeping in touch with the people.
At Ungaro, do the archives play a big role in your collections?
Yes of course! When you design for an historic Maison, you are tempted to change everything and start over fresh, but the real challenge is to be respectful of the past and to build the new. Moreover the archive is extremely rich with colours, styles, shapes and materials and you can really mix hints from the past with new ideas and a fresh eye.
What do Fausto Puglisi and Emanuel Ungaro have in common?
We have a lot in common! First of all we're both Mediterranean men, with a strong connection to homeland. Also we are very much into strong women.
Your collections are beautiful and wonderfully unique. What inspires you as a designer to be strong every season?
Research is the key. My woman is a true princess and a real rebel, she lives in the contemporary world and she knows her strengths. I meet this kind of woman every day and I know perfectly what she wants.
What about your Spring/Summer '17 trends and inspirations?
Colour, colour, colour! And black leather to match.
What are your favorite colours?
Swimming pool turquoise, graphic black and white, lime green, dramatic purple and flashy yellow.
What does luuxury mean to you today?
Everything that passes the test of time and takes an effort to produce is luxury. There is nothing fast in luxury.
What is your vision of see-now buy-now?
It is something that social media wants and the market requires, but it has nothing to do with the luxury market. This one needs time to be crafted and to be sold to the final customer.