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One-Woman Show

Exact looks from the runway are rarely replicated—down to the last thread—in the real world. Unless you’re Anna Dello Russo, the Italian-born fashion director of Vogue Nippon.

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When did you realize you were obsessed with fashion?
I think I was born with this idea, working on fashion. Generally, I was stealing clothes from everyone—my mother, my sister, my friends. I was looking desperately for fashion, for clothes. When I was a teenager, you know, you want to be cool. I don’t want to be cool! I want to be fashion.

What was the first designer piece you owned?
I remember because I used to go to school with my collection of Fendi bags—wallet, bag, umbrella. Everything matching. It’s never raining in my country—it’s so hot! All the people in my class used to make a joke about me, say, you know, “Where you going with umbrella?! No rain outside?!” I said, “I know, but it’s part of the look!” I was, I think, 12.

You still like to dress in complete looks—but from the runway.
I always do that. I make fun of me because sometimes I find me really hilarious, ridiculous.

Because it’s part of the look?
Whatever. I don’t care where I go. I don’t care if it’s freezing or cold or raining—whatever is part of the look. That’s my philosophy.

Why don’t you mix and match pieces?
I don’t know why you ask me that, because you see the runway look—they look fantastic! Why change? I like to take the dream and put it on me.

You’re famous for your clothing collection.
I started twenty years ago when prêt-à-porter was just starting. Just now—two years ago—I started collecting Marc Jacobs. But before it was just Italian, French prêt-à-porter. It’s really well done, the collection, because I select all the pieces. It’s so scientifically done.

Where do you store all the clothes?
I have another apartment—two big rooms. It’s next to my apartment, but it’s another one just for clothes.

How do you care for so many clothes?
Collecting clothes is complicated because the clothes need a space and the right temperature. You really destroy clothes if you leave it there, no? It’s dusty, it’s hot—it ruins the clothes. It’s so freezing in my house! The clothes need to be cold.

What’s the ideal temperature?
Has to be no more than 15 degrees Celsius.

What about shoes?
Oh, shoes—another nightmare, because I love the shoes. I have many, many pairs. I have the shoes in a big library—a huge library, everything together. Louboutin shoes, Prada shoes, Yves Saint Laurent shoes, Gucci shoes. Rather than books, you have shoes library.

How many pairs? Hundreds?
Noooo. Thousands.

Do you ever borrow clothes?
I buy mostly all my collection from the stores. I’m not used to borrowing clothes from a showroom. I really love buying clothes because it’s my passion. Of course, sometimes I do, I borrow clothes from some brand because you have many, many pictures. They took a picture? I cannot wear it anymore. So you need more clothes.

How much do you spend each season?
It’s not good to talking about money. But of course I spend—I buy great pieces. It’s quite a lot of money.

How many times a day do you change during Fashion Week?
Two or three.

How do you pack for Fashion Week?
Oh! Nightmare. I know very well packing, because that was my first job when I used to be a fashion editor and travel around the world. Clothes for me are a religion. I know how to pack, how to make it look good. So many times I see people do wrong thing because they pack in a horrible way and they need more volume, their dress is flat or something.

How many suitcases?
New York is four days. Just two suitcases, but big. You don’t need so much.

How do you stay so fit?
With yoga and swimming. Every day, three hours a day. Yoga is a long process.

You must wake up early.
I wake up at 5:30 generally. I go to the yoga school in Milano, seven o’clock.

What’s your diet like?
When you practice yoga, your body will tell you exactly what you need, what you don’t need. I cannot say completely vegetarian but almost. I still like fish—it’s part of my culture.

What do you wear on the weekends?
I wear fleece from Abercrombie. If I go to my friend’s house or wherever, I dress up. I always dress up.

Do you have a boyfriend?
Yes, but he doesn’t live with me. There is no space because of the clothes.


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