Our person of the month is Valentina Perissi. She is an Italian designer living in New York for 8 years. Before moving to NYC, she worked in Italy for some of the best fashion designers, like Cavalli. In the United States she worked for several companies; among them: Roc Nation, well-known because the owner is the rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z. Valentina took her career to the next level, because today she has her own collection.
Ciao Vale, how would you describe to our Magnifico friends your collection?
It is an art you can wear; all the products are made in Italy, and I paint each by hand. I collaborate with other artists also. My collection wants to express the joy of creating and it has an important message, which is: believe in yourself and never give up. As New Yorkers, we know what it means.
You had a remarkable career in Italy; why did you decide to move to New York City?
I moved to New York City 8 years ago. I have always be en in love with the energy that only this city can offer. I was lucky enough to come here when I was 11, and I knew deep down that I would live there one day.
I chose New York because I believe there are more opportunities than we have in Italy. I love my country, but I truly believe that the American dream still exists.
You always knew that you wanted to become a designer?
I have always drawn from a very young age and have been very shy. Creating and drawing was a great way for me to express myself. Today, my job is to create fashion collections from scratch. From mood trends to design to implementation and managing vendors.
What do you do to keep your creativity to a high level?
Being a creative person, I constantly try to keep my eyes and ears wide open! I go to exhibitions events, look at art and furniture sites, and listen to old and new music. Everything can inspire you, even a ride on social media when it comes to art and culture. Travel is still my number one; it gives me so much.
Where did you find the inspiration for your collection?
I was inspired by the universe and warriors. I have always liked this pairing. I believe that as human beings and as a woman, being courageous is essential, especially in this historical moment. Vivid, strong colors and many contrasts. Universe has always been a source of inspiration for me, with its many mysteries and forms. Moon, stars and galaxies, and certainly the other new worlds.
Your relationship with the Italian culinary tradition. Do you like to cook?
As a good Italian I try to cook at home even if, to be honest, I'm not really super amazing in the kitchen. When I invite my friends at home, pasta is the strongest thing, I'm very good with sauces.
Living abroad, which Italian tradition did you keep and which one did you lose?
For sure, I kept the tradition of having a good moka espresso machine to make coffee. I have perhaps lost a little the concept of a true Italian breakfast.
Which is a typical dish of your hometown?
I was born and raised in Florence so I grew up with Ribollita and Fiorentina Steak, but my favorite is "crostini ai fegatini", amazing Tuscan bread with this liver patè (delicious!).
Is there, in your opinion, an Italian dish Americans still don't really know?
My mom is from Calabria and she cooks these delicious Eggplants Meatballs; this is for sure something that Americans should try, they are simply amazing.