Fausto Puglisi on Luxury

Fausto Puglisi has dressed superstars like M.I.A and Nicki Minaj (for Madonna’s Super Bowl half time no less in 2014!). A Sicilian sybarite at heart, he is a designer who embraces exuberance and vitality through the optimism of his adoptive home, California, where he moved 18 years ago. Hand-picked by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to take part in their Spiga 2 retail project, an incubator for young design talent, Puglisi was an instant hit; success came fast and furiously for the young Italian designer with a glittering debut at Milan Fashion Week in 20111. In 2012, he was appointed Creative Director at Maison Emanuel Ungaro, successfully pulling the famous French brand out of the doldrums and relaunching the label on international markets. Having achieved this lofty task, Puglisi recently left the role to concentrate on his own projects and collections. His latest collaboration with YOOX is pure exuberance inspired by a traditional  Japanese firework festival known as Hanabi.  For the collection, Puglisi brings us his own rendition of the Yukata, a special hand-made cotton Kimono typically worn at the ceremony. In his own words the designer explains his motivation for chosing such an esoteric garment for his collection with the online retailer: “The perfect geometric shapes of the Yukata and its stunning adaptability to the female body makes it an impressive canvas to project the decorative world of Fausto Puglisi.” We caught up with the designer just before the launch to find out more.

What is it about California that you love so much?

Fausto: California has been my home for my best years. I was there in the ’90s and I worked for top stylists in Hollywood. I remember that as the land of opportunities and the place where everything can happen. I even got a tattoo with Hollywood written on my forearm!

How do you think your Sicilian background shapes your aesthetic?

My Sicilian background shapes my aesthetic in a huge way. Its imagery is stuck in my DNA and my heart. It is a sentimental journey through a land of stark contrasts where love and war shaped the people and their visions torn between a strong religious sense and a pagan ode to the ancient god: the sun.

You have designed for some of the world’s top celebrities. When was the last time you were star struck and why?

My rockstar girls are an everyday crush for me: I love them all! I love the way they embody my vision! The latest sensation has been a super-uber-sexy JLo wearing a black dress embroidered with gold metal and Swarovski xrystals with very high slits on her latest video. A bomb!

How did this YOOX collaboration come about?

I have loved designing this YOOX capsule collection! They contacted me and I immediately said:”Yes, let’s do this!’ I connected with the theme and it represents my [love of] woman and love for theatre and costumes. The Yukata is apparently a simple item but it has a super-shape. I love the way it works around the body.

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What is luxury to you personally, speaking outside of fashion?

Luxury for me is all about time and to be free; being on the beach and to spend time with my loved ones eating and chatting around a table on a feasty Sicilian table, full of good food!!!

You have collaborated with and indeed learned from some of the fashion world’s most influential names. Whose advice have you carried with you through your career? Could you share it?

To always be myself and follow my vision no matter what. Don’t compromise, always strive for the best!

Your inspirations reach far and wide. Can you talk me through any current obsessions that you are drawing inspiration from?

The sun and the palm tree.
The most powerful symbol of the Mediterranean cultures has always been the sun. The most powerful force of nature. That is a power that always attracts me, being a man from the South, with a real obsession for everything that is connected with this symbol.

Could you tell me what your mood boards looked like for this YOOX collection? What was your starting point?

In the printed pattern on the Yukata I used my Sun, this powerful force shaping my vision and 
the center of my obsession!

Which is your favorite piece?

My favorite piece is the one with the yellow sun, the one I was wearing during the launch event in Tokyo. I just love it!