Anna Dello Russo: The queen of street style
Tempus meets the influential fashion editor for an exclusive insight into her stylish world
Anna Dello Russo is one of the most influential women in fashion. During her long and illustrious career, she has worked with world-renowned stylists and photographers, redesigning the codes of contemporary fashion. There is no fashion event where photographers don’t snap her looks, which are always daring, ironic and disruptive, capturing the imagination of her followers the world over.
“Fashion is a true expression of freedom,” says Dello Russo, 55, for whom social media has been an essential tool to solidify her status as one of the most popular fashion figures on the web. Now, she’s decided to immortalise her career in a new book, AdR Book: Beyond Fashion, published by Phaidon, which takes readers on a journey through the whimsical world of her digital alter ego, AdR. Ahead of the UK book launch, scheduled for late April, Tempus met the fashion editor in Milan, who told us exclusively about her incredible world of fashion shows, parties and playing dress up.
Where does your passion for fashion come from?
Fashion is my ‘downfall’. Everyone is born with a soft spot and for me, it’s always been fashion. Over the years, it has grown and grown. As a child, I imagined that I’d become a prominent stylist or a well-known fashion journalist. I dreamt of wearing designer clothes, being immersed in creativity and surrounded by fashion shows, dresses and accessories. Once, I even asked a friend if I could swap my pair of jeans for her mother’s Versace jacket. I was madly obsessed with labels.I always dreamt of working in fashion and now this dream has become a reality. I consider myself very lucky. My work allows me to express my boundless passion for fashion and my absolute devotion to creativity and talent.>>
You are one of the most important fashion icons in the world. That must feel like a big responsibility?
All public figures hold great responsibility. First, as the editor of a magazine, and now because of my social media presence, I feel more and more responsible for the messages that are put out to the new generations, who use the internet as a prime channel of communication.
How would you define fashion?
Fashion is my unconscious, my language, my muse for inspiration. It’s my medicine. In fashion, I’ve always been able to follow my intuition, much more than in real life. Style, unlike fashion, is ‘ad personam’. Between fashion and style, I prefer fashion, it’s less pretentious, more authentic, and a real expression of freedom.
Your looks are often quite eccentric. Are you ever scared of being too daring?
Absolutely not! I have always put my foot down when it comes to creating my looks, which has let me drive forward the ‘street style’ look. They would never have accepted seeing me with a simple black coat, even a beautiful one.
Since you started your career, how has fashion changed and what influence has the digital world had?
Since 2000, digital technology has been like a tsunami wave that has submerged everything, especially fashion, having a huge impact also on the content conveyed. The beauty of fashion is that it’s always ahead of time.>>
Is there an outfit or accessory that you are particularly attached to?
I love all my clothes and accessories, I don’t have any preference. Every outfit is like a string of pearls, if even just one pearl falls out, everything comes undone.
You are a nomad by vocation, always around the world. Where do you really feel at home?
In my trullo in Puglia, an extraordinary place where I was born and where it all began.
In April, your book, AdR Book: Beyond Fashion, will be released by Phaidon. What does this project mean to you?
It is the mark of success of my 30-year career. The book is a box that contains the most important moments of my journey. I felt the need and desire to convey fashion with a lighter message, as only children's fairy tales can do. I would like this book to convey fashion to even the youngest readers.
If you look at your career, what was the encounter that changed your life?
Franca Sozzani, my mentor. She taught me never to be afraid and that you can achieve anything if you really want it.