Simona Soldaini: When colours tell the future
If there are two words that can sum up our meeting with Simona Soldaini, they are joy and colour. Imagine opening a door, as we did, and being welcomed in, surrounded by colours, books, yarns, fabrics and smiles.
Born in Germany and brought up literally all over the world – in Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Italy and the United States – Simona graduated from university in England. Today she works for one of the most important trend agencies, A+A Design Studio in Milan. However, her professional career goes from sport (with a start in a career in volleyball) to study, from finance, with experience at Merill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and then Lehman Brothers. She then took a break when she became a mother before at last finding her real life, in creativity.
‘’We sell creativity,” she tells us, “meaning everything that the marketing team of a company in fashion, beauty, automotive or technology, can use to design new products and new lines. In a certain sense, we sell the inspiration to create what a consumer could love in the future.”
How do you manage to create creativity? How is a future trend defined?
‘’We always start from the colour, but underlying everything there is curiosity. To do this job, you have to be curious, you have to look for things, find connections and observe. The creative team is made up of various people: one goes to museums, one to old bookshops, one travels, one goes to fabric shops, one interviews sociologists…‘’
What is fascinating is that the synthesis of all this research is given by colour…
‘’Yes, everything is then summarized in colour and, curiously enough, the different studies all lead to the identification of the same colours. We start from the colour and we discuss the colour. For example, if it is red that comes out, then we wonder about the reason for that colour…’’
Is it a bit like being children again, working and creating with colours, or is it far more scientific that it seems?
‘’Colour is emotional, but more than anything, creating the combinations of colours is the most difficult thing to do. The individual colour has its meaning, which is linked to the personality at the time of a person’s life. The bonds between colours, on the other hand, say much more and the challenge lies in identifying them correctly.’’
What is your favourite colour?
”I have three standard colours for clothes: cream, grey and black, but the colour that I really love is emerald green.”
Fashion concerns everything, where there is design and creativity. And fashion changes – but are there any things that remain the same?
”There are objects or clothes that go beyond the trend of the moment: even if you change the style of your home or your physique, putting on weight or losing it, you will keep using them. They are things that will always belong to you and that you will never be able to get rid of. They are the things that make your eyes shine and which really become timeless for you.”
Beauty is something very personal.
For me it is linked to happiness. If you live your life in a certain way, everything looks beautiful to you.
What is your relationship with fashion?
‘’I am compulsive. Perhaps also because of my job, I look for things that don’t exist yet. I never stop…’’
That’s wonderful, playing all the time…
‘’Yes, we can say that then you have the problem of space. I cannot get rid of anything because everything comes back in trends. New ideas start from the past and I have things that have been put away and then brought out again years later … ‘’
What is beautiful today is bringing back vintage in a contemporary reinterpretation.
During the photo shoot, which we did in the splendid home of a friend of Simona’s, in the heart of chaotic Milan, we were all literally infected by the fun.
Simona, you who work so much with colour, which Pulchra would you choose?
‘’Don’t ask me, I have a problem: until a little while ago, I wore glasses and I had 15 pairs in 15 different colours that I would use to go with my looks. So Pulchra, yes, my favourite is the white one with a blue velvet lining, but wearing them all, well, I would have a different look for each one of them!’’
Pulchra is inspired by old camera cases. If you were to keep one photo in the bag, which one would it be?
‘’A photo of my father and me, I think in Mallorca: I was three years old and I am giving him a kiss.”
Thank you, Simona, for this wonderful chat and for your infectious and colourful joy!