Have we told you yet how excited we are for the new Marni fragrance? Because we are. We really,really are. Which is why we were practically giddy with palpable glee when we were given the chance to have a one-on-one sit-down with Carolina Castiglioni, daughter of Marni designer Consuelo Castiglioni and the head of special projects for the brand, during a recent visit to NYC.
The gorgeous (and devastatingly chic) Italian is proud to be launching Marni’s first-ever fragrance this March, which was a labor of love between mother and daughter. Read on to hear about how the Marni identity was translated into the darkly mysterious fragrance, Castiglioni’s must-have beauty product, and the scents that remind her of home.
“I did the process with my mother from the beginning. We did everything together. So, the first thing we did was select the raw materials, and what we came up with was what we did and didn’t like — sweets and soft florals, and fruit elements — and [what we did] — incense, wood, and more masculine and dark.”
We know that the sweet, floral, fruity fragrances are…
But they’re so popular nowadays, especially for spring. Why did you choose to go with that kind of almost musky, dark scent? Would you say that these qualities are indicative of a Marni girl?
“The idea is to have a timeless fragrance, so not a seasonal one and not for spring. We did what we liked…[my mother] doesn’t like sweet fragrances, so there’s no way we were going to do a sweet fragrance. For us, it’s really important to be coherent with the Marni identity and with her taste. That’s also why we chose to do the fragrance with Estée Lauder, because they’re really leaders — they are the best. What was really important for us was that we were really free to do what’s coherent with the brand identity. They didn’t impose anything on us; we did the project together. For us, we have a specific personality, and they understand the process and the technical elements. It was the perfect synergy.”
It sounds like it was pretty magical. The fragrance was created fairly recently, so what were you wearing before in terms of fragrance?
“My mother was wearing a personal fragrance that a friend had created for her many years ago. It was actually the starting point to create this fragrance. Personally, I like incense.”
Do you burn it in your home?
“Yes, I like candles, too.”
You work very closely with your mom — it’s one of the best mother-daughter fashion stories today. Did she pass down any beauty secrets that you’re willing to share with our readers?
“We don’t use makeup, so what is really important for both of us is to use a good cream. You have to use a good sunblock.”
Which one do you use now?
“I use Livestrong sunblock, because we really like to stay in the sun both in summer and in the winter.”
So, would you say that’s the one beauty item you use every single day?
“Yes. It might be strange…”
But it’s important! Not many women understand how important it is to start using it early.
“Especially Italian women, because I feel like in Italy, sunscreen sales are not very big. I think, culturally, a lot of women don’t wear sunscreen.”
Are there any places in New York that you really want to stop at before you go back home?
“Well, we have a new shop in Meatpacking for the Edition collection. The building is really special — it’s the pointed building by Gansevoort. I think it’s beautiful, and yesterday was the first time I saw it in person. It’s really amazing. We always collaborate with artists for the ready-to-wear collection but also for special projects. The elements of this shop are really industrial and flexible, and so we presented those elements to the artists in our warehouse in Milan, and we recreated the shop. They did pictures and painted and they did an installation. Then, they did a picture of this installation, and that picture was the work paper for the shop. It’s nice to see. What’s really important for us when collaborating with an artist is to do the project together. We don’t want them to do a project for us.”
Right, because that’s why you pick them in the first place, right?
Do you have a favorite scent that evokes a certain memory for you? Were there any elements in the fragrance that you felt you had to include because they were so meaningful?
“There’s a candle that reminds me of my mother’s home. We had these candles in the house we lived in Switzerland, where we went to school, and in our house in Spain.”
So, wherever you go, these candles make you feel like home?
“Yes. And also chocolate!”
Marni has a special, offbeat website that’s fun to shop. Do you do a lot of online shopping?
“Yes, but my hobby and my boyfriend’s hobby is to find vintage pieces for our house — it’s design over fashion. So, we do buy a lot online.”
What’s your favorite thing that you’ve purchased lately?
“A lamp. It’s a crystal lamp.”
Is it vintage?
“Yes, it’s an antique…like a chandelier.”
Interviewed by Connie Wang,
Photographed by Nina Westervelt/MCV Photo
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