Maria Francesca Pepe

...subversive, avant-garde design

Studs, spikes and sweeping fabrics define Maria Francesca Pepe’s latest ‘Fortuna’ collection and indeed, this hard edged, yet beautiful style has been resonant in all of her previous offerings. The Italian born designer, now living in London, graduated from Central St Martins and has achieved enviable success ever since attaining her masters in womenswear there. In addition to this, she also studied fashion at the Marangoni Institute and took further short courses in Fine Drawing, Styling, Digital Design, Experimental Fashion Design and Professional Sewing in London. Despite her significant experience and background in clothing design, her success is often attributed to her superior skills in the accessories department. Pepe’s notoriety comes in part from her concept of ‘jewellery wear’, which in her own words is ‘where jewellery is conceived in a subversive, avant-garde way as the primal focus of an outfit. The Italian artcraft quality and the bold, goth appeal of the creations have become signature of a unique style.’

Nothing inspires me like…
Early 1900’s femme fatale Theda Bara. I feel like she could be me in an ancient life; a life where I could express my wildest aesthetic vision wearing long silk velvet drapes and veils, big chunky jewellery, feathers and body art. Also, it would allow me to experience the esoteric mysteries and my attraction to carnality and passion.

I hope…
That I will be a happy granny, with her fashion house and a beautiful family.

Cultural Influences…
Are Italian baroque, silent movies, Medieval religious culture, punk, glam, goth, African ethnic jewellery, Sci-fi and cyperpunk culture.

I got where I am…
By working very, very hard and some good luck. When I first moved to London I felt like a visitor, it was too big for me. The moment I stopped worrying about it and started to focus on working, creating and making it happen, it did. The way I approach my career is still the same: I’m a problem solver and I honestly enjoy the process.

Fashion can sometimes be…
Very boring and wrong!

Money Makes…
Things more complicated and easier at the same time. It’s that paradox called capitalism.

Faith in…
God, love, life and nature

Creativity comes from…
A mix of heart, soul, sex and pragmatisim.

Love is…
My drug

My dreams are…
Sexy

My vice is…
White chocolate and my blackberry

I suck…
In math, but I work hard on it

Pain comes from…
After you have been evil

I wouldn’t pay for…
Love, friends, sex. And to pee!

I’m a perfectionist…
Indeed I am!