It’s 6:05 when I sit down in front of her without knowing what to expect . One thing is for sure; there already is something strangely magnetic about this 1m80 Amazonian beauty.
Semaine: How would you prefer to describe yourself?
Bianca: My name is Bianca. I am 28 years old. A bit Italian, a bit Brazilian, a bit French. I grew up in Paris. I think I would describe myself through the French expression “Joie de vivre”. I am very feminine. I like to travel. I am definitely more of a beach person than mountain. It’s tough to define oneself like this.
It’s 6:08 and she has already given me the first clue to understand the mystery of BB.
Semaine: Daughter of a Princess and great niece of the Italian Industrial mogul Gianni Agnelli, your heritage is very impressive. What relationship do you have with your family?
Bianca: I am really close to my friends and my family. We are a really big family and we love to spend time together. We used to gather every Sunday in Paris. We are now scattered around the world but we try to do it as often as possible. Christmas is in Trancoso with my family, if we include uncles we go to my grandmothers in Paris or in Venice.
Semaine: What is your first fashion memory?
Bianca: My first memory of a show was when I was 8 years old. I remember the fittings at Valentino with my mother. The tall, skinny, beautiful models, wearing those amazing dresses.
It really struck me. All the women in my life were linked to fashion in one way or another. My grandmother (Cristina Agnelli, sister of Gianni) has an impeccable style - so chic. My mother (Georgina Brandolini) is more masculine; she loves to wear men’s suits. My sister (Coco Brandolini) is more bohemian. I find myself in the middle of those influences.
Semaine: How would you define your style?
Bianca: I adapt my clothes depending on the trips I do. I do pack suitcases with a theme. (She smiles.) I do travel a lot. And I think that’s why I chose Paris as a base because Paris doesn’t change that much. The pace is slower than in New York. It’s the same bartenders in the same bars. They have known you since you were a student. This sense of stillness; It’s really homey. When you have a life that is rather scattered it’s nice to have that reassurance. Also I never really get used to how beautiful it is.
I don’t want to get stuck in one “genre”. I used to wear super short clothes for example. I never thought I would wear under the knee dresses as I thought it was less sexy in a way. And here I was, at Dolce and Gabbana, trying on those tight under the knee very Italian dresses and feeling ultra feminine. I think ones style should gradually evolve and one should sometime try things they wouldn’t have thought to.
I generally know straight away if I want to pursue a project or not and I am ready to take risks too. I just want to follow this instinct.
Semaine: How does someone like you deal with Fashion week?
Bianca: Fashion weeks are a bit special. It’s the same people or like a big family, in 4 cities in a month. Of course it’s work and we are all here to get inspired by the creations, the visions but it’s so much fun.
Each city has it’s own unique vibe: NYC is fast paced and energetic, in Milan people stop to have lunch and dinners. Food is key for Italians, fashion week or not. Paris is the longest week but the last one too and the events are held in the most amazing locations.
Semaine: Do you make a point to stay healthy?
Bianca: I try to be healthy but let’s be honest about this. It’s quite tough when you have 10 minutes to eat. Until 25 I could sleep very little but now I get in a really bad mood if I don’t sleep enough. And I don’t want to impose that on myself nor on others. I try to not go out too late and I try to sleep.
It’s 6:21 and Bianca is way more relaxed and friendly than I was expecting her to be.
Semaine: Is it sometimes hard to Iive up to this ‘muse’ status?
Bianca: You are referring to Giambattista right? He is the only one who calls me that. With Giambattista we are friends. We have a really simple relationship. we discuss a lot and I can’t lie to him. He sees me as a porte-parole of my generation but I don’t feel the heaviness of the ‘muse’ status. I also try not to take things too seriously and to keep a humorous distance with fashion, and fittings and photographers.
Regarding my designer collaborations, I never had a formal training - I don’t draw. But I have really clear ideas about the things that I like. My collaborations generally start from a conversation and through work with a team and they are able to translate what you have in your head. I think designers like the way you dress. The way you wear your clothes. The way you own them. I think that’s what they like about me. That in a way I represent a certain idea of my generation: mobile, multi-faceted, joyful.
You see, I am very privileged and I know it. I also know that I don’t have a talent that other people don’t have. I don’t have the impression of being that different in a way.
It’s 6:37 and I think I am beginning to understand that Bianca is exactly why she is so successful. It’s the freshness and detachment she exudes. She is her own person fuelled by her unique lifestyle and instinctive taste. She considers her work as being an extension of herself rather than a statement. Her enjoyment of it and her spontaneity is communicative.
According to Bianca the definition of a muse has changed a lot over the years.
The relationship like Loulou de La Falaise built with Yves St Laurent doesn’t exist anymore.
Bianca: My mum and I the other day were talking about how the fashion world changed a lot in that sense. She was really surprised to see now how fashion brands treat bloggers and ‘It girls’. They fly you across the world, send you gifts. Fashion wasn’t always like this but I find this accessibility interesting.
Semaine: Do you know which brands you would like to work with or a specific project you would like to work on?
Bianca: No I don’t really. I know I have found my personal way in the world of fashion but I don’t have specific plans. I like when things grow organically.
Semaine: And what do you make of the social media and the connected world?
Bianca: I think you should adopt the new channels and incorporate them in your life somehow. If you want to promote a project for example it’s key. I like to scroll through Instagram, jump from one link to another, find a new designer, a new brand. Instagram is not about how much money you have but about how much talent.
Semaine: How is your instagram account?
Bianca: At first I wanted to keep my Instagram closed but that only lasted for a month. she laughs. Of course it can be violent and you can receive insults but on the other hand you receive love declaration and support. It’s also interesting to understand what works best. People like when you are letting them in your life. They want to see you with your friends at dinner and without make up on. I try never to post pictures with my boyfriend though. I like to keep some privacy in my life. In Italy the gossip culture is quite strong and it’s difficult not to suffer from it. You try to avoid reading some stuff but you can’t help having it in your face all the time.
Semaine: Do people come up to you in the street?
Bianca: In real life people tend to be super nice with me. I like it in Italy because you feel they treat you like they’ve known you forever. And you strongly feel like you’ve known them forever too. They call you “cara” (Italian for darling). People don’t expect it but I’m actually pretty friendly and fun. They expect you to be antipathetic but they meet me and they are like: “Ah, but you are so nice” as if it were a huge surprise.
And I guess that’s when I got my answer. This is what is so magnetic about her. She represents this ultimate generation Y voice. She is as casual and simple as she is sophisticated and precious. She is the product of tradition whilst being utterly modern. She is as much the elegant young lady with aristocratic roots as the girl next door. She is smart but she doesn’t create complexity. She is from everywhere and home is wherever she wants it to be. She doesn’t want to restrain herself to a work title because why would she follow anything but her instincts. She is nor the granddaughter of, the sister of or the girlfriend of. She is herself. And that is quite something.
It’s 7 pm and Bianca is ready for Milan and there is no doubt that Milan is ready for her.
By Marie Winckler for Semaine