Exciting Italian fashion designer, Franco Francesca, completed a National Diploma in Fashion Design at Bradford College in 2000.
“I had a great time at College and have great memories.
I had a good laugh with my colleagues on the course,
which made the 2 years very pleasant. The tutors were
excellent and very professional, especially Mabeth Ragan,
who is the best fashion tutor I have ever met. Thanks to
the design/pattern skills that I learnt at College I did my
Fashion degree at Leeds University in only 2 years.
I still thank Bradford College for what I am today as a person and a designer. I put a photo of a red wax cotton dress on the first page of my website which I showed in my debut in Milan Fashion Week in 2003. It is a dress I made at College for my final collection and I wanted everyone to see it as a thanks to the College and the staff.
Since I left College I have been living between Italy and England where I work as freelance fashion designer/ coordinator/stylist. At the moment I am living in Venice and working very hard to expand my own label Franco Francesca. I have worked for several fashion houses such as Playboy clothing, both womenswear and menswear, for the European market except the UK.
A lot has happened since I left College. In September 2003 I was selected for the project ‘New Designer’ at Milan Fashion Week and in August 2004 I was picked for an exhibition and fashion show at Profile 4 in London. In September 2004 I won a competition organised by Italian perfume manufacturer and retailer, Limoni Perfumeria, in collaboration with Milan Fashion Week after presenting my womenswear collection called Zoomorfic. The first prize was to create a perfume which is called Zoomorfic by Franco Francesca.
In June 2005 I was the winner of the second award ‘Dreamers of Colours/Arte e Moda’at ProArt Ferrara, Italy. Between July 2005 and February 2006, I designed and supervised the production of Gigli womenswear collection. In February 2006 I presented to the press in Via Montenapoleone, Milan, the Zoomorfic brand of limited edition clothes for both womenswear and menswear, which take inspiration from animals and insects.
In May 2006 I presented a capsule collection of clothes made out of maize fibre to the press in Venice. In November 2006 I presented the first worldwide wedding dress made out of this material (pictured) at the International Agrofood Forum at Cernobbio, dedicated to innovations in agriculture and care of the environment. Last August, together with my family in Italy, I bought a Palace in Benevento, southern Italy which is the headquarters of Franco Francesca, with a design studio, a showroom and boutique.”
Photograph supplied by Franco Francesca