Alberta Ferretti talks personal taste: Part One

The Italian fashion designer is best known for feminine draping and timeless, floor-sweeping gowns. She opened her first store in her hometown of Cattolica aged 18

Alberta Ferretti at home in Cattolica
Alberta Ferretti at home in Cattolica | Image: Fabio Massimo Aceto

My personal style signifier is a pair of vintage drop earrings. I have many but my favourites are 18th-century Italian filigree, bought many years ago in an antiques shop in Genoa. I love their lightness, elegance, Italian workmanship, and strong personality, all elements that define my style. The shop sadly doesn’t exist any more, but that only makes them more special.

The best gift I’ve given recently was a box at the Nutcracker ballet at La Scala, for some very good friends from America. 2 Via Filodrammatici, 20121 Milan (+3902-88791;

Ferretti’s vintage drop earrings
Ferretti’s vintage drop earrings | Image: Fabio Massimo Aceto

The last music I downloaded was Bitch Better Have My Money by Rihanna. I love her energy; her music drives me on early every morning when I do my exercises.

The beauty staple I’m never without is Carita Diamant de Beauté hydrating cream for restoring my skin after Fashion Week. Carita Diamant de Beauté, £430 for 50ml;


The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was an antique velvet kaftan with wonderful gold-braid embroidery from Myanmar. I love unique statement pieces and mixing items from my previous collections with vintage.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Vahine Island, a small luxury hotel of nine bungalows on a private island on the Barrier Reef, in French Polynesia. The water is so clear you can see the sea bottom. +689-4065 6738;

Clarins Diamant de Beauté, £430 for 50ml
Clarins Diamant de Beauté, £430 for 50ml

And the best souvenirs I’ve brought home are my photos of the stunning sunsets there.

An indulgence I would never forgo is vanilla ice cream. I am very attentive to diet but ice cream is my weakness. My chef Roberto makes the best; it’s very light.

Vahine Private Island Resort in French Polynesia
Vahine Private Island Resort in French Polynesia

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is, in my dreams, Caravaggio. I collect contemporary art and I have been fortunate enough to meet a lot of artists, but the most modern, charismatic and powerful pieces are always Caravaggio’s.

The sites that inspire me are the Romanesque churches – the Basilica di San Vitale, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and Galla Placidia – in Ravenna near my home. They are all very simple and linear but richly adorned and their Byzantine mosaics inspired my last collection. Basilica di San Vitale, Via San Vitale. Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, 52 Via di Roma. Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, 22 Via Giuliano Argentario (+3905-4454 1688;

Bacchus, 1597, by Caravaggio
Bacchus, 1597, by Caravaggio | Image: Bridgeman Images

In my fridge you’ll always find champagne, of course – preferably Bollinger or Krug – and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

If I had to limit my shopping to one city, I’d choose Marrakech. I love the atmosphere, colours and aromas, from the Place Jemaa el-Fna to the souks. Au Fil d’Or is the best place for traditional Moroccan kaftans and the most beautiful slippers; Atelier Moro is a refined Aladdin’s cave of Moroccan clothes, jewellery and home furnishings; and Akbar Delights sells incredible cushions, fabrics and scarves. A short flight from Italy brings you to another world – quite magical. Akbar Delights, Place Bab Ftouh (+212667-166 1307; Atelier Moro, 114 Place de la Fontaine, Mouassine (+212524-391 678). Au Fil d’Or, 10 Souk Semmarine (+212524-445 919).

The Krug Grande Cuvée Brut champagne Ferretti keeps in her fridge
The Krug Grande Cuvée Brut champagne Ferretti keeps in her fridge

The people I rely on for wellbeing are at the thalassotherapy spas at the Sofitel hotels in Quiberon and Biarritz. I love the French Atlantic and the benefits of treatments involving seawater. Nothing relaxes and restores me more. 13 Rue Louison Bobet, 64200 Biarritz (+335-5941 3000). Boulevard Louison Bobet, 56170 Quiberon (+332-9750 2000).

The last meal that truly impressed me was mercimek soup, dolma and sama served with pilau rice, yoghurt and spices, cooked according to Turkish tradition in the amazing private house of a friend, with a glorious view of the Bosphorus.


My favourite apps are Garmin for when I run on the beach in the morning; Meerkat for streaming videos of our shows; and Spotify any time I need the energy music gives me.

Discover the personal style files of Moda Operandi co-founder and creative directorLauren Santo Domingo and designer of elegant occasionwear Emilia Wickstead.

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