Designer Marina Mansanta explains why she thinks the shape of fashion’s future can be found in the past

FOR MARINA MANSANTA, fashion is art, and art is a huge part of who she is.

Marina discovered her talent for depicting what she saw in her mind’s eye when she was still very young, and while she is adamant that cultivating and refining talent is imperative for success, she is also convinced that, ‘no one can be taught to have an artistic soul. Sensitivity, imagination, creativity, harmony and inventiveness are all part of who you are, not what you learn.’

Her childhood dream of becoming a designer was swiftly realised and she was still a young woman when she opened her first atelier in the early 1990s. It wasn’t the simplest of roads to choose, but she knew that to give free rein to her creativity she could never work for anyone else. And looking back, it was certainly the right choice.


‘I wanted to push ahead with my own philosophy of getting back to fashion’s roots,’ she says, ‘and to create exclusive, hand tailored pieces for exacting clients. I have never made large numbers of any of my creations, and all pieces are handmade, hand-finished and hand embroidered by the highly skilled people in my team.’

Marina has no doubts as to the importance her collaborators play in her maison’s success. ‘Our achievements are based on team work: without them I couldn’t provide my clients with the quality pieces they love. They are the professionals who give shape to my thoughts. Every day they stimulate my creativity and bring my creations to life with their incredible skills and attention to detail.’

So how do her creations start? Marina explains: ‘As I said, fashion is art and creativity – but in evolution. There’s nothing new under the sun, but I believe you can perfect and personalise what has come before you. And that’s why we talk about ‘style’. If a fashion designer is recognised in the pieces he creates, that means he’s been able to put his signature on the creation, just as great artists do with their paintings.’



Marina finds inspiration all around her: life itself with its infinite facets, nature and her colours, different populations and their cultures, humanity and its history. And her collections offer a fascinating insight into Marina’s creative psyche. The sleek, nostalgically modern models in her Coloniale collection recall the elegance of the 1930s and 40s and yet have a contemporary feel that fits with the needs of modern brides.

Her Esotica and Etnico creations are stylish expressions of diverse forms of nature and world cultures, while her irresistible Muse collection features a series of sensual designs reflecting styles from different periods of history.

‘First of all, I see the design in my head,’ she says, ‘almost like a photograph that I then have to commit to paper in a sketch. Then I actually have to create the piece, make it real. And lastly comes my favourite part, seeing my model worn by a woman on her big day.’ And who exactly wears her pieces? ‘My clients vary,’ she says, ‘from VIPs, and well known personalities to career women, brides and women who want an exclusive piece made just for them. I’ve been lucky enough to work with great artists in the worlds of theatre, musicals and in TV so I’ve seen my creations worn by some really great people, some truly stunning women.’


In 2004, just a few kilometres from Florence, Marina opened her distinctive ‘Open House Marina Mansanta’ as her only sales point in Italy, where clients visit to avail themselves of the maison’s various services. And thanks to her status with well known Personal Shoppers and Wedding Planners, there is never a shortage of visitors. Moreover, the increasing popularity of the Marina Mansanta brand abroad has led the house to offer hospitality in nearby elegant guesthouses for clients who come from from further afield, proving that the Mansanta special touch doesn’t stop at her fashion…

Marina Monsanta
Uscita Valdarno Autostrada A1
Seconda Strada Poggilupi 95
52028 Terranova Bracciolini (AR)
Tel: (+39) 055 9737752