(All photos by PHERES)
Narcisa Pheres is the CEO and the Head Designer of Italian fashion house PHERES. PHERES brings luxury back to its roots by creating exclusive fashion that depicts its line and cut in a true sartorial style. Each piece is entirely hand made using traditional craftsmanship and bespoke tailoring techniques.
In 2006, Narcisa launched a new signature collection in Milan and Venice. In 2013, she was awarded ‘The Most Influential Woman in Business Outside the Country’ by Forbes Romania for creating a global luxury brand. She travels frequently between Milan, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Paris to drive the PHERES brand forward in a highly competitive luxury market.
Narcisa brought some of her current and upcoming fashion pieces which she’d put together for the Paris and Milan Spring Fashion Week 2015. Narcisa showcased her collection at an exclusive fashion show, hosted at the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur.
Many Malaysians are not familiar with Narcisa Pheres (NP), so tell us who is ‘Narcisa Pheres’?
I studied design in Milan and London. I’m also a jewellery and interior designer. The collection you’ve seen tonight is actually two collections in one, the British Collection for men and part of my French and Italian Collection. They’re ready-to-wear items, all made in Italy. Some of them have not been put on market.
When did you start designing?
I’ve been designing for over 18 years. I probably started having the passion since I was a little girl, but I couldn’t recall. The first thing I designed was jewellery. I love diamonds, so I keep designing jewellery. Part of my first collections are butterflies and I still have my vintage pieces. I work with a lot of coloured diamonds, pink diamonds and blue diamonds. Pink diamonds are my favourite! They are a girls’ best friend and they are forever, so if you want something ‘forever’, you go for diamonds!
What inspires you to design?
I’m mostly inspired by arts. When I start designing a new collection, first of all, I never look at other designers and their collections because they will influence you. So, what I do is I travel around the world to big museums. I go to the Louvre, the Metropolitan New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Since I studied in London, I prefer to spend a lot of time there. I’d spend days and days in the Victoria and Albert Museum to look at old costumes. If you realize, part of the collection is very vintage from the 1950s. The skirt is one of my signature designs. All the fabrics are very natural like silk and velvet. We use a lot of fabrics. You may not notice it on the runway, but underneath the skirt is 4-metre of veils. It’s all organza and very expensive Italian silk. They’re not expensive because we want them to be, but because we use very expensive materials and they’re all hand-made, it takes a long time to make them.
What are your plans in the future?
We’re expanding in Asia; in Hong Kong we have a lot of clients, mostly private clients. We are very low- key, we don’t want to be in the market. I don’t make commercials. Whenever I design something, I prefer to have limited editions. Most of the pieces don’t come in more than 12 pieces per colour or design.
Other than fashion and jewellery designing, Do you plan to expand your empire?
We’ve been doing something in interior design for quite some time. For children, yes, I have two little girls, so why not? I’ve been designing for my own girls; maybe I’ll take it to the next level and turn it into a business as well. At the moment, I’ve been producing organic spa products, which can be used by mothers and babies.
Tell us how you balance your life as a mother and an entrepreneur.
It’s difficult; I’m spending most of my time on an airplane. I literally just flew from Paris. After this, I’ll fly to Hong Kong and Tokyo. Every other week, I’ll be flying somewhere. I have a wonderful full-time nanny living with me and taking care of the kids with me. Of course, my husband is super supportive because my kids are the most important thing in my life. I design with them. My eldest, she’s only 6 and she paints and plays piano. She’s very artistic. My youngest is 4.
What’s your advice for women out there who want to pursue their passion and start a business?
Just go for it! Don’t listen to others. Just follow your passion and do whatever that makes you happy. You know, talent and passion combined can produce better results than just talent!