EyeSwoon

When I first met Sofia Sizzi at a fashion event I was immediately swooned by her bold sophistication and red pout. Soon after I was swooned again by her impeccably crafted line Giulietta; season after season I sat at her runway show in awe of her ultra-feminine creations and although I knew her peripherally, I yearned to know more about the elegant Florentine woman behind the clothes. Last season, after a show and in a flurry of press and fans, Sofia mentioned we should host a dinner together to celebrate the launch of her shoe collection. Well, this little lady was all ears. What could be better than the union of footwear and food!? Yes and yes, swoon and swoon!

Early in her career Sofia was an accessories designer who collaborated with some of the greatest houses in Italian and American fashion: Gucci, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. Taking inspiration from her mother’s vintage photographs and movie heroines from the 1960’s, Sofia launched her signature line Giulietta in 2011 which is somehow both incredibly nostalgic and modern. It was the manifestation of what she had dreamt of in her imagination for as long as she could remember.

While our dinner never did happen, I did invite Sofia to my home to create a meal together. As you know, I think cooking is the best way to get to know someone; it uncovers passions, raises and answers questions and of course, develops friendships. I learned a lot about Sofia as we created her husband’s recipe for a mushroom carpaccio.  Interestingly, Sofia and her husband used to own Cafe Falai, which I only discovered when we started chatting and cooking! (Falai was one of my favorite restaurants, until I had the most embarrassing drunken night of my life there…which is all I will share but trust me it was mortifying and it kicked off a good round of girl-sharing-giggles.) Sofia is such a visual person she even brought with her a sketch of how she wanted the carpaccio to look, which of course made me swoon! As we created the raw, shaved mushroom salad – a new favorite which is incredibly simple and a real show-stopper with its delicate flavors and paper-thin slivers of mushroom coupled with pickled mushrooms, micro greens, parmesan and jalapeno, essentially a party in your mouth – the conversation wandered into our early years night-clubbing. It seems that at 17 years old we both might have been found in scantily clad attire, and dare I say it….go-go dancing! Yes, it’s true. We both shook our booties on a podium at 3am to the same thump, thump baseline all the way from Long Island to Florence!

Those wild days are a far cry from our lives now, but somehow they still inform who we are today. Sofia describes her collection as meant to be worn with ‘confidence, fun and ease’ and to shake your thang for all to see certainly took confidence, and more than anything fun! Wearing Guilietta as we cooked it was impossible not to feel feminine and modern. I always hold myself with elegance in Sofia’s clothes. She has created such a distinctive voice with her line, one that is very much rooted in Italian undertones while still remaining whimsical, polished and of course, incredibly flattering to the female form. Dolce Vita Fem!

Sofia Sizzi

Swoonisms

    • CAN YOU SHARE THE GENESIS OF YOUR BRAND?

      My brand was born in 2011 but really I wanted to have a collection since for as long as I can remember

      WHAT WAS THE SPARK THAT INITIATED YOUR VISION FOR GIULIETTA?

      My muses, my mother’s photographs and those of all of my movie heroines from the 1960’s.

      HOW WOULD YOU BRIEFLY DESCRIBE THE ETHOS OF YOUR COMPANY?  YOUR DESIGN AESTHETIC, PHILOSOPHY, APPROACH, VISION?

      Giulietta is feminine, simple and modern, it is meant to be worn with confidence, fun and ease.

      HOW DOES DESIGN AND CREATING MAKE YOU FEEL IN 3 WORDS?

      Inspired, alive, tired

      TELL ME ABOUT THE DESIGN PROCESS, CHOICES & DISCOVERIES – DAY TO DAY LIFE IN THE STUDIO?

      The day to day life of the office is pretty boring: we basically constantly check on an infinite amount of details to make sure that the collection will come out the way we have envisioned it. The really fun part is when we create the collection, when we see and correct prototypes and of course fashion show time!

      YOU CHANGED CAREERS FROM RESTAURATEUR TO FASHION DESIGNER – VERY INSPIRING JOURNEY I’D IMAGINE – CAN YOU SPEAK ABOUT THE TRANSITION?
 


      I’ve always been a designer but for a brief (crazy) moment in my life I thought I was done with fashion and I would have been happier working at my husbands’ restaurants…that obviously wasn’t the case…but I can really appreciate the art of cooking, although my skills are limited 🙁

      CHALLENGES AND SUCCESSES ALONG THE WAY?

      Both on a daily basis…building a company is an extremely ambitious, rewarding and exhausting process…

       WHAT WAS THE TURNING POINT ON YOUR JOURNEY – THE MOMENT YOU FELT RECOGNIZED AND KNEW YOU CREATED SOMETHING SPECIAL?

      This is something I felt from the first collection, I really liked it, it felt like I was really expressing my own voice…and I guess the first time I saw Giulietta published in a magazine felt very rewarding…

      BEING ITALIAN – HOW HAS ITALY INFLUENCED YOUR DESIGNS?

      I always draw my inspiration from my roots, there is definitely an undertone of the Italian traditions in each Giulietta collection.

      TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RECENT SHOE COLLECTION.

      I am a former shoe designer so launching shoes felt like a very natural evolution for the brand… I wanted my shoes to be different, a bit whimsical, and happy and feminine

      WHEN YOU WANT TO RELAX AND ESCAPE YOU…..

      I need to travel , either physically or creatively through books and movies.

       A PERFECT SUNDAY IS…..

      A long walk, a nice brunch and a ping pong match with my friends

      THE 5 RESTAURANTS THAT MAKE YOU SWOON? 

      Perry streetabc kitchenhasakiSant Ambroeus, Roberta’s

       GO-TO LOCAL SPOTS? CAFE?

      Jack’s, SuteishiPasanella

      YOUR IDEAL FOOD DAY WOULD BE? WITH WHO?

      Ginger rice bowl at Perry Street with my husband.

      WHAT IS YOUR CLASSIC GO-TO RECIPE YOU MAKE WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED?

      Spaghetti al pomodoro

      
FIVE INGREDIENTS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?

      Olive oil, tomato, pasta, eggs, jalapeño

      YOUR HUSBAND IS A CHEF – HOW YOUDL YOU DESCRIBE THE FOOD IN YOUR HOME?

      When he cooks: delicious, sophisticated and yet so simple

      CAN YOU SPEAK A BIT ABOUT YOUR EARLY CLUBBING/DANCING/FASHION DAYS – I LOVE THAT WE SHARE THIS IN COMMON!

      I love that we share this too !

      Before fashion there was dancing.

      When I was 17 I dated a club dancer and while I was out with him I was scouted and started traveling around Italy to perform in clubs…it was hands down the most fun time I had in my life!

      WHAT MAKES YOUR SWOON MORE THAN ANY ONE THING?
 

      Love

Hongo Salad

Sofia Sizzi

  • Ingredients

      • 6-10 Cremini mushrooms
      • 10-12 enoki mushrooms
      • Micro greens (arugula)
      • Parmigiano Reggiano
      • 2 Jalapeno
      • Olive oil
      • Balsamic reduction
      • White vinegar
      • Sugar
  • The Prep

      • Shave 6 cremini mushrooms on a plate using a mandolin at the thinnest level
      • Grate directly on top 2 oz of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese using a micro plain
      • Sprinkle on top 1 oz of micro arugula
      • After marinating in a white vinegar and sugar reduction for 1 hour place 10-12 enoki mushroom on top of the other components
      • Dress the salad with jalapeño purée, balsamic reduction and maldon salt
      • Jalapeño purée: blend 1 cup of olive oil with 2 jalapeño

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