I’ll tell you right away, so we can avoid any misunderstanding: “Princess 17” is not my nickname.You won’t find me with this pseudonym posting filtered photos on Instagram of a life I dream about but that doesn’t belong to me, also because the life I dream about is the one I live, and that I built myself, day after day. Nor will I use it to comment on celebrity or influencer posts on Twitter and Facebook, neither to exalt them nor to criticize them: I do my thing, others do what they want or what they can, trying to be equally happy.
Besides, 17 is not even my age. Certainly it was some time ago, but not so much as to make 17 my year of birth: let’s say that I place myself at a fair distance, and with a certain satisfaction, between these two extremes.In short, I’m at the right age to start thinking about writing the things, often funny and hopefully interesting, that have happened to me, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve visited.When I was born it was, of course, the 17th of 7 at 17 and no, I won’t tell you the year, more or less you will get there from the references I will make when I start to tell. To give you just one, my working career began alongside a true fashion genius, Elio Fiorucci, who had managed to color with fantasy and creativity in the Milan of the seventies that too many continue to remember as “the years of lead”, but which have been golden years for my personal and professional growth.Second clue: on February 17, 1984, I received my first order for the objects I had started designing the year before, during an unforgettable sailing vacation.I was fascinated by the ropes, by the ancient wisdom with which they were intertwined, by the soft and sinuous curves that regulated their movement on the deck, by the silver reflections they wore when they dived into the waves framed by pods of dolphins.So I started touching them, caressing them, moving them slowly trying to borrow their strength and their history to create the shapes that my heart suggested to my imagination.Here, I have given you two more short trailers of the stories that I will tell you in the following pages, digressing as I always do when I start to tell, without even explaining the term “Princess”.
Believe it or not, declaring myself as a princess was my first way of decisively asserting my independence in a world populated by men.I was very pretty when I was young, and for this reason I was often called to act as hostess at the stands of trade fairs which, at the time, were mainly frequented by businessmen on leave from offices and families.Partly to feel like hunters, partly to show off the magnificence of their peacock wheels with colleagues and competitors, these gentlemen made love to all of us girls who, it seemed almost impossible to them, were working.Even then, when I was very young, I always considered work the first step a woman can take to gain true independence, and I couldn’t bear that the first question asked of me was, inevitably, the one that confined me to a role that felt cramped and uncomfortable.”Ma’am or Miss?” they asked me as soon as I entered the stand. So, to displace them, I came up with an answer: “Princess. You can even call me princess.”
And by dint of repeating it, while I was enjoying the amazed and obedient reactions of all those polite businessmen in suits and ties, I really began to believe that every woman has the right to feel and declare herself a princess, without needing to be the daughter of a king, or to meet one of the boring princes of fairy tales, always busy running after a crystal slipper, which by the way must be really very uncomfortable.And if we really want our pumpkins to turn into carriages, we don’t need fairy godmothers: our real magic, because as well as princesses we are also a bit of a fairy, is in the ability to give a new life to the things around us.
I did it, and I continue to do it with the same commitment and the same fun as when I started: the ropes I caressed during that vacation have turned into furnishing accessories and sculptures that have traveled the world aboard dream yachts, conquering great owners and true princes, and I’ll tell you about those too: now is the right time to start doing it. Princess 17 ‘s honor…