Mari di Pilla, thoughts and inspirations in the air

35-year-old Fashion Editor and Content Strategist Mari di Pilla born in São Paulo but with a heart from Milan, speaks with us about her eclectic experiences, in a circular motion that brings together different passions and similar places, gathers multiform inspirations and life impulses, and grows one encounter after another.

Mari di Pilla, thoughts and inspirations in the air

You have written about many stories during your career, how would you tell yours?

It's a bit difficult to go in order, mine has not been a straight-to-the-point path, but one full of exciting twists and turns. I've always been very curious and energetic, at school I was on the handball team, did Taekwondo, played football, took jazz lessons and at the age of 15, I was already dancing in clubs! A dynamic girl, but never irresponsible. I have never thought about writing. I have been working as assistant Fashion Editor for two years and there I discovered my passion for journalism. And then I discovered Milan. I decided to study journalism there and fell in love with it. Returning to São Paulo was not easy, although it was there that I established myself in journalism by becoming Fashion Features Editor for Marie Claire. That job was very important to me, but the desire to return to Milan was getting stronger and stronger, one fashion week after another. So, after 6 years I came back to Italy, changing my skin again and starting to work as a Content Strategist for an agency. Today I work with Golab Agency, I collaborate with Vogue and GQ Brazil as a correspondent, and I write for Glamour and Openhouse.

Open House Magazine
Open House Magazine

What sparked your interest for fashion and communication?

While I was in university I worked in a really cute shop in Brazil. It sold Marni, Lanvin, a really valuable experience for me, the first contact with international fashion. Then in 2009, working as an Assistant Fashion Editor, I was managing a newborn blog by myself! Here my passion for journalism grew and after two years I decided to do a course in Milan. It was my first time in Europe and I didn't know anyone; I spoke Italian, but not the fashion vocabulary. I learned the names of the fabrics with the help of a teacher, taking pictures of the clothes in the shop windows on Via Monte Napoleone during my lunch break. The thing that has always fascinated me about this job is the possibility of accessing a secret universe. For example, I was at a Bulgari event in Rome as a correspondent for GQ and there I interviewed Jean Christophe Babin. Many people can buy or learn about a brand, but how many have the opportunity to meet and talk to its CEO about anything?

What is the moment that has left the greatest impression on you in your work as a Fashion Editor?

The first one that comes to my mind is from 2015, on the occasion of the launch of the documentary "Dior & I" about Raf Simons' entry into the maison I flew to Paris to do Fashion Week coverage and entered the atelier a day before the show! I didn't interview Simons, but all the tailors working there and I saw all the clothes beforehand. It was really nice to watch the documentary after that experience because I knew them all. I have interviewed so many interesting people. I met Cindy Crawford, interviewed Adèle Exarchopoulos in a hôtel particulier in Paris, met the Caovilla family, and was hosted in Maria Grazia Chiuri's magnificent house. One memory I treasure is the interview with Sinead Burke, where I was captivated by her immense personality. She's a tough one! She delayed the next shoot by telling the photographers and stylists: «the image is a consequence, the important thing is the content of the interview»

Mari a Milano indossa Lino Eco BlackMari in Milan, wearing our Lino Eco Black

Now you work for a digital creative studio. Do you have a dream project?

WORK LESS! I don't say this as a complaint, I have always been a workaholic. I like agency work, management, taking responsibility, and solving problems. At Golab we have built a great team and that's what counts. But choosing also means giving up. It's all a question of balance, I would like to find a new one, between Italy and Brazil.

Who is your favorite designer?

I love Memphis' design, it intrigues me a lot and honestly, I would have liked to live with him and be part of that world there. And then Vico Magistretti, Gio Ponti, Castiglioni. I loved the old Malpensa Airport because it had personality! I started to experience design differently in Milan, even though São Paulo is also very attached to this kind of art.

Tell us about your Milan: what inspires you the most?

The fashion. And the Duomo, I can't walk past it without stopping. I love walking around Milan, its medieval urbanism makes you turn in circles, it gives me a feeling of aggregation. I like discovering courtyards, peeking inside (even when I can't!); I like the flowered balconies and the architecture that identifies each neighborhood. The lifestyle is international and the sociability of the aperitif reminds me of Brazil. Being here also gives me the opportunity to experience many events 'at home', such as the Salone del Mobile or the Fashion Week. And it's great to be able to host my friends from Brazil; fashion and design become an opportunity to come together.

Mari a casa
Mari di Pilla in her home in Milan

The biggest difference between Milan and São Paulo

I have always found the two cities to be very similar, two extremely active realities. I would say that what changes is the point of view. São Paulo is an expanse of buildings, you can look out from the 15th floor and see this immense sea standing out all around you. If in Milan you look up, in São Paulo you look ever higher.

Passions, free time, styles: what's your typical day here in Milan?

I start the day slowly. Having time for me means centering myself, and finding a balance. Then it's detox, a few exercises at home, a shower and off to the office. If I could, however, my life would be an eternal aperitif! In one of those authentic, unpretentious bars, drinking a Negroni or a Campari! On Sundays, on the other hand, 'I'm going for coffee', but that could mean anything! From a quick breakfast to a long brunch. It's one of my rituals to restore balance and tranquillity.

An accessory you can't live without?

I wear several rings, I alternate between them, but I'm never without them. I have three bracelets that I never change. I like the Italian character of eyewear, I find it a distinctive accessory. I wear sunglasses for aesthetics but also for protection, for example on the beach.

Mari a casaMari wearing our Lino Eco Black

You've always worked with trends, the newest releases and the changing ones: what do you think about fashion's impact on the environment? Is it possible to be cool without over-consume?

I like to look at sustainability as a trend that starts to become part of our day-to-day habits. So was over-consume and it had its consequences. Today we should consider our impact more. I avoid waste - especially in food - and try not to throw things away; instead, I try to give them a new life in pursuit of circularity. All we have to do is act responsibly, choosing to invest in the right things.