Fashion 4 Development held their 2nd Annual Ladies Luncheon yesterday at The Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. F4D is a global platform & United Nations initiative which aims to encourage fashion leaders to work on sustainable development schemes. Efforts include creating job opportunities for women in local fashion industries, brokering access to major distribution chains and improving women’s access to quality health care. The F4D event brought together fashion & political elite including Martha Stewart, Norway’s Princess Mette-Marit, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Roberta Flack & Livia Firth. 

F4D’s first goodwill ambassador, Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, was honored for her humanitarian efforts in the campaign. One of the most influential people in the fashion industry, I had the opportunity to speak with Sozzani about Italian style as well as her launch of Vogue Curvy:

MG: What are the differences between Italian and American style?

Sozzani: There is a huge difference. Italian style is based on a traditional elegance & creativity. It is based on a long history back from the Medici ( late 14th century). In every single county of Italy you can produce. There is no other country in the world with such a high concentration of famous brands as in Italy. The difference with America is that it is much more new in fashion. At the same time, America has always had good, beautiful fashion especially since the 50’s and even today with designers like Oscar De La Renta and Marc Jacobs.

MG: Last year you branched out Vogue Italia to represent women of all sizes with Vogue Curvy. What was the inspiration behind this launch?

I think that every woman has to be happy and beautiful, you shouldn’t make your body into a complex. I think that to be curvy means to be sexy. Sometimes it’s hard for women to understand this because we all give examples of very skinny women in fashion. And women think that to be skinny is to be beautiful and this is wrong, completely wrong.

Eloquently said & thank you for the words of wisdom Franca! Dahlings, you can visit for more info on their initiatives.

Designs displayed at F4D cocktail hour