Marina Testino: Marching In Red For A Green Movement
Overconsumption in the fashion industry is directly impacting our planet. Marina Testino is determined to do something about it, one color at a time.
We had penciled in a coffee with the fashion heiress at The Plaza on a chilly Tuesday morning. As soon as you greet Marina, you’re captivated by her charm and elegance. Sporting an eye-catching cobalt blue sweater paired simply with black trousers and white sneakers, it was clear that Marina isn’t one to shy away from making a statement – color or otherwise.
During the 2018 Paris Fashion Week, Marina decided to wear #OneDressToImpress—or rather, one suit. Her hope was that the repetitiveness of this chic red suit on social media and other digital channels would raise awareness about overconsumption and encourage consumers to be more mindful about the way they interact with clothes. If there’s anyone who can prove that style is not in the number of outfits you carry in your suitcase but how you carry yourself, it’s Marina Testino.
A fashion memory from the past?
My first fashion show during Paris Fashion Week 10 years ago. My father and founder of Art Partner, Giovanni Testino, invited me to Kenzo’s Ready-to-Wear show and we both sat in the front row. I cannot recall the exact year, but I believe Kenzo’s artistic direction was still helmeted by Antonio Marras and I was around 15 years old. The fast-paced atmosphere of the show captivated me.
After that show, I became truly passionate about fashion and also began admiring my father’s job. He has been working as a talent agent for the last 30+ years! Having the chance to work with artists in a creative industry became my dream career – I wanted to be just like him. To me, he is incredible and my greatest role model.
Personalities who have influenced you the most in your career?
Besides my father – my uncle, Mario Testino. While my father was an agent, my uncle was a magnificent photographer who inspired me with his creativity and hard work. I also have a close friend, Danilo, who is an excellent videographer. We are collaborate on a regular basis, so he has also inspired and taught me a lot. He always tells me to follow my own/personal creativity without taking into consideration what others think.
Your everyday look?
Comfort would be the best word to describe my everyday look. I love being comfortable, and I rarely wear heels. I like wearing sneakers everywhere and with everything: dresses, pants, suits, skirts, etc. To me, comfort is synonymous with self-confidence. It can also be extremely elegant, as it is simpler than more curated looks.
A good look is…
Feeling comfortable and smiling. Clothing comfort as well as happiness is a state of mind, which is always linked to your personal security. I think there is nothing more appealing than having self-confidence and feeling happy and comfortable. Of course, if that look is sustainably-sourced, even better!
Your last purchase?
A cozy pair of house slippers (NYC is cold!).
A definition of style?
I would have to say that style really focuses on the way you express yourself. In my opinion, style is not fashion. Fashion is a designer or editor’s point of view or creation. Style, however, is personal and unapologetically individualistic. It involves risk and self-expression. That’s why confidence is the necessary element of style.
What is the most extravagant piece you ever purchased ?
As an art lover, my most extravagant purchase was a painting by Jose Guerrero, a Spanish artist known for his abstract expression paintings.
The perfect incarnation of style?
There are so many and none at the same time. History, art and fashion have many great muses. I really cannot pick anyone in particular, but as I mentioned, I think anyone who is able to convey self-confidence with their looks can be a great incarnation of style.
How do beauty and wellness fit into your life?
I try to listen to my body. Sometimes living in NYC can be extremely hectic—work, dinners, appointments, parties, life-admin tasks, etc.—and socially pressuring, particularly when you work in fashion and have a public image. But I have learnt to eliminate the “fear of missing out” and will happily stay at home if I feel that my body can’t handle anymore activity and is asking me to rest. I also try to avoid makeup when I am breaking out so that I can let my skin breathe and rest.
This industry can be very stressful, so taking the time to listen to what your body needs is essential to staying healthy. Exercise and a healthy diet are also crucial, but I must admit, these are still areas I’m working on!
What upcoming projects do you have planned for the new year?
I have several projects and activations coming soon (all still under embargo) so stay tuned! ;)
Originally from Los Angeles, Alicia lived in Shanghai for 11 years before moving back to the states to attend the University of Miami, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and minors in art and philosophy. Currently residing in New York City, Alicia applies her knowledge of strategic communication and design in her career. She enjoys painting, rugby, exploring, and more often than not, you’ll find her petting someone’s dog.