Meet the Designer
SERAFINA SAMA OF ISA ARFEN
Where do you gather your inspiration?
It’s a cliche, I know, but I believe that if you look around with curious eyes you can find inspiration behind every corner. Art exhibitions, music documentaries, contemporary ballet, an old photograph, anything can trigger that initial mood or feeling that an entire collection is then built around. I have a soft spot for vintage magazines archive. I could spend entire days in a library devouring volumes of British Vogue from the 1960s, Vogue Paris from the 1970s and early 80s and Vogue Italia from the late 1980s and early 90s. I also have a habit of taking sneaky photographs of older ladies doing their grocery shopping or waiting at the bus stop… they always seem to wear the most fantastic trench coats with the perfect oversize proportions.
I live in jeans, mostly high waisted, either vintage Levi’s or Rockins, and white Isa Arfen shirts or black or white slogan t-shirts from The Deep End Club. I wear an oversize Isa Arfen trench coat almost every day, and at the moment I am obsessed with a pair of black studded pointy Prada flats. If I am going out after work I change to Charlotte Olympia velvet high heels, throw an Isa Arfen tulle apron skirt over my jeans and add a bold piece of jewelry by my friend and favourite jewelry designer Giorgio Vigna.
Describe the aesthetic of your home.
I would say it’s eclectic, very British in structure but very Italian in decor. Plants play a big role in it, as do a few quite decadent pieces of furniture, like a standing multicolour Murano glass chandelier and a 1970s Willy Rizzo mirror coffee table that opens up to reveal a cocktail bar inside!
What is your go to beauty product?
Cle de Peau concealer in Beige is basically my pocket-size Photoshop. I also love Caudalie Beauty Elixir, especially when I am feeling tired, which is most of the time.
How do you maintain balance in your life?
I am still trying to work it out! Spending time with my 6-year old boy Ari instantly takes my mind away from all the work-related stress and reminds me of the important things in life, so evenings and weekends together are sacred. A lunch break Pilates class can be helpful to clear my head and release some tension, and some pyrite cubes on my desk seem to help me focus on my work. Flower shopping on a Saturday morning, a night out at the ballet with my husband or a late night karaoke session with some friends are instant mood lifters!
What is your idea of a perfect getaway?
I love escaping to Formentera in the Balearic Islands with my family, some close friends and all our children. I have been spending my summers there since I was 12 years old so it’s a place full of precious memories for me. I love the crystalline waters, relaxed vibe and sense of freedom… Good food, good music, good wine and good friends, some dancing and a lot of laughter are my perfect recipe for a perfect getaway.
About Serafina Sama
Serafina grew up in Ravenna, Italy. She attended the Central Saint Martin's School of Art and Design and gradated in 2006. Afterwards, she worked in Paris as a design assistant at Chloe. In 2008, she moved to London where she continued to work freelance projects for Marc Jacobs, Lanvin, Marni, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Acne and Charlotte Olympia. Serafina Sama founded Isa Arfen in 2011. The London - based brand puts a relaxed and feminine spin on retro glamour. “To me fashion is about desire, beauty and fun shot through with a touch of aristocratic sensibility."
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