A love of renaissance Italy

There are some experiences that never leave you. They linger in the memory wonderfully. Many years later you’ll find snippets floating back into your thoughts and influencing current projects. 

For example, when I was in my early 20s, I studied Art History and part of the course was a six-week study-abroad trip – to Italy. I was in heaven. As you might imagine!

As we wandered around the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence, I held my breath in awe at the gorgeous paintings. This was my first introduction to Renaissance Italy up close. I stopped dead in front of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”. Of course my first thought (being me) was “What luscious locks!”

And they are – all tumbling tresses in Titian red – falling beautifully over Venus’ shoulders as she poses on the half-shell. That was the beginning of my love affair with Italy, the Renaissance and most especially with the rise and fall of the House of Medici and their patronage of the great artists of their day. Even today, my love of art hasn't subsided which is why I'm a patron of The Serpentine Gallery

Many years later, when I came to launch my own haircare product line, I drew on this formative experience. I hired a designer and she asked me to describe my influences. We pored over coffee table books of Renaissance art. I told her I wanted my packaging to evoke a bygone classical era. I know my products are not trendy; they’re timeless. We became immersed in the aesthetics of romance, beauty and femininity (it’s such fun doing this bit of building of your own business!)

That’s how we came up with the palest white bottle, the delicate and elegant twisted vine motif (which reminds me of grapes, of Italy, and also of Botticelli’s vividly painted tresses) and a classical font. It’s important to me that my products are beautiful. I feel glamorous just looking at them in my house – and I hope you do too. That would mean a lot to me.