The very first MILE­STONE BIRTH­DAY, it’s from your fifth year on­wards that life be­comes in­ter­est­ing. To cel­e­brate ours, we asked de­sign­ers to share their grow­ing up mem­o­ries with us.

Harper's Bazaar (India) - - BAZAAR -


“At that age, your par­ents are the big­gest in­flu­ence in your life. Mine al­ways gave me big shoes to fill.”


“In this photo, I am with my twin sis­ter, Licia. We were about five years old and we loved to pick roses from the gor­geous gar­den of our house, fac­ing the scold­ing of my mother Odette, who used to say that the roses should only be ad­mired and not col­lected. The house I lived in with my par­ents was in fact sur­rounded by a beau­ti­ful gar­den filled with scented flow­ers and plants, which my mother taught me to know and love. I be­lieve that this ex­pe­ri­ence pro­vided me with a deep sense of beauty, and of the har­mony be­tween our in­ner lives and the na­ture that sur­rounds us. My way of see­ing fash­ion was def­i­nitely in­spired by this.”


“I still re­mem­ber my first hand­bag. It was a pre­sent from my father, founder of the Furla Com­pany. I was prob­a­bly six years old and I re­mem­ber be­ing so proud and happy when I got it. It was a small cylin­der made of light calf with top zip and two short han­dles. If I close my eyes, I can still re­mem­ber how it smelled: Real high-qual­ity leather, smooth and shiny. The in­side was un­lined and you could see the back of the leather like lighter suede. I could have never dreamt that my whole life would have been i n the l ux­ury hand­bag in­dus­try.“


“I have won­der­ful mem­o­ries grow­ing up in Dehradun with my sib­lings and par­ents—much loved and of­ten dressed up for pic­tures and fancy dress par­ties! Here is me wear­ing a rather big hat.... maybe that’s where my in­ter­est in head­dresses for my shows comes from. I’ve al­ways liked the idea of hats, tur­bans, some sort of head­gear!”


“My father, who was in the In­dian Army, was posted in Pune at the time this pic­ture was taken. I re­mem­ber that our house was be­ing painted, and I had dis­cov­ered some rusty, di­lap­i­dated serv­ing trays in all the mess. I took these to the painters and told them to paint flow­ers on the trays. A few hours later, I went to see what they had done, and I was amazed! The trays had been trans­formed! Now when I think about it, they looked like some­thing Frida Kahlo could have done. So ex­cited was I that I took them and ran in­side to show them to my mother. As I was run­ning, I slipped on the floor and chipped my front teeth. To this day, my chipped teeth re­mind me of that day, when I dis­cov­ered beauty in some­thing so or­di­nary.”


“In our great fam­ily oc­ca­sions, when all my fam­ily and my mother’s fam­ily mem­bers were re­united around the din­ing ta­ble—we could be around 30-35 peo­ple—the chil­dren were ex­pected to stand on chairs to re­cite a lit­tle poem. I re­mem­ber my con­tro­ver­sial feel­ings of joy­ful ex­cite­ment and anx­i­ety. I re­ally liked the idea to be on that stage in front of all my loved ones. At the same time, I felt em­bar­rassed, and fear­ful to con­front such a l arge au­di­ence. So, each time I tried, I got dis­tressed, and it all ended in tears.”


“My mother and I were very close—I was kind of her part­ner in crime for ev­ery­thing—and when I was five years old, she took me to her wed­ding dress fit­ting. She puts it on, and my grand­mother is ec­static. Then my mom turns to me, and I must have had a face on, and she goes ‘What? What’s wrong?’ I told her, ‘It’s too busy, there’s too many bows’ —there must have been a zil­lion bows. My grand­mother is telling her not to lis­ten to me —‘It’s Priscilla of Bos­ton, it’s per­fect’. But next thing I know, she’s telling the tailor to cut off the bows. The dress be­came clas­sic, and chic, and time­less.


“‘Don’t be afraid.’ These were the last words that my father Gior­gio said to me be­fore be­ing taken away by Ger­man sol­diers. He was taken from our home and ex­e­cuted in front of my mother on July 4, 1944. Those words stayed in my mind for­ever and have helped me be­come who I am. They taught me to not be afraid of any­thing and helped me over­come my fears. I had to grow up quickly.

“I am glad I had a mother who taught me to live. But don’t get me wrong, I also have a lot of nice mem­o­ries from that pe­riod of my life. Af­ter the war, we re­turned to the streets, where peo­ple be­gan their lives again. They stopped to speak to each other. For us kids, it meant that we could fi­nally go out of our homes again and play in the streets or in the gar­den. Now we had new spa­ces to play and we didn’t need to hide. The roads, full of rocks and holes, sud­denly ap­peared as a big play­ground. The or­chards be­came our favourite places. We loved mak­ing the farm­ers mad by steal­ing a few of the fruits. I was just five years old, and it was a time for me to be free, and it al­lowed me to be­come a per­son who is still full of life, love, and joy: The man I am to­day.”


“Happy 5th An­niver­sary Harper’s Bazaar In­dIA. Con­grat­u­la­tions to the en­tire team on five glo­ri­ous years of fash­ion, de­sign, and savoir faire.”


“It is not easy to re­call the shoot when one is five years old. But yes, it took place in the gar­den of the old fam­ily home in Am­rit­sar, the city of The Golden Tem­ple, where I was born. It was an old colo­nial home, where we all grew up in a joint fam­ily of three fam­i­lies and a host of cousins. There was a lot of in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the var­i­ous mem­bers of the fam­ily and never a dull mo­ment. Win­ter morn­ings, in par­tic­u­lar, were icy cold, with freez­ing tem­per­a­tures, and many times the cars used to have a fine cov­er­ing of ice on them when we went to school. This pic­ture was taken on a balmy sunny af­ter­noon when all the chil­dren were sent to play in the sun.”


“When I was five, I was ob­sessed with pop cul­ture. Mickey Mouse and Howdy Doody were my he­roes. I have been in­spired by Amer­i­can pop cul­ture my en­tire life.”


“I got my first rac­ing bike when I was 11 years old. In fact, that’s the first mem­ory of my life. I re­ally can’t re­mem­ber much about my child­hood at all. It’s re­ally odd. I call it a punc­tu­a­tion mark in my life. You know, sud­denly I got this bike and this free­dom that the bike brought with it. A guy who was a mem­ber of the cy­cling club said to my dad, ‘If Paul ever wants to go out on one of the cy­cle runs, there are lots of us. He’ll be safe.’ And I started to go out with them, and I sud­denly looked around and thought ‘Oooh, there’s no mum or dad.’ It was quite nice. It was like, I had free­dom. Not that I needed to be free, I was very happy with my par­ents. It was good.”



Ritu Ku­mar, ex­treme right

Tommy Hil­figer, stand­ing cen­tre

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