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One step next to the other

By May 31, 2021No Comments

There are friends you choose as a second family. You can’t help but think that they are part of your life, they have always been there sharing smiles and tears, pieces of life that you cannot forget.

Marianna Vigneri is a fashion designer just like me, she graduated in Fashion design from the Academy of fine Arts just like I did, she is from Palermo just like me.
She has created a line of women’s and children’s clothing with soft fabrics, simple lines designed for everyday life, with a study for details that makes the difference:MV.
She is passionate about her work and she gets emotional, with no one noticing, when customers write to thank her.

Marianna and I met at the admission interview for the Academy; friendly and smiling, she approached me with a thousand questions, while I was sitting in a corner lost in thoughts waiting diligently all by myself… I mustn’t have been too nice giving my answers, yet Marianna has always told me that’s when she understood that we would become friends.

We had studied together for all the Academy years. I did the manual work that Marianna, a draftsman and fashion designer, took hours to create, and she helped me to design what I had created.
Then, at night, she would focus on the art history lessons held by our feared professor Gallo and I would be so dead tired that I would cry – Let me sleep !! – there, among tears and laughter, and I would be drunk with sleep, that’s when we realized that we would study with opposite rhythms.
After we finished the Academy we had our first work experiences together, the first travels, the trade fairs, the feeling of total loss in a world that always looks huge for our start-up businesses.
Doing it together helped us feel stronger, by exchanging views on our first decisions we made and by sharing the small successes we got that wouldn’t seem so small after all.

In a city like Palermo, where being in the fashion world is seen as a type of hobby, not a real job (because you can’t be good unless you have been to Milan), it has been nice to have a friend by your side who has been experiencing the same passions and discomforts as you.

We are not alike, Marianna and I. I am hyperactive when I wake up, while Marianna takes some time to be wide awake; in the evening she gets more lively while I have to struggle to stay up. She has three brothers and has lived in a world of boys, I have two sisters and have lived in a world of girls. She is a dreamer and romantic even though she never sheds tears; I am concrete and emotional, and sometimes I also pour her tears. Different, sometimes totally different, but similar at the root and for this reason, even after the most furious quarrels and the various misunderstandings, we have chosen each other.
Over the years we have learned something from each other and perhaps today we are more similar, like an elderly couple.
I once gave her a bike to force her to stop using the car for everything and after years she finally converted, too.
She always gives me faith in life and not only; maybe one day in heaven I’ll tell St. Peter – Excuse me, I’m a friend of Marianna Vigneri’s! – and he can’t help but let me in, you know what I mean.
Over the years we have been at each other’s side with friendship and esteem, enjoying every step made with effort.

The first time I asked Marianna to pose for some photos, it was a difficult time for her. She wore the Tarta-ruga backpack, an important piece for the history of our brand that I love very much. Tarta-ruga is a special backpack that embraces the person who is wearing it: it is like an armor, it shows and hides you at the same time. It was my gift for her at a time when she needed a hug to protect her without constraints, and only a friend can do this.
Today, she is our testimonial for our Viceversa Aspide sandals, because the steps we have taken we have always taken together side by side. I am proud of her work, of what she has become. I see a beautiful future ahead and nothing more than a pair of sandals represents a journey, a path made up of choices, sacrifice, hard work, a lot of passion and some stumbling blocks.
To you, friend, to friendship in general and ours in particular, to the luck I had that day when I wasn’t nice, nor sociable, and I wasn’t smiling, maybe I was just scared, but you already saw through me!


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