IN CONVERSATION WITH GEMMA FERRI
Interview by Marie-Pauline Cesari
Numéro Netherlands Digital introduces Gemma Ferri, a Spanish stylist with a vibrant passion for fashion. Currently based in Madrid and soon to embark on a new opportunity in Los Angeles with the Third Way brand, Gemma's fashion journey began in the picturesque town of Amposta. From childhood sewing projects and family fashion shows to studying fashion design in Barcelona, her career took a unique turn into costume design for theater.
Her 'Women's Circles' project, born from a year-long exploration of women's power, beautifully merges fashion and mental health, fostering industry gatherings for deeper collaborations. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with her.
Hello, Gemma, could you introduce yourself to our readers? Tell us about your passion for fashion. What is your first memory of fashion, and when did you know that you would make a career out of your passion?
Hiii Numéro team! My name is Gemma Ferri, I’m Spanish, from a town called Amposta (Tarragona), based in Madrid, and in a few weeks, I’m moving to Los Angeles because I’ve been offered an opportunity with the Third Way brand as a stylist. Born between sea and mountains, I can’t wait to get to Los Angeles to continue working in fashion.
I’ve been passionate about fashion since I was a child. I always asked for a sewing machine, fabrics, and clothes from my family. I would set up my fashion shows at home, create looks every day inspired by something I had seen that day, and make clothes with pieces of paper and fabrics for my dolls. It was always clear in my family that my path was heading in that direction. So when the time came, I went to Barcelona to study fashion design and styling.
Tell us about your career path, from your design studies in Barcelona to your current role as a stylist. What have been the key milestones in your professional development?
In Barcelona, I studied a year of fashion design. I realized that I admired the work of the designer a lot, but I didn’t feel personally inspired by it.
I started working as a costume designer in theater, and that’s where my passion for creating a character from scratch was born. I would search among vintage clothing and create new pieces to ensure coherence with the character being developed.
From there, I gradually moved up in the fashion industry, doing my first editorials with the photographer Aitana Valencia in Madrid. She has been very important in my fashion development, being part of my evolution as a stylist and believing in me at all times. I feel so inspired by her.
Are there any icons or heroes who have influenced your career and your style?
I am very inspired by the work of current stylists such as Judit Melis, Alba Melendo, Oana Cilibiu, etc. However, I could say that my inspiration to grow in fashion every day comes from my circle of friends: Aitor Laspiur, Aitana Valencia, Martxel Montero, Reparto Studio, Lucia Sobas, Pepe Herreros. They are my great inspiration, always climbing towards great opportunities, fighting to be where they are, and taking risks to fulfill their dreams.
Your “Women’s Circles” project seems unique and inspiring. Can you tell us how this idea came about and how it merges your passions for fashion and mental health?
A year ago, I began exploring the power of women in society, acknowledging the historical exclusion and silencing they’ve faced. Over time, I realized that when women gather to discuss topics like art, we can create larger projects, inspire each other, and provide mutual support.
Feminine energy is, at its core, a creative force, empowered by the ability to create life. I believe this creative power enables us to imagine and build greater things for society, rooted in love. Simultaneously, I recognize that feminine energy is inherent in everyone, regardless of gender, and it’s crucial for all to connect with it.
Merging this creative energy with fashion through industry gatherings is highly relevant. It allows us to understand the essence of the individuals we collaborate with, fostering deeper projects with successful results that leave everyone involved feeling more fulfilled.
Over the past year, you’ve been reading about the power of women in society. How has this exploration influenced your perspective on the role of women in the fashion industry and beyond?
As mentioned earlier, women and everything associated with femininity have been historically deprived, and we continue to face the consequences of this deprivation. A prevailing masculine power dynamic often asserts its influence in society, contributing to our hesitancy to fully express femininity, as we fear exclusion.The education system plays a role in shaping these perceptions; we learn to conform to predetermined norms. Growing up within such constraints, when we finally have the freedom to create, we often grapple with insecurities, fearing that our liberated expression might be deemed incorrect or unconventional.
You mentioned the notion of creative feminine energy. How do you see this creative energy expressed in your work as a stylist and in the projects you undertake?
I always work with women or within circles where there is a lot of feminine energy present, which helps me connect with my sensitivity and allows me to flow within it.
How has your experience as a theater stylist influenced your approach to styling for the media and magazines?
It has influenced my approach in a way that I prefer to observe the model/talent first and then create based on what inspires me about the person. I take pleasure in crafting a character, imagining their concerns, daily activities, preferred colors, and overall attitude toward life. This thorough understanding helps guide the direction during a photo shoot.
You produced a magnificent cover for Numéro Netherlands Digital, starring Jorge Lopez. What was that experience like?
It was one of the most beautiful experiences, and I am very grateful to the entire Numéro NL team for it. It was my first cover, and I had the pleasure of working surrounded by women, the women who have helped me grow in fashion: Aitana Valencia, Maria Vitores, Jone Poderoso, Alba Córdoba, and Lara Serrano.
You work with celebrities such as Macarena García, Begoña Vargas, and Real Madrid players. How have these experiences enriched your understanding of styling and creating characters through fashion?
Working with people who have such a significant social impact has helped me understand more about the importance of naturalness and simplicity in fashion. I’ve been fortunate to work with very genuine and hardworking individuals.
I enjoy the process of working with celebrities and finding the perfect look that conveys security and confidence to them.
Fashion styling often involves understanding the essence of a person in order to create deeper projects and forge strong bonds. How do you approach this psychological dimension in your work as a stylist?
I like to personally see the model/celebrity before deciding on an outfit, and I always come prepared with many different proposals.I feel it’s crucial for the person to try on the looks, feel free to express their opinion, and choose what they feel most favored in on that particular day. It’s something I take into great consideration when selecting a final style.
Let’s talk about your vision of sustainable fashion. How do you integrate sustainability principles into your work, and how do you see the role of fashion in creating a more sustainable society?
I typically avoid working with ‘fast fashion.’ Instead, I prioritize clothing from small designers, fostering mutual support within the community. If I can’t find what I’m looking for there, I always explore vintage stores. It’s crucial for all of us to become more conscious of the current state of the planet and take responsibility for its well-being.
In Madrid, my friends have initiated a beautiful movement that I wholeheartedly support. It’s called ‘I Love Spanish Fashion’ (@ilovespanishfashion), where many designers unite to celebrate and promote emerging design.
As the founder of Women’s Circles, how do you see the future of this project and its potential impact on the fashion industry? What are your long-term goals for this initiative?
Hopefully, this project gathers a lot of feminine energy and helps us get to know each other, talk about the importance of creating, unite different points of view, and overcome fear. The goal, I would say, both in the short and long term, is this: to know our essence, respect it, and love it.