When you ask her which is the highest moment of her career she answers: “When I saw my children become parents”. Born in Porto Santo Stefano, Italy, and since five years moving between Livorno and Milan, she was named as one of the “100 Great Beauties of the World” by Harper’s Bazaar. A woman who took part in one of the most important artistic periods, which have connected her with figures as Salvador Dalì and Andy Warhol, being always far away from the research of the classical ideal of the beauty. “Boredom doesn’t exist. I feel the best when I am in front of the sea, listening to the rhythm of the waves. I am fine in silence, alone”. Benedetta Barzini is one of the most famous model of the 70s, a journalist, a feminist, a fashion history teacher in Milan and recently the testimonial of a campaign launched by the “Umberto Veronesi Foundation” with L’Oreal Paris and Coop to prevent the melanoma.
Could you please tell us more of your background and career?
Becoming a model is always something that happens by chance. It’s a temporary job, but I’ve known how to turn it on a school subject for a course about the “Meaning and importance of the dress over the time”.
Much has been talked about your friendship with names such as Dalì and Warhol. What do you remember of those years?
I worked almost exclusively in New York. In those years there was a surge of invention, an immense force in the air, in the youth behavior, and everyone mingled with everyone else in a new collective invention of the future – the hope of building a right world, equitable, free of any gender’s racism and war, full of music and nature. I found myself right in the middle of that.
Who is the photographer you preferred to work with?
Irving Penn, for sure.
As a teacher, what are the inspirations for your lessons?
The lessons are based on studies that I keep doing on anthropology, sociology of morality, philosophy, religion, economics, history: these are some of the disciplines that build our human behavior. Therefore, even the way we dress.
What do you think about the binomial art-fashion? Do you think that fashion could be considered as art? Why?
In fashion, you can see expressed the most refined craftsmanship. The art takes over in the inventions of the authors who use an idea of a dress instead of a color on a canvas, a material to be carved or a place where do performances.
How would you define your style to someone who doesn’t know you?
Simply avoiding to do that.
Is there a something that you haven’t done yet that you’d like to do in the future?
I would like to find a way to ensure myself the survival and then I can devote time to human and social issues, including political.
What is the city you are more closely linked and why?
I’m not tied up to any place.
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured/ interviewed here?
Because I think that the facts are the only other activity that affects people, the press, the “buildings”, the television, the parliament, the government, I find difficult to suggest one person – but I think it’s worth talking about those who recounts his experiences by extending the argument to the history of the world he/she lives in or comes from. Not the ones that only speak about themselves.
File under: Interview