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Elio Fiorucci: Fashion, Love Therapy & Vegetarianism

Elio Fiorucci: Fashion, Love Therapy & Vegetarianism

Elio Fiorucci, the Milanese designer and talent scout who changed the way a generation dressed, explaines his path to vegetarianism.

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He opened his first store in the 1960s, in Italy, importing clothes from London’s Carnaby Street and the States, carrying looks and styles that were groundbreaking for the times, focusing on the power of prints. Just a decade later, he had opened stores in Japan and South America as well. The Manhattan store on 59th street was selected for the launch of Woody Allen’s magazine, Interview. More than just a fashion brand, Fiorucci represented a new way of thinking and his stores were meeting places for both the intellectual and artistic set. In 1981, his collection of T-shirts and sweatshirts printed with Walt Disney images were a sold-out success. In 2003, he sold his Milanese store to the Swedish group H&M, and immediately created the Love Therapy line – featuring accessories, clothing and T-shirts – with two of Snow White’s dwarves as the logo. Here is an interview with the fashion icon on his switch to vegetarianism and much more.

How has your approach to food changed over the last twenty years?
Let’s say that as a young man, I wasn’t particularly healthy – “smart eating” has come over time. In the past, I never thought about food, but now I am much more aware of how I eat, and I do so with more respect for both my body as well as the planet. My path to vegetarianism was a slow one, it was something I thought about for a long time, and when I read “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer, something in me clicked. I believe that feeding oneself shouldn’t require torturing animals, and that one can take pleasure in food even without meat. It’s not a huge sacrifice, seeing as there are so many other wonderful things the world offers.

You talk about Love Therapy as not only a brand, but a philosophy. Where does food fit in?
Love Therapy is an expression of freedom that we all have within, one that is often blocked out of dear. I’ve learned that when fear ends, a new life can begin. Young people who follow me know that Love Therapy refers to food that doesn’t cause harm to living animals or our planet.

With your healthy outlook on eating, what’s your ideal meal?
While I’m very attracted to the vegan culture, I’m not a vegan. I try to stick to a vegetarian diet because I think what humans are doing to animals is terrible. When I shop, I concentrate on fruits and vegetables. Everyone has a goal, and mine right now is to become vegan – I think of them as modern saints, as they make sacrifices for a better, collective good. For breakfast, I have milk and supplements. At lunch, legumes or pasta, and vegetables. At dinner – a glass of milk. A doctor told me that if I didn’t eat in the evenings, I’d live longer. But if I think of my ideal dish, it’s a plate of spaghetti and tomato sauce.

Do you believe in ethical food? What will we eat in the future?
I hope that humans will slowly begin to eat less and less meat. I think that a future is only possible if all living beings are respected. I don’t condemn those who eat meat – there are people in my own family who still do – because I think it’s a personal matter. But I do think that the food we eat as humans shouldn’t cause other creatures pain.

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