BIOGRAPHY


Victor Faretina (December 2, 1992) is an Italian graphic and fashion designer, model and comic artist. He is known for his Web In Vogue haute couture collection that went viral in 2012 on social networks and websites like Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit and DeviantArt. The artworks have been featured by important editorials and websites like CBS, Glamour, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, MSN and Le Monde (>magazines articles). He also designed many Harajuku’s Lolita Fashion collections for his own brand Les Églantines.

EARLY LIFE
Faretina was born on December 2, 1992 in Genova, port city of Italy in Liguria region. Only child of photographer Savino Mauro Faretina (September 13, 1950) and model Anna Maria Martino (January 31, 1953). His father, after working for many years at the Italian Railways, officially began his photographer career at 40. Faretina’s small home was full of pictures, paintings and antiques, so Victor grew up in a very creative atmosphere and soon became confident posing for a camera lens, since the father used to use his family as models. With Anna’s shoots Savino won many photo contest prizes in the 80s. Anna used to work at the Genova City Hall.
In kindergarten period Victor’s father taught him how to write and then Victor began the studies at the local Prato Public Elementary School and then at d’Azzeglio Public Middle School, where the teachers noticed his outstanding creativity and skills in drawing and writing. Throughout elementary and middle school he experienced homophobic bullying because of his different behaviour and hobbies. Since the violences usually came from other male classmates, this influenced the way Victor usually had relationships with boys and girls, with the effect of usually avoid having contacts or relating with boys.

In the summer of 2004 his father, after having just healed from cancer in the previous years, had a brain stroke and lost for good many primary functions like movement, swallowing and eyesight, and lost full autonomy in the daily actions. Anna had to assist and take care of him everyday for 3 years at the hospital, and still have to take care of him in everything at home. From that day on Faretina family’s life drastically changed and since the different hospitals were far away from Genova Anna had to follow his husband so Victor, who was 11 at the time, stayed for 5 months first at the uncle’s home and then with his grandmother. After coming back home his mother had to go everyday to the hospital, so Victor used to spend nearly everydays at home alone.
He then enrolled in the Columbus Classic Highschool to study lathin and ancient greek, but then he left after 2 years and went to the Vittorio Emanuele II Design Institute. «The classic highschool has been my darkest time. I had no friends, nobody understood me and I used to study hard but took bad degrees, it was very frustrating. I didn’t want to study dead languages, I wanted to create». At the design highschool, together with his friend Francesca Parisi, he found his life goals: becoming a stylist and create his own manga. That’s where the manga Iridescent Heart was born, as well as his passion for Japanese culture and fashion.
Relationships between Victor and his parents went more and more difficult as Victor’s creative personality felt the need to come out and express, so at 19 right after graduating from highschool he left and went to Milan to enroll in NABA Fine Arts Academy with a full merit scholarship.

MILAN
Victor moved to Milan in 2012 after finding in the city’s southern suburbs a shared flat with 3 other students, one of them a classmate in the fashion design course at Naba. He instantly fell in love with the way more lively and cosmopolitan Milan metropolis. «Milan has so much more to give, it’s one of the fashion capitals in the world so if you want to become a fashion designer it’s the only place in Italy where you can go». Victor arrived full of determination, throughout spring and summer of 2012 he saw his designs from Web in Vogue collection being spread all around the net by hundreds of thousands of people, catching the interest of Chenda Ngak from CBS News. Then from her article, many other journalists asked for interviews and published Victor’s artworks. «One day I was going out, and my new neighbour in Milan went out and showed me a website news on her phone asking if it was really me. It was so surreal». In the summer he also attended the fashion kermesse and tv event “Fashion Puglia” in Carovigno as special guest. In Milan Victor met new people and made friends with similar interests, co-organized the Milan Harajuku Fashion Walk and started working as model with different photographers.
In September of 2014 the dream of going to Japan came true and he visited Tokyo and its iconic places: the Tokyo Tower, Shibuya, and the fashion district of Harajuku, the heart of young alternative fashion in Japan. He could see how much Japanese fashion was actually different from the western fashion world and how many things in common his art used to have with Japanese aesthetics. «I told to myself: that’s my place. The next time I will come back, I will come to live here».
He then graduated from Burgo Fashion Institute in 2015 and had experiences as stylist assistent in the backstage of Costume National fashion shows. But right after the school he started planning his moving to Tokyo, so he couldn’t look for a designer job in Milan since he would have left in few months.

TOKYO
«Moving to Tokyo has been a reckless decision, though I was very sure about it. It took me a long time to convince my parents, and leaving my friends has been quite hard. I took a plane all alone for the first time, and went in a country with a totally different language and culture, where I didn’t know absolutely nobody and had no connections, just my passion and my dream. I was crazy.»
Victor arrived in Tokyo on the 8th of January in 2016. Moved in a share house of 9 people and started studying Japanese at the Kai Japanese Language School, and started looking for a job. After 4 months he found an employment in Tokyo’s iconic shopping mall “109” in Shibuya at an apparel shop. «It’s been a traumatic experience, but I was quite proud of that job. None of my classmates could find job because we were only at the 2nd level and the Italians usually find job at some Italian restaurant, thanks to some friend or Italian boss, who can speak Italian. I found that job knocking at the shops’ doors, speaking polite Japanese and found it in a place where I was the only foreigner staff in the whole mall».
In the meanwhile he started sending resumees and designs to some fashion brands and launched his modeling career after registering to different modelig agencies. He worked in a tv commercial for Docomo in 2016 and for Softbank in 2017, where the commercial starred Justin Bieber.

 


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