Maria Saporito, a fashion illustrator whose drawings depict fashion in the most interesting way, belongs to this new generation of women dreamers who refuse to bow to convention. Where other people see just a simple landscape photo or a discarded leftover banana peel, Maria sees a dress. Her sketches, an eclectic mixture of photography and illustration have won the hearts of fashion’s heavy weights making her dream become a reality at the age of 18 when the prestigious fashion house Maison Valentino shared one of her illustrations on Instagram. Since then the interest for her one of a kind drawings has spread like wild fire across social media, attracting the attention of huge fashion names like Anna Dello Russo and fashion houses like Roberto Cavalli, Marchesa and Oscar de la Renta who followed suit quickly after. But despite her wildly huge success, the most impressive thing about her is not her fame, but rather her approachability, humbleness and deep appreciation for what made her the woman she is today. Read on as she shares how she got discovered, what it was like to work with such influential fashion names and her ultimate dream of becoming a fashion designer in the latest edition of Cool Faces of Bastet Noir.
Tell us a bit more about your beginnings… Who is Maria Saporito?
Who am I? A dreamer, that’s all. I’ve been drawing since when I was a girl, I used to imagine how a biscuit could become a dress. Then I started discovering the fashion world, something magical where you are free to be yourself, I started working early in a casual and natural way without even realizing, I owe it all to Instagram.
What would you say was the single most important thing that got you to where you are today?
Believing in myself, always, in my abilities without limits and thinking that we can do anything if we really want to! Also my motto is “Carpe diem”, do what you have to do now, never put off till tomorrow and this motto helps me a lot!
You’ve collaborated with fashion heavyweights among which Valentino , Oscar de la Renta , Roberto Cavalli. What was it like working with such influential names in the fashion industry?
As a fashion illustrator your work includes transforming everyday objects and scenery into fashion. That’s kind of like your thing. We love how all of your illustrations are different and yet there’s a common thread that unites them all. You’ve mentioned in an interview you did for ShakeMyMag that impressionism is the artistic current that represents you the best. Curious to know what is it exactly about that particular movement that inspires you?
Absolutely, everything is natural and immediate. Impressionists used to sketch en plein air to catch the impression of that moment and then they paint in their studio. I do the same thing, if I see a dress in a manhole, first I take the picture and later I draw the dress in my studio.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?
I’ve collaborated with Tesori d’Oriente for its anniversary. I had to do an illustration with their shower cream and obviously I saw a bag and I did an illustration of a lady walking with the shower cream as a bag, it was really funny.
Biggest achievement you’re most proud of
Biggest failure and what you learnt from it?
I don’t believe in failure, especially if you give your best when you do something. Unfortunately, bad things can happen during your life, but you have to spin it to your advantage. That’s the secret, see the positive in a negative thing, it sounds trite but that’s it!
Favorite female empowerment speech
She said ” I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
I think we should all be feminist, I believe in girl power, I always been one of that girl who wanted to play football and I always wanted to be considered strong as boys. This is why I have a parallel life, I’m an athletic coach, I love motivating my team, the goal is to project strength, courage and power.
Best and worst part about your job
It’s not like a job! I love what I do, I could draw all the day. I think this the key to life, you don’t have to work to live but you live to do this job..I couldn’t live without art and fashion. The bad part is when you’re not inspired and you have deadlines to do, but that’s a part of the job, I love finding new way to get inspiration like doing travels, reading or visiting exhibitions.
What’s your next move?
Turn my illustrations into clothes, I want to switch paper and brushes into textiles and scissors. I’m studying fashion design, as soon as I finish the studies, you’ll see on my feed not only drawings but real clothes to wear!
What’s in your Bastet Noir cart?
The Athena dress, I’m in love.
There’s a well known saying that goes something like this “Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real”. This rare breed of humans abides by it. That’s probably why they lead such interesting lives and have incredible stories to tell. Maria is one of them as her illustrations portray the different side of life, one where everything is possible, one which blends in both fantasy and reality and in a world that becomes darker by the minute we need women warriors like her to brighten it up.
We love strong, confident and self reliant women, so if you think you got what it takes, send us an email with your Instagram account and the story you’d like to share and you might just become Bastet Noir’s next cool face.
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