Photograph by Lucia Pica.
In an era where seemingly everything is mined for inspiration—or, let’s be frank, appropriation—what does it take to be truly one of a kind? A willingness to break the rules is essential; a strong sense of personal style certainly doesn't hurt; but most of all, you need to have a truly meaningful point of view. At W we are all about celebrating originality, which is why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite people who are constantly pushing boundaries, and asked them to share valuable insights. They may be just starting out or in the prime of their careers, but they are all leading the conversation in their chosen fields—whether it’s fashion, art, film, music, photography, or even skateboarding. The bottom line is that, regardless of their differences, they all share one very important trait: for them, standing out, rather than blending in, is not an option but a necessity.
Lucia Pica is the global creative makeup and color designer for Chanel.
What is originality to you?
Being true, authentic, and pure. Originality is staying close to one’s essence, which naturally reflects individuality.
Who is an Original?
Someone who fearlessly follows their heart and instincts.
What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
My dad once told me if you decide to wear a miniskirt, don’t tug at it, don’t try to pull it longer…just own it. I think it applies to everything.
Who is your beauty icon?
I’m attracted to women who have strength of character. Whether it is kindness, confidence, wit, mystery…it is about them being unapologetic about who they are. The strength of Monica Vitti’s eyes and voice inspires me. Or the perfectly unusual beauty of Isabella Rossellini.
Who is your style icon?
Any character from a Michelangelo Antonioni film.
What was your first major fashion purchase?
A Helmut Lang shirt with a slit at the elbows.
What’s the most prized possession in your closet?
My grandmother’s rose-shaped earrings.
What’s the worst fashion or beauty trend that you’ve participated in?
I plucked my eyebrows really thin in the ’90s. Like one line—it was really sad.
What was your style like as a teenager?
Big sweaters, T-shirts, and jeans. I wanted to look like my brothers.
What are your social media pet peeves?
I would say the kind of restrictions that social media might bring—the sort of overthinking of your life and what you wear and what you do, just because it might be exposed, and it might be criticized. It must be really hard being a teenager right now.
What’s your secret skill?
I sometimes like to paint simple little watercolors, but I don’t know if it’s a skill—it’s just an interest. I like the medium because the paint kind of directs you, and you’re not in control so much. Literally—sometimes it goes its own way, and you have to try to work around it. But I’m not an expert at all!
You were born in Naples. Any shopping tips there?
To be honest, I don’t shop that much. I only go to this vintage place called Doctor Vintage. I get all my denim, like jeans, there. I was there this past August, and I got this really nice pale blue jacket, a trenchcoat, and a pair of high-waisted white corduroy trousers.
Any other secret or beloved addresses in Naples?
I go to Ristorante da Dora for fresh fish and the best spaghetti alle vongole, or this old-school local place called Amici Miei for comfort food. Osteria da Tonino for lunch is like your mom’s cooking, you know? I also like to have an aperitivo near Piazza Santa Maria. They’re all authentic places, not overly done or anything. For culture I go a lot to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. I also love Cimitero delle Fontanelle, which is an ossuary full of skulls. And then, right near Posillipo, there is the Gaiola Underwater Park, where you can see submerged ruins and walk down to a little beach.
Who was the first person who made you realize you could break the rules?
It wasn’t a person but a town: London. When I moved there, it completely changed my perception of things and inspired me to push myself.