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BEAUTY & FASHION

Q&A with Heidi Fossali, Founder of Siro Cashmere

Mable Yiu

When and how did you initially become interested in health and wellness/fitness?

I have been interested in health and fitness ever since I can remember. Growing up in England I was always sporty at school - definitely a team player. I was on the running, swimming, netball and volleyball teams; I was always pretty active. In my early 20’s I was introduced to the gym and to aerobic exercise classes, and I became completely hooked. Soon after I decided to enhance my personal and professional life skills by becoming qualified as a personal fitness trainer.

After moving to Los Angeles, the ‘fitness capital’ of the world, I discovered my ‘wellness world.’ I lived in Malibu with sunny skies, wheatgrass juice for breakfast, organic markets, running on the beach and rollerblading on the boardwalk…I was in heaven. I re-certified in the US as a personal trainer and established a varied and interesting client base.

After 10 years in LA and now living on the French Riviera, I workout 2-3 times per week at the gym as part of a healthy lifestyle – I still love running and probably sneak in around 20km per week.I am also very disciplined in what I feed my body. I truly believe that nutrition is the MOST important component in a healthy and active life.

In the past, you’ve studied makeup, hair design, and fashion. Do you continue to pursue these passions even though fitness is your primary business, and if so, how?

I studied beauty, makeup and hair design for 3 years in the USA and the UK. I then enrolled at college to study fashion retail, buying, and merchandising in London, followed by 2 years working for designer couture collections (Louis Feraud and Nino Cerruti). I then created my own consultancy as a ‘Lifestyle Beauty Coach’ beginning in London and then reintroducing it again 8 years later here on the French Riviera. It was a great way to incorporate ALL 3 of my passions – Faces, Fashion & Fitness.

Clients have included a new mommy wanting her ‘body back’, a new hairstyle, a need to re-balance her skin, a new wardrobe or even just an easy-peasy make-up routine. Another client might be a dynamic business woman with 2 children, 3 houses, an equally dynamic husband, a busy social life and a demanding schedule. We exercised at the gym twice a week, and I created an effective, attractive and practical wardrobe for her schedule.

I just love to inspire, guide and advise men, women and teens on how to look and feel their best, which I feel directly relates to self-confidence, self-esteem and being the best version of themselves!

You have two teenage daughters, who inspired your Teen Beauty Bootcamp programs. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience working with teens?

My instinct to share my knowledge with my 2 teenage daughters along with my desire for them to reach their potential, to feel confident, to love themselves and truly find their ‘WOW’ factor in life inspired me to create TeenLifeStudio. I wanted ALL teens to have the same motivation. 

Teenage years can be cumbersome, complex and sometimes confusing. A lack of knowledge about proper care (such as healthy food choices) could damage a teen’s self-esteem. I decided to create Teen Beauty Bootcamps so I could empower and guide teens to recognize their own individual beauty through sharing my knowledge and ‘tips from the top’ on personal presentation and communication.

We covered everything from first impressions to healthy food choices for your body and brain, skincare routines, fresh face age appropriate make-up, clothes for your body type, body care and the importance of exercise…I created a Starting School NOT a Finishing School! I am passionate and feel privileged to stand on this platform to perhaps make a difference in a teen’s life. My driving force is my motivation to help teen’s learn to love themselves!

You recently launched your luxury cashmere brand, SIRO. What is the inspiration behind your products?

After advising, guiding and inspiring others, I decided to think about what I wanted… besides true love, financial freedom and longer legs... I realized my frustration each morning as I opened my wardrobe! I wanted a simple, sexy, luxurious item of clothing that would ‘take me anywhere’...and so SIRO Cashmere was born.

SIRO includes a capsule collection of luxury 85% silk and 15% cashmere tee-shirts. The collection is enhanced by high-quality, Loro Piana yarn, and is inspired by the colors of the French Riviera. The collection was designed in Monaco and produced in Italy.

How has your experience living in both LA and the French Riviera influenced your brand?

Having lived an outdoor-based, active lifestyle in Los Angeles for 10 years and in the French Riviera for the last 12 years, it became inevitable that my surroundings and climate would influence my SIRO cashmere brand. My attitude, my expectations, my style and my desires are directly related to my environment… I doubt I would have been so inspired living in the mountains in a cold climate.

Do you have a most-worn, or favorite piece in your collection?

I have to admit that I love my off-the-shoulder SIRO tee-shirt. I named it ‘Ooh-la- la’--and that’s just how I feel when I wear it!

Do you think that your experience working in the fitness industry played a role in your desire to create a cashmere business?

The direct connection and inspiration between working in the fitness industry and then creating my SIRO tee-shirt brand is really all about self-esteem, confidence and body image. Exercise can help us feel confident, in control, attractive, powerful and sexy. These very words are what I felt and [they] ultimately inspired me to design and produce my brand of luxury tee-shirts.

To learn more, visit www.heidifossali.com.

By Sydney Hartzell

Photo courtesy of Heidi Fossali.