Interview: Bettina Looney & Anna Vitiello
We spoke to Faithfull muses and friends, Bettina Looney and Anna Vitiello about where they met, how they became involved in the fashion industry and what being a woman means to them.
“How did you both meet?”
A: "Through a mutual good friend but we became close almost instantly. I must have needed her warm, kind energy in my life without knowing it and we’ve done almost everything together since!"
B: "Anna and I met at an event, and were introduced by a mutual friend. Almost as soon as we’d met, I remember feeling that I’d know Anna for a really long time, we connected right away. Anna then invited me to an event she was hosting the following week and from then on we would bump into each other all the time - I think it was the universe telling us we had no choice but to be friends. We’ve been like sisters ever since."
“What/who inspires you?”
A: "Goodness, so much! I’m inspired by the strength and resilience of people I know but also the incredible, admirable people I don’t know personally that we see campaigning and fighting for justice all over the world. I feel grateful everyday for my job and the people around me and it inspires me to push harder and do better."
B: "All of the incredible women in my life inspire me each and every day to become a better woman. They challenge me, teach me new things and have helped me grow to be where I am right now. My mother has been a real driving force in my life - she is someone I look up to every day and am constantly inspired by."
“How did you both get into the fashion industry and may we ask for advice to those wishing to follow in your footsteps?”
A: "I studied fashion marketing at university and knew I wanted to go into magazines, so I started interning everywhere I could upon graduating. After countless internships and a one-year stint at ELLE, I landed my first full time job at Harper’s Bazaar and was there for 5 years, but with the fashion landscape changing, I knew I had to move on and now my job revolves around understanding how best to communicate visually with an audience in an ever-more challenging environment. There were still many girls interning when I left and continuing to do so, and I always share this bit of advice: keep one eye on what’s happening on a wider scale, because we can often romanticise what working in fashion looks like, including working in print, for example. But the industry has changed and we have to forge new paths now that didn’t exist five years ago, so don’t be afraid to gain experience and make your own judgment on what elements of the industry need great young people like you!"
B: "How I got into fashion was quite the opposite to Anna! I moved to London after graduating from university. When I first arrived I knew absolutely no one, and randomly started working for a Germany company selling online reservation platforms to restaurants in East London. I remember meeting my now-husband Carlos and one evening whilst having dinner with a group of his friends, I met a girl who worked for a personal shopping company, and shortly afterwards I started working there. Before then I hadn’t really ever contemplated working in fashion or understood how it would become such an important part of my life and career path. I worked for the personal shopping company for around three years and learnt everything I know. I’ve now had my own personal styling and shopping company for around three years now, and we are helping brilliant women around the world access their favourite fashion pieces from incredible designers. It’s been such a rewarding job, getting to know and work alongside such inspiring women. I’m proud to also offer services to sustainably re-sell pieces that are no longer worn, and play my part in making the fashion industry more circular."
“During Co-Vid you both donated pieces from your personal wardrobe and auctioned them off to raise much needed funding for the NHS. You are advocates for charity causes like this and others, tell us about your work in this field.”
A: "It was a time in which we felt helpless and useless, and we decided to mobilise our wardrobes to help in any small way that we can. The fashion industry can do so much good when we put our minds to it, so where we get to help out in small ways like this, it’s a really rewarding thing to be able to do."
B: "Anna and I for so long have wanted to arrange a charity sale of pieces we no longer wear, to allow them to go to new homes around the world. The pandemic really allowed us the opportunity to slow down and we felt the time was right to do our bit and to raise money for the brilliant charities we chose to support, who were working so hard to protect people during the pandemic. Luckily I had a huge stock of clothes (some dating back to my college days!) that I no longer wore, and that I was keeping a corner of my office. During lockdown we had to move offices and that further spurred Anna and I on to start our sales!"
“Being a woman means to you:”
A: "It means constant growth. I’m endlessly learning and trying to be better and that never ends - I’ll only be the best boss / partner / sister / daughter / friend I can be by being open to learning and changing, so I hope that never stops."
B: "Being a woman to me means being powerful."
“What keeps you motivated and how do you get through life’s challenges?”
A: "As I’ve grown up I’ve become more motivated by the desire to do good. It’s an incredible thing to be successful, but what’s more important and rewarding is the power that it gives you to make a difference, whether that’s to one person, one charity or more. But I’m also incredibly lucky to have the most amazing support system around me from my boyfriend to my family and friends, and I wake up grateful for that everyday because I know that’s a rare and lucky, lucky thing."
B: "I think that life has so much to throw at all of us (especially this year!). It’s so important to remember that it’s okay to go through the emotions, and feel sad at times. It’s about how we wake up the next day and try to spread positivity and love - that’s something my family has always instilled in me. No matter who you meet, or pass in the street, always try to spread love."
“Your ultimate summer getaway is…”
A: "Naples, where my Dad’s family are in Italy. I spent my summers there as a child and to me, there just is no better place on earth."
B: "Definitely Italy. I feel like I come alive there. Incredible food and amazing history."