She is one of those people that make things happen. Smart, capable and inspiring, one of those modern women that achieve a lot, look fabulous while doing it and make it all seem so easy. From being a PR, a DJ and an owner of the hottest club in Milan she can juggle it all and be great in all those roles. Her name is Natasha Slater and here is our talk with her.
- Can you tell our readers a bit more about yourself?
I always introduce myself as being a Brit living in Milan. I moved here from London 11 years ago. Everyone in Milan thinks I’m crazy for choosing Milan over London, but when I explain what a fabulous life I have here, people begin to get it. I consider myself to be both a PR and an artist. That might sound pretentious, but considering the world I am surrounded with in the fashion industry I think it’s quite an honest analogy. I’m a natural communicator, I love promoting projects, ideas, people, brands, most of which I create from scratch, and that’s where the artist comes in. Like an artist, I create a concept, a story, a project and then I go and tell everyone about it. I have quite a loud voice and a big personality so I’m quite assertive in my intentions. 5 years ago I created a weekly party which I call Punks Wear Prada, it’s like a baby for me, I care and nurture it every single week. Today it’s as much a business as platform for me to express myself. It’s a daily challenge to keep it current and happening. I love every second of it, even if sometimes it keeps me up at night! Since 3 years I have been consulting for Dolce&Gabbana, working as both an events ideas person, coordinator and social PR. Right now I’m working on a big retail operation for the brand, where I with a team of people have created a unique concept to promote their menswear and watch collections. I’ve learnt so much working with them, and again it’s challenging when you have to work in a big company, where there are a lot of head figures. I also work with Belvedere Vodka and consult for events for Furla as well as many other brands.
- We know you are juggling many professions, but tell us what was your first love? What did you dream of becoming when you were a little girl?
I always wanted to be an artist. My family were friends with Francis Bacon, I remember being deeply inspired by him, I always knew I needed an outlet for creative self, yet growing up I recognized I had great communications skills, and so I started to think about creating moments in life, I suppose events, where I could work from an artistic concept and then share that with the world.
- How did life take you from London to Milan? Which city do you prefer and why?
London is my favorite city in the world, I’ve travelled a lot, but there is nowhere like London. It has energy, beauty and also a certain cruelty, just like life. Growing up in London is the best life school I could have asked for, it’s tough and out of that toughness comes sheer pleasure and delight. I’m a firm believer that to love, you need to sweat. I came to Milan because my father had moved here a few years back to begin a PR agency called Noesis. He was an academic of Political Science when I was growing up and I suppose he felt the academic life wasn’t bringing in enough money, so he moved to Milan where he begun using his skills in PR. My father is my mentor, he’s the best writer I’ve ever known, his mind is brilliant and thanks to him, I got a great kick start in PR, but as he will tell you, the rest I did by myself.
- What are some of your favorite places around Milan?
I love a walk through the Duomo, being a foreigner in this city it feels cosy to be around so many other tourists. I love the grandness of the cathedral, it’s omnipresence and grand beauty. I also love the neighborhood where I live just around Parco Solari, it’s familiar a community, and I feel safe here.
I do love my local restaurants La Tradizionale, we’re friends with the maître d, I enjoy it in there. If I am having a social dinner I often go to Giacomo, where the rest of Milan goes, it’s sort of PR for me, and I love Excelsior department store, they have a great food hall! And of course Santa Tecla, the club where I host my weekly party is my second home.
- What is the best side of working in the fashion industry and what would you like to change if you could?
The best side is the clothes, and it can be exciting and glamourous. I love the shows, and the parties, and I’m lucky to meet and know so many fashion designers here, who lend me a lot of incredible pieces. The pretentiousness can be tiring and the bitchiness can become dull. Too many people constantly trying to overshadow your work, too many people who don’t know who they are without the clothes, I’m always surprised how many people in fashion actually have very boring lives!
- Since you are a busy bee how do you relax? What do you like to do when you have a bit of free time?
That’s a good question. I don’t really know if I do relax much at all, I’m always thinking, planning something new. When I’m not working which is nearly never I’m spending time with my daughter Lola and my boyfriend Sebastiano. I find spending time with my friends really relaxing, and sometimes I just need time alone with a cup of tea and a great film or book.
- Do you still have fun partying and do you ever get tired and want to put your high heels to rest?
I don’t think I will ever stop partying, or get tired from what I do, because for me it’s an expression of my work, my art. I don’t always have fun at other people’s parties, which my boyfriend teases me about. I guess that’s the control freak in me, and just the party organizer, the music has to be really really good for me to just let go!
- Do punks really wear Prada and how did you start that project?
As I mentioned before it’s my creative concept, it comes from my heart. I love music, and I love art and fashion, that’s what PWP represents to me. I started it for those very reasons. I wanted a moment, a place, a space where I could bring together all those elements under one roof, in one unique moment. Yes, we’re all punks in the end, after all, punk is the source, we’re all the same, whether you’re wearing prada or zara – we all eat, shit, pray and love…..
- How do you find balance between your career, personal life and having time for your family?
I struggle is the most honest answer to that question. I haven’t found the balance, and I don’t know if you can have it. Today women like myself want everything, well I know you can have it, but there is a high price to pay for it – something or someone will suffer and get less from you. I do my best to be there as a mother, a girlfriend while dedicating myself entirely to my work. Somehow all these elements complete me, but it’s not a fairy tale. It can be hard, heartbreaking, nerve-wracking and simply stressful. At the same time where or who would I be without love? So I suppose the answer is you have to fight for what you believe in.
- We know you have a beautiful daughter. How would you react if she wanted to work in fashion? What advice would you give her?
Lola is 7 now, and I am sure we’ll cross that bridge a few years on from now, however I wouldn’t be disappointed is she wanted to work in fashion. It would make sense, she’d have a lot of connections already. However, I just like any other parent, want my child to be happy, knowing that is a surreal fantasy, because life isn’t always happy. I want Lola to do something she is passionate about, because without passion, life is a little sadder than it needs to be, and with passion you can get over those bad days because you’re following your dream whatever the obstacle.
- What is your motto in life?
Make It Happen – I have it tattooed on my left wrist, you have to make it happen, no one is going to do it for you!
Thanks to Natasha for finding time for our talk in her busy schedule! We look forward to all the amazing events and projects she will be a part of and we wish her best of luck in the future!