Lady Kitty Spencer, our exclusive interview with Dolce&Gabbana's new Global Ambassador
Lady Diana's granddaughter recounts her bond with Italy and Florence, where she began to love art.
Young, beautiful, full of charm. Lady Kitty Spencer is the new Global Ambassador of Dolce&Gabbana, with whom she has been working for many years. British blood,
Raised in Cape Town, she is the niece of Lady Diana and cousin of Princes William and Harry. Among her passions, Italy occupies a special place. And Florence even more so because, in her early twenties, it welcomed her with open arms, offering her an experience as an art history and Italian language student that she has never forgotten.
How do you feel in your new role for Dolce&Gabbana?
I am over the moon! We have had a special relationship for years and it is wonderful to make our bond official. When I told my parents, one of my sisters commented, "It's like I've been dating the brand for so long and now you guys are finally engaged!" I know I'm in the best hands, as they've always welcomed me as one of the family, so this new role seems perfect. I adore Domenico and Stefano, I have so much admiration for their quintessential Italian super brand that they built from the ground up. Dolce&Gabbana is iconic, and Italian to the core. It is the epitome of femininity and love for the female body, regardless of shape or age. Being their Global Brand Ambassador is a dream I never imagined.
What are the most interesting aspects of this role and the challenges that await you in the coming months?
Dolce&Gabbana has set my life on a path full of beauty and adventure beyond my wildest dreams. I imagine this new role will be even more interesting! I've had pivotal moments in my career with them, starting with my first runway show in Milan (February 2017) and shooting for their campaign in Venice (September 2017), to opening the Alta Moda show in 2018 at Lake Como. All of this has led us to this point. The most interesting aspect will be traveling with them wherever they are spreading their magic and joy. I hope I can do my best, whether it's photo shoots, client events or shows. I love every minute of this job, I feel very blessed indeed. But most of all, I hope to make them proud in the commitment that
I have made to represent the brand with all my heart.
What role should Italian fashion play in today's world?
There is a reason why people say: "Italians do it better! Italian fashion has a unique ability to combine all the serious elements of fashion such as quality, heritage and craftsmanship, with a carefree sense of joy and playfulness. We need that sexy, celebratory, fun-loving attitude more than ever these days.
You really love Italy, don't you?
Being in Italy and around Italian culture has definitely taught me to appreciate the beauty of life. I think Italians appreciate the right things and celebrate them: family, love, history, art, music, creativity. I love the fact that nothing is half-baked in Italian culture; everything is done with great intensity, vibrancy and authenticity.
And Florence, what does this city mean to you?
Florence has a special place in my heart where I always hope to have a base. I know that sooner or later I will call it home again. There is no other place where I feel more at peace. When I moved to Florence from South Africa, I was 21 years old. It was the first time I was completely independent and living away from home and all my siblings. It was such an exhilarating feeling to move to a new country and live alone in my own apartment. I had no phone or social media and everything was simple in the best possible way. No distractions at all. I was learning every day, absorbing knowledge on topics I was passionate about and in an environment that emphasized that passion. I believe that education and independence are both invaluable, especially for women, and I knew how lucky I was to experience both.
During your time in Florence, what places stimulated your passion for Italian art and culture?
One place that has meant a lot to me has been San Miniato al Monte. I find it to be a spiritually moving and magnificent place. Whenever I take a friend with me to Florence or if I give them ideas for their trip, first on my list is always the walk up to this basilica - it sits atop a hill that is one of the highest points in the city and gives you an unparalleled view of the heart of Florence. I think I've taken the same picture a hundred times up there; it's impossible not to be blown away on every single visit. Besides the history and fabulous interior, there is a very calm and serene feeling up there. I loved going down to the crypt in the late afternoon to listen to the Gregorian chanting of the monks, which is incredibly moving. The Olivetan monks have been running the church since 1373 and are famous for the honey they make in the store next door, so it's a great place to find gifts to take home.
What neighborhood did you live in?
I've always lived in Oltrarno, near the river, in the San Niccolò neighborhood. I liked its relaxed and local atmosphere, it's not a very touristy area even though it's in the heart of the city. I lived a stone's throw from the Rose Garden, which had become my favorite place to read and study. A haven of peace among sculptures and multicolored roses.
Have you ever made a Florentine dish your own?
I learned how to make gelato and ravioli from scratch! I love traditional Tuscan food - it's no-frills and comforting, but incredible quality. Panzanella is my favorite, as is Coccoli with prosciutto and stracchino. When I lived in Florence, I loved going to Trattoria Sostanza for 'Pollo al Burro' or Osteria Santo Spirito to sit in the piazza and eat gnocchi with truffles.
What is the unforgettable experience related to the friendships with fellow students made during those years?
The beauty of my student years in Florence was the simplicity! We had no other distractions or responsibilities, so as classmates we bonded early on around this eye-opening experience we were having together. We shared a passion for art, art history, and Florence together. We were hungry for discovery, wanting to know and learn. On weekends, we would go to the Santa Maria Novella station or bus stop and jump on the first bus or train that came our way, no matter where it was headed. We were open to adventure. In doing so, we were also able to see smaller towns like Fiesole, San Gimignano, or Cinque Terre. But during that time, I also went to Siena, Lucca, Venice, Rome and Milan for the first time. Over the years, I've been lucky enough to return to Florence for incredibly glamorous experiences, such as listening to Andrea Bocelli perform at Palazzo Vecchio and, of course, the Dolce&Gabbana High Fashion Show last year. Two of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.