Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Anissa Marcanio

Anissa (left) with mother Marisa Minicucci.

Anissa (left) with mother Marisa Minicucci.

I have nothing but respect for a woman who can say ‘Yeah, I’m feeling this, today. Screw the critics.’

Co-founder , Minicucci x Marcanio.

Clearly influenced by the classic aesthetic & importance on quality that her mother, and business partner, holds dear; Anissa is the bridge between a respect for fine tailoring and contemporary relevance.  Interestingly, despite an ability to harmonize on their brand, Anissa has a much different take on personal style than her mother, today she shares the details.

Do you prefer to dress for an occasion or for everyday?

I feel more inspired to dress on occasion, honestly. I have this terrible habit about dressing for everyday that stems from an admittedly irrational anxiety of wasting a good outfit on an uneventful day! I’ve been told though, that my grungy, effortless “mistake outfits” are often my best ones, or have become my unique personal style. To my surprise, but also my relief, I suppose!

Would you rather be overdressed or underdressed? 

Ironically, I’d rather be over-dressed at a semi-casual function with friends, and under-dressed at a more formal function. This is probably due to an insecurity I have being in formal settings and attracting too much attention, though. And lets be honest, “overdressed” to me means I’m wearing heels/wedges with an everyday outfit.

Do you have a signature style or do you prefer to keep 'em guessing? 

My mother DEFINITELY has a signature style. It’s indescribable, but if you know her, you know her look. She wears everything and has no qualms! It’s so inspiring. I, on the other hand, will identify a trend, appreciate it, and love it, but won’t ever wear it. My signature style is less of a “style” and more of a “mood”. I’ll wear my emotions and my inspirations until I’m over it, or onto the next, and sometimes that could mean years of the same look.

Your all-time favourite outfit: 

Prom! I refused to go (even refused an invite from my then-boyfriend). My mother then talked me into going, and I agreed, but I had one condition: I wanted to wear a tux. I was inspired by Angelina Jolie’s 2001 Oscars outfit, and there was no way I would have attended in a dress. My mother then made me a custom, fitted tuxedo (complete with satin stripe down the sides!), which I wore with a white lace/satin corset. I had my hair done in a faux-hawk, and then prepared to win best-dressed! I came close second to the guy who came in sweatpants.

Your top three celeb style moments: 

1. Björk’s Swan Dress – I know! But hear me out. Those of us who knew Björk before she appeared at the Oscars in 2001 know that the swan dress was a near-perfect expression of herself and the artist she is. Her music can be wild and moving, as much as it can be sad and subdued and that year, she felt swans were inspiring and she went with it. I have nothing but respect for a woman who can say “yeah, I’m feeling this, today. Screw the critics.”

2. Chloë Sevigny YSL, 2000 Oscars – STUNNER. It’s a very simple response but it remains what I look for in an evening dress today.

3. Angelina Jolie in Dolce & Gabbana, 2001 Oscars: She definitely defined my adolescence in and around 2001 and wearing a typically male ensemble to an awards show was the pinnacle. Not that I didn’t fully appreciate Celine Dion’s attempt in 1999 but…worn backwards, it’s not nearly as sexy. Also: Fedora. No.

 

 

What would you buy with an unexpected windfall? 

I guess that depends how big of a windfall? With a moderate amount to spend with no guilt, I’d drive out to Toronto to do some damage at the Queen Street Bay. I’d allow myself a few leather jackets and/or handbags from The Room and spend whatever’s left on jeans, boots and underpinnings in their White Space. With unlimited funds, I’d definitely fly out to L.A., tear apart Fred Segal, and spend the rest on a beach home, and permanent residency!

 Heels or flats?  

I guess that depends how big of a windfall? With a moderate amount to spend with no guilt, I’d drive out to Toronto to do some damage at the Queen Street Bay. I’d allow myself a few leather jackets and/or handbags from The Room and spend whatever’s left on jeans, boots and underpinnings in their White Space. With unlimited funds, I’d definitely fly out to L.A., tear apart Fred Segal, and spend the rest on a beach home, and permanent residency!

Will you suffer for fashion or should it be comfortable? Is there an occasion that you will break this rule? 

I don’t mind a little physical discomfort for the sake of a great outfit. Being cold, feet hurting from heels, that’s tolerable on special occasions. However, FEELING uncomfortable in your outfit should never be accepted. If you feel off, if you feel untrue to yourself or self-conscious in an outfit, there’s no point in putting it on or going out at all.

Always stylish or does even fashion need to take a break? 

Some trends need a break. A big one. Sometimes I’m over trends before they’ve begun. But I do agree, style can never take a break, it’s your image.

Team Anna (Wintour) or Team Carine (Roitfeld)? 

Roitfeld! But I admit, only because I love, love, love her cool-girl daughter, Julia [Restoin Roitfeld].

 

Menswear Inspired Coat

Fuzzy Sweater