I met Johanna last summer… I’ve been wanted to talk to her for a long time. I was attracted, intrigued, and as I always say: nothing happens by accident.
I met her at an event, and I discovered, that we have both found a balance that allows us to gravitate around the world of fashion and design without being completely absorbed in it.
With the occasion we exchanged a few thoughts, sensing right away that this Icelandic woman is a well of knowledge: something you cannot assimilate by studying, an inner knowledge that comes from previous life experiences. Johanna captures you, her eyes are smiling, she is radiant, harmonious in her every gesture.
Her embrace is intense, thick with love of life and eager to be shared.
Johanna was born in Iceland, of her “icy” origins she retains a certain hardness that mitigated with her desire to discover and combined with her personal, spiritual and holistic path has resulted in a unique personality.
She is a strong and determined woman with clear ideas: her instincts guide her in the right direction, she is always questioning herself. Through stories of lives lived she integrates and elaborates her thoughts to share them with others in her IG gallery @johannamaggy and in her blog mothersspell with extreme spontaneity, without rules or filters.
Alessia Giacobino: Johanna, observing you, one cannot help but be fascinated, because your eclectic and nonconformist personality stands out in the daily Milanese scenario. How did you find this “Milanese dimension”, you who come from a wilderness?
Johanna Maggy: My attitude comes from a very different culture, whose way deviates from a life of routine and alienation, typical of the city. I have moved away from these habits by finding an alternative way of spending time through a path of connecting with myself, contaminated by cultures and social experiences, surrounding myself with a community of people I frequent assiduously and with whom I share multiple interests.
Alessia Giacobino: I really find what you tell me fascinating, but how do you manage to combine the habits of a mother with those of a busy woman on multiple fronts?
Johanna Maggy: Having a family is not a limitation; my children are used to traveling from a young age, and often in uncomfortable or improvised situations. We are open to the experiences that travel offers us: for example, the idea of sleeping in a car or outdoors is not so unusual.
This is how life surprises you; it is often from the least comfortable experiences that the strongest connections with places and people arise.
Alessia Giacobino: Through your travels you create connections between indigenous peoples and fashion and design brands by creating a context that supports the originality of culture without big brands profiting from it. The issue of cultural appropriation is a hot topic these days, do you think our culture can really share and enhance its authenticity without strategically instrumentalizing it for marketing purposes only?
Johanna Maggy: Yes, it is very important to raise awareness by trying to protect these peoples and communities, carefully filtering every detail so that the message is not misunderstood.
Alessia Giacobino: What do you like about the Fortela?
Johanna Maggy: I love the fact that they are timeless garments that tell a true story, a link to the past, an expression of the fashion and culture of a people or a certain period read in a creative and contemporary key. Fortela has a simple, casual style that focuses on high-quality and often even sustainable materials thanks to the collaboration with Manteco, a leading company in the recycling of natural fibers.
Another example is the Sebago moccasins I am wearing today, a classic shoe that you embellished with a detail from the characteristic features of a different culture combined with the inimitable “orange thread,” Fortela’s trademark.
Alessia Giacobino: You too Johanna as me, like to mix taking cues from the past; when I entered your house I found a very Milanese classic space, elegant, but especially contaminated by endless sources of inspiration.
Johanna Maggy: Exactly, my home has classical references but with typically ethnic traits: different objects collected in my travels find their own unusual harmony by connecting the everyday to a path of introspection.
Alessia Giacobino: I could spend hours with you talking about future projects, but let’s leave some curiosity to our followers by inviting them to follow us to find out about upcoming initiatives.
Thank you Johanna for brightening this wonderful day spent together, see you soon!