Norisol Ferrari is passionate. Obsessed with the fine things of life like luxe fabrics. In person, Ferrari exudes a strength strongly manifested from her own femininity, which she strives to incorporate into her designs.
Presenting her Fall 2012 outerwear collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York on Tuesday, Norisol Ferrari mixed rich classicism with innovative modernism, exploring the seductive power of glamour as a coat of armor for women to celebrate the power of being a woman.
"I'm really fascinated in looking into and really, not only exploring for myself, but allowing women to explore the strength that it takes to be feminine," she said during the presentation. "There needs to be the strength behind that femininity that says, 'Yes I am soft, but I'm not weak.'"
But she didn't just create a powerful collection solely for other women; Ferrari drew inspiration from her personal needs and wants, hoping that other women were feeling a similar void.
"I really believe in celebrating this process, being woman again," she said. "I feel like its been a little lacking for me as far as my accessibility to find these things and I felt that there were other women who probably felt the same way and I really wanted to bring that in. Truly feminine."
In her 19 looks, Ferrari included detailed pieces with expert tailoring in alligator, mink, tweed, cashmere, lace, charmeuse and velvet, but leather is her favorite.
"I'm obsessed with leather," she said. "I'm obsessed with all noble fabrics. Fabrics that can fly. I never want you to feel forced. It has to be natural. It has to be you."
While some of her inspiration comes from old world classic pieces, the "you" Ferrari really bases her creation upon is the tech-savvy woman, with so many gadgets and gizmos and no place to put them.
"[The pieces] are old world but they have a lot of modern technology, let me tell you," she said.
Ferrari found the solution with her adopted philosophy of refined functionality: Pockets in everything.
"I'm obsessed with pockets. There are more pockets in my..." Ferrari tells me, trailing off to show me her own outfit, which is chock full of pockets. She reaches to her stomach and shows me a secret, hidden kangaroo pocket where she is stashing her cell phone.
"You all just thought that's ridiculous," she comments as onlookers watch her reveal her secret pockets to me. "Extremely functional. My cell phone, I have so many things in there and you can't see it!"
When she launched her label in 2009, Venezuela-born Ferrari searched the world looking for something functional, fuss-free and feminine that did not exist yet, prompting her to create her own line.
"I had been looking for the perfect coat, and after searching everywhere I just decided to make one. The first day I wore it, I walked out of my apartment and I had a woman chase me down the street asking me where I got it-within three weeks I had three custom orders."
In addition to the pockets and quality of using fabrics that "take a lickin' and keep on tickin'," in her own words, Ferrari doesn't design by season, she designs timelessly for life for generations to come.
"The most important part in designing for me is to make heir looms," she said. "I don't want to make anything that's disposable. I don't want to make anything that you'll get sick of next season. I really strive, I want to be your staples."
Whether or not her mantra to create timeless pieces is business-savvy or not -- though her creations are sold exclusively at Maxfield -- Norisol Ferrari undoubtedly has a specific consumer in mind: a powerful woman with a thirst for vigor in outwear.
Specifically, looking to a combination of Jean Harlow meets Tina Turner in the film Mad Max, Norisol Ferrari believes glamour can be used as a coat of armor.
"The ones you build upon your armor with. I really feel that that's what a woman's wardrobe is. It's her armor. It's who she shows up in the world to be and how the world addresses her."
Ladies and gentleman, Norisol Ferrari is a modern woman; Hear her roar.