"My family originates from France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Poland, so as an international brand with a strong European heritage, La Perla Beauty really resonates with me. Like Ada Masotti, the founder of La Perla, my own great grandmother was from northern Italy. Both were strong women, focused on their objectives. But there were rules, and life was so family orientated then. So Ada must have been exceptional. To have become a successful female entrepreneur in that era after the war was an inspirational feat.
"It's hard to single out one woman who has inspired me, because I have lots of women in my life, and I wouldn't have made it without them! I had a very strong relationship with my mother. She was an incredible woman – she was heavily involved in charity work, and co-founded a school for girls in Madagascar. Because of this, access to education, particularly for women, is something I feel passionately about. Even more so now that I have two daughters."
What role does sustainability play in your personal life?
With the problems the world is facing, I think we all need to think more sustainably. I try to be an informed consumer, so I look into everything about what I buy: where it's from, how it's made, the ingredients. I grew up in Switzerland, where recycling and sustainability are taken very seriously. When living in Asia, I'd bring my old batteries back with me to recycle since these were not recycled there.
How does it combine with luxury at La Perla Beauty?
Sustainability is about luxury and innovation. A lot of our exceptionally beautiful packaging is refillable, so that's quite unusual. That means we had to put a lot of thought and consideration into its design, which is a luxurious thing.
Do your daughters inspire you?
Absolutely! One of them is only 16 but already she knows what she wants. She made the decision to go to school in London, and off she went. I'm moving to London too, so I'll be with her soon. I learn a lot from my daughters about cosmetics. They're super-aware of the latest trends, and they chat to me about them. They also both like fashion, so it's where I get information. It’s called reverse leadership!
How do you relax and keep fit?
I love to dive. My favourite place to dive is probably the Indian Ocean. There are so many islands and fewer divers there, so you can see lots more beautiful fish, sea wildlife and coral.
Are there other activities you enjoy that help you switch off?
I also love riding. I have a horse, who requires total focus and commitment. You can't ride a horse while thinking about work. If you're not there mentally the horse can feel it, and they are sensitive to stress. You can't bring your problems to horseriding, so you forget them. You live in the moment and immerse yourself, and you relax.
What's your top beauty tip?
Sleep, and proper rest and relaxation.
Which historical figures would you take to dinner?
Definitely Simone Veil. She has been so courageous and daring throughout her incredible life, from surviving the holocaust to becoming the first female President of the European Parliament. And when she headed up the committee that reported to the WHO on health and the environment in 1992, she was well ahead of the times. I'd also love to chat with Jacques Piccard because I love diving. He was a Swiss oceanographer and actually one of the first people to point to environmental issues such as pollution, and the depletion of resources. He's my role model in more ways than one!
What is your life motto?
Keep looking at the world as if through the eyes of a child!