Grab your purse and head to Park City. There's a new shopping experience to be had: it's more of a showroom than a store, more global than hometown – that real sweet blend of edge and glam. Farasha is quietly tucked on the second floor of the Park Hotel on Main Street. The instigator of Farasha is Vanessa Di Palma Wright: a woman committed to bringing us the world’s best emerging designers. She's got all the high-end, phenomenal, one-of-a-kind pieces you're seeking, and she's as warm as she is willing to help you find what you seek. For someone like Vanessa, who has a deep understanding of and commitment to travel & fashion, a boutique like Farasha was the natural outcome.
In an attempt to capture the space and essence of it all, we assembled our A-team: Darryl Dobson – photography. Lisa Elin Craighead – creative directing. Katie Eldridge – words. Vanessa Di Palma Wright - our willing subject. Oh, the style...
Let's start with the name - what does Farasha mean? Farasha means "butterfly" in Arabic. Vanessa also means "butterfly". I have always been intrigued by the beauty of the butterfly and the way in which it transforms itself and travels in a carefree manner. I thought it very appropriate for the name of the boutique, but I wanted to use a word that is more mysterious and not familiar to most.
What will people find in your showroom on Main Street? The showroom is a representation of international designers who symbolize classic style. The showroom currently has over 30 designers featuring womens’ clothing, handbags, jewelry and accessories. Designers and their inventory are rotated on a bi-monthly basis to keep the concept fresh. We also host trunk shows on a monthly basis so that clients who visit the shop can meet the designers and their collections. All of the pieces in the shop have a story and are one-of-a-kind. I think this is what sets us apart from other shops.
How do you find your designers? I generally do not attend trade shows as they're too mainstream. I seek out indie and more “under the radar” designers to bring my clients something new and unexpected. I am working with approximately 50 designers. Designers have their own networks where they have actually found me. I frequently attend NY Fashion Week and attend emerging designers' runway shows to find new talent. I also work with showrooms in NY and LA. I always set aside a day during my travels to explore boutiques and find designers in the cities that I am visiting.
Tell me more about you and Farasha. Farasha is essentially a traveling showroom that represents emerging designers with the intent of introducing brands to new niche markets. And in return, introducing clients to new and unique designers they may never have heard of. Farasha is my passion and I love to share it with all who visit the shop by giving them a glimpse of the designers I have found around the world. It is humbling to be able to do what you love and share with others who appreciate fashion.
Do you have a traveling problem or a shopping problem...or are both of these hobbies/habits neatly rolled into your business now? I would not call them "problems.” In fact, they are passions that my husband and I share and love to do together. He actually likes to shop, believe it or not. I am an adventurous person and I think that the "butterfly" in me loves to explore new territory and learn from other people's cultures. I truly love traveling to new places and meeting new people, learning about their traditions and customs. Tasting and smelling different foods, witnessing other religions, appreciating different architecture, history, etc. And, of course, shopping is part of the experience.
Where did you grow up? Tell me about that Latina part of who you are. I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. I moved to the United States at the age of seven and grew up in NYC. Although I am an American citizen and very much Americanized (a "Gringa," as my Uruguayan family likes to call me), the values of Latin culture are still very much engrained into who I am. Family is always first and I am a very passionate and free-spirited person.
How does a fashion guru of your caliber pack for an international trip? Believe it or not, I always try to carry-on when possible. I have a "less is more" philosophy when traveling and if I need something I can always find a new piece wherever I am traveling. My number one rule is to always wear comfortable shoes to trek and explore as much territory as possible. I pack a lot of silk-blend fabric pieces to try and fit more in my suitcase. I preferably travel with dresses so there is no fuzz in putting together outfits...you just put it on and go. I like to bring a pair of killer shoes for dinner and going out. Always bring a clutch for evenings and dinner dates. I carry my jacket with me on the plane so that it does not take up too much room in my suitcase. I always pack lots of scarves for traveling to keep me warm as I am always cold on the plane. I never leave home without a hat to protect me from the sun when I am out and about sightseeing.
Tell me about your closet. I am focused on jackets. Structured jackets to wear over dresses, with jeans, or even over a jumpsuit. I am kind of old-fashioned when it comes to leaving home without my jacket. It is more ladylike and proper to always wear a jacket. Even if you are in jeans it gives you an instant, pulled-together look. I wear a lot of dresses. I feel like I am constantly putting together looks for the shop, clients and fashion shows. It is always easier to throw on a dress, accessorize it and voila! My biggest weaknesses are shoes and handbags. But I think they are the best investments to elevate any outfit. So...well worth it.
What trend or piece are you most "into" right now fashion-wise? Something you don't leave the house without. I am currently obsessed with winter white. I have an Ivory dress coat that I have been wearing all winter to offset all of the black I am always wearing. And I never leave the house without my black Chanel sunglasses. They are a must, no matter what the occasion or situation.
Do you see more pop-up stores in the future for Farasha, in addition to the Main Street locale? Yes. We are currently exploring international markets as potential pop-up locations where we would highlight emerging designers from that particular country or region. Uruguay and London are on the top of my list. I am also researching other ski locations such as Aspen or Vail as potential future spots, as well.
Farasha Boutique | 605 Main St, Ste 202 | Park City