In an interview with the Georgian Journal, Miss Italy 1970 Alda Balestra talks of her time in the fashion world, modeling and winning her title at the tender age of 16.
When asked about the start of her modeling career and being elected as Miss Italy, Balestra said, "I was 16 when I was elected Miss Italy and 21 when I started my modeling career, in between I was a “normal student” in my home city Trieste: Kind of normal since in Trieste lots of people knew me and I also started to do some local fashion shows after I enrolled for couple of month in a model school (where I had lots of fun and learned to walk with books on top of my head… The very old fashioned way. I had taken also for years ballet classes and that helped me a lot with my performances as a runway model."
"After my abitur and after returning from a holiday to the USA for learning the language and having started university (literature and philosophy), I met a person that was representing an important / avantgarde brand at that time: Giorgia fashion," said Balestra regarding her start in the fashion industry. "I did some presentations of the collections for clients, then met the designer Giorgia Rapezzi in Florence during Pitti who introduced me to Gianni Versace and to Enrico Coveri, her friends, they asked me right away to show for them the same day, fashion shows that year 1975, were still held in Florence in the famous Sala Bianca at Palazzo Pitti."
When asked about working with Gianni Versace in fashion shows, Balestra said, "Meeting Gianni in Florence was a real pleasure and a delight, he gave me total freedom… I was an inexperienced mode... But he answered to my question “what shall I do“ with a simple… ”Do what you want “… So I did… ran through the runway in a spontaneous and unpretentious way … and it was a success without really trying hard. Just be me. I loved him for that and for that opportunity. Then we worked for many years together…. He designed for lots of brands so we had many occasions to work together in Milano also in the 80's."
Information originally sourced from Georgian Journal.