THE FUTURE OF WORK // Fashion Designer at Forty

The Future of Work series is a set of stories & interviews with real people who took a BIG leap and designed the job of their dreams (in the face of fear, doubt, uncertainty, and naysayers!)


“Some friends told me, Fulvia you are crazy! Why are you doing this? At your age? But I thought, let’s try and see: it’s a risk. But if you don’t take a risk, you don’t get anywhere.”

A Childhood Dream

When Fulvia was 9 years old, you probably would have found her painting or doing something creative in her free time. She’s always loved to create and her childhood was full of imaginative endeavors. When she was a teenager, rather than buying clothes off the rack, she used to have her unique clothing designs brought to life by her mother’s tailor. She loved to design her clothes and loved even more the fact that she was wearing her own creations. Fulvia never wanted to dress and look just like everyone else – she wanted to be unique and express herself through her clothing. When it was time for University, she decided that she wanted to become a journalist. But then she fell in love with a handsome Swiss man and her life took a new direction. She left her native Italy, got married and came to live in Zurich, Switzerland. She went back to University and then (as many of us do), after she graduated, she went on to become a responsible adult and got a respectable job as an economist.

20 Years an Economist

YPNOSIAFulvia spent her first career working for an international reinsurance company. Her professional world at that time consisted of economic research, credit underwriting, risk management, account management, structured financial solutions and so forth.  It was not an easy task to achieve recognition and a senior management position in a career field that is typically a “man’s world” — and at the same time raise two children! — but Fulvia always liked to be challenged. After 20 years of working at the same company, she decided to pursue a new challenge that was completely different. Together with a colleague, Fulvia founded a start up in the renewable energy sector. Finally being her own boss and creating something from scratch was a very exciting new experience that she really enjoyed. And yet there was still that creative piece inside of her that really needed to come out and play.

And come out to play it did! Fulvia knew it was time and she needed to take a sabbatical from work and family to revive her energy and creativity. She needed to get back in touch with beauty — not the superficial beauty found in places and spaces but the visual beauty of the world. And where better to start seeking out beauty than a return trip to Italy to take a fashion course at the Fashion University Polimoda in Florence? There she fell in love with the fashion world and with the intrinsic beauty of Florence. She knew inside of her that something BIG would be changing in her life after this thrilling experience.

The Catalyst for Change

YPNOSIAFulvia returned to Zurich with a new quest to incorporate these creative inspirations and insights back into her life. The change manifested itself during a holiday trip to Bali with her family; her initial intention was to introduce her children to their Indonesian roots (her husband is half Indonesian). Fulvia was excited to help her children make a genuine connection with their cultural heritage so she organized the trip to include more authentic, local places in Bali (as opposed to the touristy sections). Her family happened into a local town that is famous for producing Balinese Ikat fabrics and it was like fate had sent her there. Fulvia immediately fell in love. She picked a handful of beautiful, colorful, flowery silk fabrics that were nothing like what she had seen in Europe and she felt compelled to add such unique beauty to her creations. She envisioned future dresses for herself that she could design and bring back for her Italian tailors to bring alive.

When Fulvia returned home, she couldn’t help but think: why limit herself to designing beautiful clothes just for herself when she could share this beauty with the world? Why not pursue her passion and talent in clothing design? Fashion, beauty and femininity had always been a part of her… but those parts hadn’t shined in her job as an economist. Could she create a new job, a new career as a dress designer, and bring these unique fabrics and colors and styles to the market?

“I just need to do it. Either now or never.  If you don’t dare, it’s always a dream.”

And so YPNOSIA was born.



Fulvia chose the name YPNOSIA for her couture dress line because it was reminiscent of the hypnotic effect of typical Ikat patterns caused by their blurred color edges. Each dress of the YPNOSIA collection has been tailored in one of the very few couture ateliers in Northern Italy, where the cut and the entire finishing are still handmade according to the traditional quality standards of the Italian Alta Sartoria. The designs recall Dior’s “new look” of the 1950s. They are elegant, classical yet timeless and emphasize the female figure. Fulvia truly believes that there is beauty in every woman and that her dresses can help to accentuate and underline the beauty that’s already there inside each of us.

Fulvia also designed the business-side of YPNOSIA and made sure to align production with her personal values. The combination of century-old craftsmanship of Balinese Ikat with the elegance and care for details of Italian Alta Sartoria make the label an eminent example of how important the slow fashion megatrend happening in the fashion industry right now really is. YPNOSIA only uses Balinese Ikat fabrics that have been produced in small, family-run weaving mills with no child labor involved. The company also compensates for the CO2-emissions used while importing the fabrics from Bali through the website myClimate.

Fulvia’s happy to have pursued her dream and already considers it a dream come true just to have gotten the chance to launch her own collection, regardless of the outcome.

To learn more about YPNOSIA, visit their website. To schedule a private dress viewing in YPNOSIA’s Zurich, Switzerland showroom, contact them at +41 (0)79 207 31 75.


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