Meet Simonetta Lein, The Wishmaker
There are online “influencers,” then there are people to strive to make a positive influence on the lives of others, here and now. As a Top 100 Influencer, and the founder of the WishWall Foundation, Simonetta Lein is both. She’ll soon be heading to New York Fashion Week, even as she prepares for her new show on the FNL Network in conjunction with Amazon TV.
We spoke with Simonetta to find out a little about how she got her start, what she’s doing now, and where she plans to go next.
Q: Tell us about your background. Did you always love fashion?
I am a Made in Italy girl. Fashion and style are in my blood, and that piece of Italy follows me wherever I go.
One summer when I was 16 helped my parents with one of their frequent seminars. People from all over the world would gather at my parents’ cultural center, and one day a Greek woman told me: you should be a model. I never thought about it before that moment. I quickly started studying how to properly walk on stage, how to use the right makeup, and to be always at the ready.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been selected by maestro Bruno Oliviero for an exhibit that he centered on me, and to have posed for the legendary Giovanni Gastel. These projects brought me to the NYFW catwalks and to Madison Square Garden for the incredible fashion designer Richie Rich. I am truly blessed.
These projects brought me to the NYFW catwalks for Richie Rich
Q: What other pursuits or passions do you have?
I am passionate about mentoring women and girls. I support them through my blog and my activity as a chapter leader supporting the SGI international Buddhist activities. I love to foster the future leaders that our world so desperately needs.
I am passionate about mentoring women and girls
Q: How did you get your start as a fashion influencer?
I actually started as a former Vanity Fair columnist. I have learned a lot about the real work behind an article, a video, a radio interview (as I was also hosting a radio show with the vice director of Vanity Fair Italy).
I started as a Vanity Fair columnist
I was trained to always strive for quality. I then added my millennial factor, my innate knack for social media, and that is how it all started. I had gained initial fame because of my first novel published by Mondadori (Italy’s leading publishing house), my work on Vanity Fair, and radio shows.
When I moved to the U.S. all these factors and a strong determination to define my brand — post after post — brought me to be considered one of the top 100 influencers in the world.
Q: Tell us about the WishWall Foundation, and how you became The Wishmaker? What does the Foundation do?
The Wishwall Foundation was founded in September 2015 with the intention of giving a voice to dreams. The online Wishwall displays a different wish every day that people from all over the world send us. The Wishwall In Every City is bringing a wall of hope to every city, making it both a permanent form of art and the granting of a deserving and impactful wish. Please go to www.thewishwall.org and write your wish to inspire others.
The Wishwall Foundation was created to give a voice to dreams
Q: You’re also a designer and actor. Tell us about your other projects.
I designed a clothing line by Shahida Parides. I chose her pieces according to my sense of style and also created a line of scarves signed by yours truly.
My career as an actress has shifted more toward television and I am about to launch a TV show distributed by FNL Network through Amazon TV.
Q: Who are your heroes or top icons?
My hero is Daisaku Ikeda, a man who never stops inspiring others. One of my icons is Lady Diana, a woman full of charm and class that tried very firmly to bring down social stigmas and used her power to change society. She was fundamental in drafting legislation that completely banned the use of land mines; shook hands with a person affected by HIV when people still thought that you could catch AIDS by only touching those affected; would personally talk with the homeless, and tried to find a solution to the situation.
I try my very best, one wish at a time, to change someone’s life. I owe this to those who had been trying hard before me.
I try my very best to change someone’s life
Q: What does it mean to be a fashion icon? Does it come with any responsibilities or pitfalls?
It means that you are looked up to for your sense of style, your class, and innovation. It also comes with a lot of responsibility. In my opinion, the external facet goes hand in hand with a commitment to inspiring and educating. I have been nominated many times as a fashion icon, and each time my commitment to doing better gets stronger.
Q: What advice can you give to others who want to help inspire people?
Do it. Start with what you see around you and try to change it. Document what you do, as we live in a visual era, as I strongly believe that good messages and positive actions have to be seen.
Whenever you do a post on social media always think that with your words and images someone can get some kind of inspiration. Put others before yourself and you will get inspired first.
Put others before yourself and you will get inspired