I am the message: Cecille


Cecille represents someone who fought with herself until she disappeared, and then, in the deepest darkness, finally found life. #fighter



Cecilia, alias Cecille, is one of those girls for whom just looking at them makes you think: how lucky. The hair, the eyes, the smile, the presence, the voice. She has them all. Then you listen to her story, which she tells you nowadays with a smile, and you discover that behind those big eyes there is a cursed mirror that unites many girls, little girls, who instead of screaming at a world that doesn't understand them, end up hurting the only person who judges them: their own image.

And yet, Cecille had for sure the voice to scream, since now she enchants thousands of people by singing for the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, while she shines like a sun.

However, the path to find that light was long and exhausting, "this is my second life", she says of her present. “From the age of 8 up to the age of 22 I lived wrapped up in complete darkness. Since my parents' separation I have gone through various stages and forms of suffering and great pain, both physical and mental. Depression, bullying and my massive eating disorders dragged me down a chasm I couldn't get back from."

Hers, is to all intents and purposes a second life: “Rebirth is something I believe in very much. I know what it means. When you know that kind of dark, for so long, coming back to life is really a choice. At a certain point you say: that's enough, this pain no longer belongs to me. And choose to rediscover the light. Sometimes I still have difficult moments, but if darkness was everywhere before, now it's just a passing shadow. In this second life, my mission is always to aim for the light”.

To get out of certain dark ravines, where life relegates you when you still don't know who you are, you have to find the strength of a hurricane to walk even a single centimeter towards a mission, a lighthouse. And after years of trying, Cecille has finally reached her lighthouse: singing. “Since I rediscovered life, I immediately went to the studio to create something about my experience. I told my story to producers, composers and arrangers, and started writing for the first time. I had always felt the need but never found the courage to do it. The most important sentence I wrote is "Attack me if I'm fragile". It may seem counterintuitive, but I understood that it is only by knowing our fragility that we are truly strong. They are two sides of the same coin."

Today she travels the world for music treasuring her journey: “After all those years I am finally able to appreciate life, love, and make sense of everything. I wake up every day and think about how grateful I am to be alive, and that deep down there is always a reason why we can thank life for what we have”.

I am the message: Olga


Olga represents those who have the strength to get back into the game, always, even when it seems impossible. #believer


Olga Antropóva

Olga is a former athlete, the marketing manager of Savino Del Bene Volley, A1 division team, and Ekaterina's mother. When she tells her story, it is very clear that the determination gene runs in the family. “We came to Italy in 2017, when with my ex-husband we decided that here there was a chance for Ekaterina to become a volleyball star because the training system for young athletes and the Championship are the best in the world. At the time, however, I was almost forty years old and had an important role in the sports center of St. Petersburg. A home, a family, friends and relatives. A whole life built with commitment”.

How would you feel if you were told to hit the reset button and start from scratch again? This happened to Olga when she discovered her daughter's exceptional talent, and not enough prospects in Russia. It was like going back twenty years: “At 22 I had already moved with my husband to Iceland for three years. I was very young, didn't know anyone and didn't speak the language. I smiled, but inside I was very insecure and had little control over situations. Moving to Italy meant leaving everything again and starting from scratch starting from scratch after, back in Russia, I was able to find my way one step at a time”. She was also scared for Ekaterina: “She had her quiet life, her friends and her balance. I was afraid she wouldn't fit in, she was in her early teens and we all know how difficult it is. Also, our height makes us the target of a lot of attention. I was afraid to let her out of her bubble. For this reason, we immediately made it clear that if she wanted, we would immediately go back".

Olga finds the strength to change everything in love for her daughter and for her future: “The alternative would have been a Russian sports club inferior to the Italian ones and with very strict coaches, and I didn't want such a hard life for her. As much as it meant for me to sacrifice my path to give her hope, I blindly believe in her potential. In the family we are all former athletes and we hardly get blocked by obstacles. In the end, we decided to try Italy, leaving all our certainties behind. Luckily, she has a good time, the climate is perfect, the food is healthy and the people are fantastic”.

Even if there is Ekaterina in the field, the parallel story of her mother is fundamental. A woman who gives her daughter the courage to take the plunge and fight for what she believes in, at the cost of questioning everything. A woman who chooses to relive the trauma of loneliness, protecting her daughter in a conscious way, seeing herself again in her, and in the meantime pursuing her personal path of adaptation, new and more complex: "Still, after five years, I often feel alone even when I am with other people. I don't think I'm a hero, my daughter is part of me and I would do everything to make her dreams come true. I go to therapy to find a balance, but in the end, I think it's an interesting and useful path for me too. Changes always lead to an open mind and a panorama of opportunities that we didn't know we had".

I am the message: Ekaterina


Ekaterina represents those who with strength and determination can really touch the sky while remaining that ball of normal and wonderful insecurities that we are all. #gamechanger


Ekaterina Antropóva

We will definitely hear from her. Grew up in Russia in a family of professional athletes, she learned from an early age to find the fire of determination within herself: “I started volleyball when I was seven because my mom insisted, I actually wanted to be a gymnast! The coach screamed and my arms hurt, I didn't like that sport, but I didn't give up. Something pushed me to keep going, and in the end, I learned to love it." Since then, Ekaterina and her passion have grown together, day after day, until they became one.

In 2017, when she was only fourteen and had a life full of small fundamental certainties for that age, the family decided to move to Italy to give her talent a real chance: "When I arrived, I was very young and I didn't know no one, I was afraid of not being understood and accepted. But, as sport teaches me, until you give up there is hope. I managed to find my dimension in this new home, and Italy became my life. It's been five years of hard work, sadness, injuries, hope, passion, love, gratitude, laughter, inspiration, happiness, confusion, acceptance, life." Today she plays for Savino Del Bene Volley in Serie A1 and is a true promise of Italian volleyball.

in addition to being a super athlete, Ekaterina is a girl like many of her age, full of passions and insecurities. Needless to say, when she walks into a room you can't help but lay eyes on her and admire her physicality. This, when you're a young woman who, like anyone, has days where she just wants to be transparent, is a continuous exposure that's not easy to wear: "I'm 6,62 feet, stop asking!" she repeated so often to want to write it in large letters on her Instagram account, with a touch of irony. A loud whisper for all those staring and pointing regardless of the person's sensitivity.

Luckily Ekaterina didn't let herself be discouraged by this, and has found a way to make peace with her body through another great passion: fashion! It was she who knocked on the Whispr window, fascinated by the garments and values ​​we support, immediately showing us the desire to take the field for the challenges she believes in. And we fell in love with it. A game changer who carries out her small revolutions simply by being herself: “Being a woman in the world of sport is a difficult matter, you notice the difference in sports clubs between women and men athletes. Being a woman is neither an advantage nor a defect, but parity is still not close when it comes to opportunities, visibility and investment. This injustice is hard for me to understand."

Fortunately, she can rely on her teammates. An example of female solidarity: “An all-female team can be complicated but it all depends on the people you meet. I was very anxious when I arrived, being new and so young, sometimes it happens that there are too many strong characters and you can't find a meeting point, but I was lucky, I got on well. My teammates are points of reference for me and help me grow".

I am the message: Angelica


Angelica represents all those precious and delicate chrysalises, turning into strong independent butterflies. #mywingsmylife


Angelica Gismondo.

Angelica flies with her ethereal dance like all great dancers, as if there were nothing binding them to the ground. Yet, to get to certain levels by solely following a passion, one must be clear-headed and well grounded. "Ever since I can remember, as soon as I heard music I would start moving, it was magical. At the age of 13 it was already no longer enough for me to stay in my dance school in Assisi, I needed something more, and to discover this wonderful world. I was admitted to the Academy in Monte Carlo and left my family to pursue my dream."

This is the story of many classical dancers with a great talent: leaving home while still children and entering the academy, sacrificing the carefree nature of that age, with the hope that this would become their future. "Those were very difficult years, I was far away from all my beloved ones, I didn't know anybody, and I was forced to figure everything out on my own. I was still too young to embrace those challenges, even though I felt inside that I was already an adult, and every day it was a test for my passion for dance."

Angelica grew up dancing tirelessly and learned early that in life, to get far, you need a sense of responsibility and hard work: "In the academy, everything you conquer - whether a perfect single dance step or a simple 'brava' from your teacher, till the possibility of having an extra year secured -, you have to sweat it out. It is a lesson you carry with you for life. On the other hand, you have to have a very strong and open family that supports you and gives you strength even from afar. However, this also involves having a huge responsibility on your shoulders. You develop from a very young age the idea that giving up means disappointing everyone and throwing away their sacrifices. And this is an unbearable burden at times."

After finishing the academy, Angelica joined the youth company of Cannes Jeune Ballet and then the Balletto di Milano company: "The approach with the company is initially positive, but right away you realize how far there is still to go. It's not enough to give your best, you have to stand out for who you are, for your uniqueness. It's a huge bet." And Angelica wins the bet, remaining above all true to herself even when it means going against the tide and trusting only her instincts: "After 7 years in the company of the Balletto di Milano, and having managed to get Prima Ballerina roles, I decided to quit. I felt that that was no longer my place. In my opinion, accepting what we live within ourselves, and not compromising with a stability that suffocates us, always pays us back."

The courage of believing in ourselves always comes at a price that we must be willing to pay: "Many people judge me because my life is focused a lot on myself instead of starting a family, as a woman in her 30s is supposed to do. I think however the most important goal is self-realization, because to create something solid the first solid pillar has to be you. We have to listen to ourselves if we want to grow. Sometimes, this will involve choices that will not be welcomed by everyone, but we should not be afraid. Life is ours."

By following our own passions we find what lies ahead, Angelica was right: "When I left everything behind, I was left alone with my decisions, and with nothing in hand. Then, unexpectedly, a job offer came along and changed my life. I left for Maestro Andrea Bocelli's tour as a dancer, and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I will never stop following that little voice that shows me the way and reminds me that to feel complete I must dance, cherish my gift and give others, through my body, my emotions. The meaning of my life is kept in this."

I am the message: Sofia


Sofia represents those who do not seek convenience or a safe harbor, but a port to set sail from, to make new discoveries and new adventures. #fearlessexplorer


Sofia Ciucchi

Sofia is Whispr, and Whispr is Sofia. When you ask the founder of this project to show herself and be photographed, she always turns up her nose and pushes others forward. But all you need to recognize her is her unmistakable laugh, to follow the thread of creativity, and look for a Napoli flag, yes, the soccer team: "I grew up on bread and soccer while crocheting, I always drive the algorithms crazy. They show me ads about prostate because I watch soccer, and then I follow feminist pages," she says, bursting out laughing as she does.

Indeed, Sofia takes life with commitment and irony, leaving others to define themselves by one word or one profession: "I don't have one definition. My life is a sum and layering of experiences that I have accumulated by going in search of things to change me, to understand myself and to discover new things. I am selective and cannot do things that would be just convenient for me to do. I prefer to occupy my time with people and activities that really interest me."

And her amazing 30-year career demonstrates this perfectly: "I studied economics, I love the world of business and management. I was living and working in Varese, Italy, when my mom cut out an ad in the newspaper of a blind selection as Organization Manager. I didn't know who the employer was, but it was an opportunity to get closer to home. I was selected, it was Ferragamo. So, I entered the fashion world by chance, and I fell in love with it: the creativity, the production skills, the cultural aspect. For the first fifteen years I worked on process, strategy and finance activities, for the last six I also coordinated the product divisions. I left Ferragamo after a lifetime to become CEO of Il Bisonte, where I had to roll up my sleeves and learn a lot of new things, and then moved on to general manager of Scervino, which gave me forever the passion and knowledge of the world of knitwear, which is fundamental for the Whispr line: knitwear is a seemingly easy and super democratic product, but in reality, is very technical and the result of a lot of work."

Listening to the milestones of her career, it is natural to wonder how Whispr happened, and Sofia laughs again, "The first time my husband saw me at a market presenting Whispr, sitting at a small table with shirts on it, while I was reading Grossman's Stalingrad, at the age of 55, he put his hands on his face and we laughed about it. My interests have always exceeded economics and business, and in recent years I have become particularly passionate about social impact, civil economy, and sustainability. All these fields were quite distant from my almost 30 years as a manager in big structured companies. A desire was born in me to do my own project, with a different idea of work, putting what I had learned to the test and in the service of others. While I had already started as consultant and business angel, to invest in women's startups, I worked for months with a couple of friends to bring the Whispr project to life. The idea of fashion and women matured at the same time: the topic that I always felt closer to me was the role of women in the workplace, and fashion is the language we have chosen to bring this topic forward after years of experience in the industry."

She left behind all her certainties driven by the need to work for values beyond profit; she started from scratch, moving from familiar and comfortable management positions to a start-up, which by definition is new and emerging: "Needless to say, it is not easy to go from large and structured companies where you coordinate 300 people and one business card is enough to introduce yourself, to a reality where nothing works on its own, where you have to box the merchandise while being a manager, and when you have to knock on doors to introduce a brand new thing. It's disorienting, and it's normal to wonder who made me open a startup at my age, when this is usually done at an age when you have freedom to make mistakes and have few patterns behind you. Will it be a success? Who knows, you just put yourself out there, jump in and try, trying to engage people based on common values and shared ideas."

And although no one can reassure Sofia about what the future will be, listening to her story gives you a sense of comfort, as if anything is possible, at any time, as if the values that Whispr promotes, of which both Sofia and Whispr are a flag, are tangible: gender gap, activism, sustainability, freedom, rebirth, empowerment. "I don't regret it at all. It is tiring but inspiring, I am confronted with realities I never imagined, and I realize that people's lives mostly take place in bubbles that you only realize when you get out of them. The dream is to slowly be able to create a community in the real sense, to go back to places and meet again those who met you, those who wear your brand, which is not just a business but a network of people who choose people."