Anna Perra Fashion ‘real women’ concept, the fashion shows, pop-up shops and many others events along with Anna’s endless support of charity organisations, including Macmillan Cancer Support, has generated a number of press releases over the past six years.
Anna Perra Fashion’s charitable contributions to date:
In 2013 amount raised £366.00 Cancer Research UK
In 2014 amount raised £3918.00 Macmillan Cancer Support
In 2015 amount raised £6070 Beacon Centre (Musgrove Park Hospital- Taunton)
Ston Easton Park -Charity fashion show for all shapes and sizes
SOMERSET LIVE by Jo Ponting – Posted MAY 21, 2015
More seats had to be brought Ston Easton Park for Anna Perra’s latest fashion show. The event was watched by 80 people, while another 15 had to be turned away on the door.. The show was an exploration of Anna’s real women concept, and featured models of all ages, sizes and shapes. The youngest was 12-years-old Jodie Davis, who modelled the same dress as her mother. Anna who runs Anna Perra Fashion on Shepton High Street, said: It is nice to help women feel good about themselves.
Interview – The Big Read – Italian touch brings out the beauty of everyone who walks in
WESTERN GAZZETTE by Maxine Irving – Posted JANUARY 22, 2015 ” When so much in the fashion world can make demands of shape or look, Maxine Irving finds a shop where women are encouraged to find their own style…
Anna Perra is bringing a kaleidoscope of colour to the Somerset town. She is doing what she has always wanted to do and that’s work in fashion but she’s doing it entirely in her own way. Anna who is 51, moved to London in 1996. On a visit to the city she had seen Samuel Johnson’s famous remark etched into the window of a restaurant: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”. She too had fallen in love with the city and was determined to stay. She went into the catering business, and typically for her set about getting qualifications. Then she opened a restaurant. But contrary to what Dr Johnson thought she did become less enamored with the city. “I wasn’t tired of life but I was tired of London”
She moved to Somerset as the General Manager of Glencot House, the former hotel in Wookey Hole, but she knew that she did not want to stay in the hospitality business and decided she would finally try to make a go of her long-term passion for fashion. In 2012 she opened Anna Perra Fashion. Traditionally Italian women are supposed to be passionate and that’s certainly true of Anna. Whatever she does she puts her heart and soul into it and this now includes the future of her adopted town.
She is very concern about the future of the High Street and believes that not enough has been done by organisations like Mendip District Council to protect and encourage business in the centre of the town. Her delightful shop in Shepton Mallet High Street is full of lovely things: jewel-like colours in her clothes and scarves, enticing jewellery and beautiful handbags. But this isn’t just an attractive dress and accessories shop because it offers women the chance to live a more vibrant life.
Anna’s concept for her business is to offer women over 30, whatever their size or shape, the chance to find their own style. She said: “Everyone can be beautiful. I have had many women come in here who seem to have lost their confidence. They are wearing drab clothes and I persuade them to try on something different and colourful. I ask them if they like it and they say yes but they don’t want to buy it because they say their husband wouldn’t like it or their daughters would laugh at them”. Anna thinks that too many women over 30 are to hide in dark clothes, but she is delighted when women follow her advice in wearing more colourful garments, of course, a colour that suit each individual client. Many of her clothes comes from Denmark, an umbrella organization which brings together a number of designers and companies. She also import clothes from her home country of Italy and other designs from an English manufacturer in Leeds. But she is very proud of the fact that both her handbags and costume jewellery come from Somerset. Anna is not the sort of woman who sits on her laurels, she always wanting to discover and learn more. At the moment she is doing a distance learning course to train to be a personal stylist and want to turn her undoubted fashion talents to producing her own designs soon. And this is another part of Anna’s attempts to give all women more confidence. She runs real women fashion shows where some of her clients are the models. The idea is that the shows are not just about fashion but lifestyle, health and self-esteem. Just as importantly they are also about raising money for a cause close to Anna’s heart – Macmillan Cancer Support.
She explains: “I lost my mum and dad in three weeks time in 2004. My father died of cancer and due to a mistake my mother died during an operation. It would have been wonderful for both of them if there had been the sort of Macmillan offers to cancer patients and others. But there is nothing like that in Italy. I think my father would have died in a more honourable way”. Last year she raised £2330 for the charity which is no mean feat for a comparatively small business. But she is quick to thank all her customers for their on-going support for the fun-raising.
And what about her own future? Apart from planning to design her own line, she is also learning to be a personal stylist. She is also keen to build on the women’s network that she has started, which brings together like-minded females to exchange ideas and just have a good time. Anna loves her home country where one of her brothers and sisters still live but she has no intention of returning home permanently. In her typically forthright way she says she does not like the system. The society does not encourage people to succeed. Here if you work hard you can do well, it is different in Italy”. Rome loss is certainly Somerset’s gain.
Interview – Anna Perra tells us what her town means to her
SHEPTON MALLET Journal EXTRA – Posted MARCH 26, 2015
About you: Moved from Italy (Rome) to London in 1996, lived 15 years in London and moved in 2010 in Somerset. For long 20 years I worked in the catering industry covering different positions in the sector. I owned a restaurant near London Bridge and learned the ins and outs of the hospitality industry. But my love for fashion started when I was very young and today I am pursuing my dream.
Lived in Shepton Mallet area for: One year. What are the best things about the town? The friendly approach that Shepton offers and its history. What could be improved within the town? Although this town has hidden treasures, the High Street image could be embellished. The Friday market should invite more stalls. Regular events should be planned ahead for the year to promote the town and create more footfall. Create a strong community willing to work together in planning a better future for Shepton Mallet. Working together as one entity, with one common goal. How has Shepton Mallet changed since you have lived here? I must say that despite many shops closing or moving in the last few years, many others have arrived including an Italian restaurant, which I believe is a sign of future growth for the town. Existing business have improved their image and services, which is again a sign of wanting to develop, considering the inevitable life style changes. How do you see the town in 10 years’ time? My projection for the future of Shepton Mallet could be that it is in our power to create a very attractive town where established businesses will be offering unique and individual service. Healthy competition could be a great addition to existing businesses. Find space for children’s recreation centre. The prison will be an interesting attraction offering different services from space for conference facilities, restaurants, gyms, small hotels, arts space area and much more. Kilver Court next door is enough to generate more business for the town, and to make Shepton Mallet a real destination place. How di you get into fashion business? It was my passion since I was a little girl and walking up and down the corridor in my house floating like a real model. When I moved to Somerset I was tired of London and decided it could be the right time to persue my dream. It took a day to make that decision, come to Shepton Mallet, see the shop I am in today, enquire about it and make it happen. What is your favourite part of working in fashion and why? I love each single part of my profession. From choosing each season collection, to seeing my clients liking it, to witnessing their enthusiasm in wearing my garments, My Real Women fashion shows, my talks about image & style at WI, my trips abroad to visit my supplier factories, serving my customers in the shop. All of these make me feel I am in the right space and happy within myself. What is the most important lesson life has thought you? To be yourself and to always maintain a positive approach to life no matter what. I promise, it helps. Sum Shepton Mallet up in three words: Hidden. Unique potential.
‘Real Women’ Stars in charity fashion show
SOMERSET LIVE by Fuchsia Singleton-Hoare – Posted OCTOBER 9, 2014
Anna Perra and her ‘Real Women’, raised £480 for Macmilllan Cancer Support at a fashion show at Charlton House.
Anna, who owns Anna Perra Fashion in Shepton High Street, recruited eight local women spanning four decades of age and seven dress sizes to take part in the show. The stylist believes that age and size don’t matter, while personality and individuality expressed through clothes do.
Anna illustrated her concept by dressing her youngest and oldest model in matching outfits. Anna has been transforming women through fashion since opening her shop in 2012.
She said: I “Ihave passion for dressing women in a way that makes them look and feel great, no matter their age and size. Many of my ladies I have built up a personal friendships with and when they visit the shop we have a cup of tea and good conversation with no rush. Giving them advice about individual body shape and colour matching. My concept is much more than fashion, it is about life style, health and self-esteem.”
In the audience was teen model and former Wells Blue School pupil Rebecca Bailey, fresh from the catwalks of Paris and London Fashion Week. Rebecca said ” ‘Real Women’ fashion show was absolutely amazing” She added “I loved how the models really connected with their audience”.
Anna’s ‘Real Women’ were local women aged 25 to 65 size 8 to 20: Ellie D., Jane Withfield, Zena Pollard, Claire Sully, Karen Horne, Jules Douglas, Sara J. , and Lucy O.
Anna’s back stage team included Anna Hodges, Joanne Curtice and Elaine Nuelle – Hairstyle by Minsky’s, make up and hospitality by Charlton House. Anna was also supported by Belinda Ollis-Blackwell owner at No21 Vintage and Interiors
5th February 2014 – ‘Real Women’ Fashion Show ‘
WELLS Journal by Ruth Ovens – Posted on FEBRUARY 13th, 2014
A Wells Hotel played a host to local fashion show with a difference on Thursday. Shepton Mallet fashionista Anna Perra organized the fashion show to raise funds for a cancer charity. And instead of the stick-thin models of the London catwalks, the models in this show were of all sizes, from 8 to 18 as the show concentrated on ‘real women’…
The show took place at the Swan Hotel in Wells. Designer Cecilia flew over to the UK from Italy to showcase her spring/summer collection for this year. All proceed went to Macmillan Cancer Support, a raffle was also held and donation buckets were placed available throughout the event and ‘Barclays’ matched the funds raised.
Event organizer Anna Perra said: “I am so pleased for how the event went, we have had so much positive feedback, our models ranged in size and reflected real women”. This is not the first fashion show that Anna has put together for charity, in October last year she also raised money for Cancer Research.
Anna added: “Raising money for charities that help those with cancer is something very close to my heart”
The clothes selected for the event aimed to promote casual elegance, use colours that enhance people’s personality through the use of colours as well as display uniqueness and style from a European country.
The event organisers are waiting to have the final count confirmed but believe the fashion show has raised in excess of £2000.
Anna Perra Fashion show raises cash for cancer charity
SOMERSET LIVE by Fuchsia Singleton-Hoare –Posted OCTOBER 11, 2013
SHEPTON Mallet’s independent clothes retailer Anna Perra Fashion held a charity fashion show
Anna Perra Fashion, run by Italian Anna Perra, produces all clothing in Europe and claims to take the dullness and frumpiness from clothes aimed at middle-aged and older women. A year ago Anna made the life changing decision to follow her ambition and move from catering into the world of fashion. She opened the Anna Perra Fashion shop in Shepton’s high street in September 2012.
Anna held a fashion show at the Rodney Stoke Inn last week in aid of Cancer Research UK. £396 was raised, of which £250 was from raffle tickets.
Anna has expressed her special thanks to models Helen, from Red Berry Recruitment, Myriam, Julie and Margaret.
She has also thanked, make-up artist Jody Curtice Dyke from Elvira Beauty, hairdresser Vicky from Minsky’s and Belinda Ollis at No21 for vintage jewellery.
Raffle sponsors were: Elvira Beauty, The Rodney Stoke Inn, The Courtyard Café, OTTER Original, Julie Bryant, Karen Christensen and Anna Perra Fashion.
Pictures by Belinda Ollis and Frances Eyre