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Who Is Maria

The story of the legendary and iconic Couture Accessory Designer Sonia Petroff, is being told in 2019, thanks to business woman and creative entrepreneur Maria Leoni Sceti.

Sonia Petroff was a highly respected accessories designer in the 1950’s, right up until her retirement in the late 1980’s. Gaining notoriety especially with her RTW designs for Valentino, Balmain and Nina Ricci, Sonia’s story was one of adventure and glamour; a huge part of the social jet-set, she was a vivacious and bold woman, an independent trailblazer far ahead of her time.

Upon Sonia’s death in 2015, it was discovered that an entire 800-piece archive had been left within the inheritance to her nephew Elio and his wife, Maria Leoni Sceti.

With no children of her own, Sonia greatly admired and felt an affinity to the couple’s own free-spirited and international life; Maria and her husband have lived and made friends in six different countries, with each of their four children born in a different one.

Maria is from the US and received her BA with Hons in Economics from Wake Forest University and her Master in International Management from Thunderbird AGSIM, having studied along the way in Vienna, Oxford and Paris. She is active on the UK Board of Room to Read and speaks 4 languages. Her first job was in Rome at Saatchi and Saatchi, enabling her to learn skills that would soon prove essential for her own brand journey. While living in Paris, Maria founded Global Access, a language school for corporate management, based on the then avant-garde method of phone conversation learning. In the following years, Maria focused on her family’s growth and progress, until she was recently entrusted with Sonia Petroff’s collection.

After spending several months going through the archive left to her and once the entire collection had been catalogued, both enthralled and inspired, Maria knew it was time to bring Sonia’s vision to light and life again.

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