Being half Italian, Vivian Casaletti has fashion DNA in her system. Matching that DNA is her love for football locally and internationally – so much so that most of her working life has been in the world of soccer. We caught up with her to  find out more about her unique position in this male dominated field.

Vivian Casaletti
Vivian Casaletti
Image: Annalize Nel

“It’s not easy being a woman in a predominately male industry. You need to prove yourself twice as much, but once you show your worth and knowledge, people become more accepting. I’ve sat on the ‘bench’ long enough and have now earned the respect of the industry,” says Casaletti. After completing her university degree in marketing and communication in Italy, she returned to SA, where she worked for several years as marketing and brand manager for Kaizer Chiefs.

“It was while working for this iconic football club that my passion for football became apparent.” This was followed by working on the licensing and 
merchandising for Bafana Bafana for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and also working for a JSE listed telecommunications company as group head of marketing. Today Casaletti is a partner and director of Optimize, founded in 2011 with two other female partners.

Optimize specialises in marketing sports entertainment locally. The company is now expanding its business throughout Africa. “Our agency is purely driven by our love for what we do, and all  three of us have worked in the sports industry, 
particularly football, for several years.” Football is Optimize’s main focus – clients include Vodacom, Telkom, Fifa, Kaizer Chiefs and Botswana Premier League.


CASALETTI WEARS

Dress by Witchery. “I like this Australian brand, their pieces are classic but with an edge. This white dress is ideal for work as it is classic chic and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.” Shoes are from Sao Paolo. Accessories by Cruciani and South African jewellers Elegance.


CASALETTI RECOMMENDS

Favourite Designer? I love Gucci, particularly their accessories – they are very well crafted. I also loved their clothing range when Tom Ford was their creative director, it was so decadent. I am currently enjoying Olivier Rousteing at Balmain, his latest collections are very fresh and feminine. Favourite drink? 
Prosecco no doubt, the flavour is crisp yet not too brut, it’s refreshing and makes me happy. 

Favourite music? I love any music with soul and a base line – R&B, hip hop, Afro beats, kwaito, soulful house music, kizomba, Cuban salsa. Favourite destination? Apart from Italy and SA, it has to be Brazil. I love the energy and beauty of the people and place. It’s so colourful and the liveliness is contagious.


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