Originally Published May 25, 2015:

If you are ever asked to write something about someone you love (a birthday wish, for example) it is always better to sound nonchalant and keep it short—especially if you want people to believe all the good things you are saying.

Well, I have never be able to keep a poised composure when people I meet ask how is Sonia “in real life.” Is she nice? Is red her natural hair colour? Does she really only wear black? Does she still design clothes?

I am now happy to answer all questions.

I grew up in a world of beauty, art, music, chocolate, books and women. That is the world that my grandma had invented for us, her family.

It is not until later, until I became an adult, that I have understood why so many people she didn’t know felt connected to her, too.

The fun and magical vibes we got as her kids had also been given to generations of women, mothers and daughters all around the world—transmitted by the striped sweaters and the feminine dresses she made for them.

Seeing her and the brand she created as a little girl, and then as a young adult—collection after collection, fitting after fitting—I’ve learned many things and definitely had a lot of fun. I now work for her. But the most important she taught me is that the first step, before even thinking about success or being chic and fabulous, is to be a kind, generous, and a loving person—just like she is.

Thank you for being the best grandmother I could ever wish for, and happy birthday mamie.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US