Stylist Deborah Afshani on finding favor with a Vogue Italia dynasty.

Afshani photographed by Francesco Carrozzini for Vogue Italia, October 2007

I was an assistant at W in 2007 when the stylist Nicoletta Santoro — who’s become my guardian angel — called me one day to ask if I could do her a favor.

She was like: Can you meet with this photographer; he’s doing a project I think you’d be great for.

It was a lingerie story shot by Francesco Carrozzini — Franca Sozzani’s son, who is brilliant in his own right — for the Italian, French, and Spanish editions of Vogue.

I happily obliged, and thought it was funny how Nicoletta referred to it as a ‘favor.’

Sasha Grey photographed by Francesco Carrozzini for VMan 14, styled by Afshani

Francesco and I hit it off right away.

The shoot was a lot of fun, and I ended up being photographed by him for a feature in the October 2007 issue of Vogue Italia, on up-and-coming stylists [from around the world], as a result.

I was living in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and I remember walking down State Street when Franca Sozzani called me to ask if I wanted to participate in that shoot.

It was such an honor. To me, that moment signified my transition from an assistant to a stylist.

It’s not often that FRANCA SOZZANI calls you on your cell phone.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Makeup artist Hung Vanngo remembers his humble Canadian beginnings, stylist and photographer, Lori Goldstein & Steven Meisel, collaborate on an epic 2002 Vogue Italia editorial.

A page from the “Be Black!” lingerie story photographed by Francesco Carrozzini for Vogue Italia, October 2007, styled by Afshani