The art of the stiletto
Recently, Italian footwear designer Gianvito Rossi took a trip to the UAE, ahead of the release of three new shoes, exclusive to Bloomingdale’s and Harvey Nichols – Dubai. Over the years, the designer has to draw-in an impressive clientele, including Queen Rania, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner, to name a few.
The three exclusive styles created by the designer are clad in leopard print, and come in Gianvito Rossi’s signature silhouettes. The ‘Evie Sandal’ is a timeless lingerie-inspired design, perfect for night wear; the ‘Allegra’ serves up all the sporty chic vibes; and the ‘Plexi Pump’ completes a sleek workwear look. We sat with the brand’s founder and creative director to talk about his journey and SS19 trends.
What is the greatest lesson that you learnt from your father?
To keep looking and do the best you can, and then everything you follow. Once you do something, keep trying, because there is always a way to do it better.
How is shoe-design different from other fashion design?
Shoes is a special object, with two sides. One is more about the fantasy and the cloth, the lightness and the lines. The other part is more structural, as the function of a shoe has a lot of limits and a lot of aspects that you have to taken into consideration. So combining the lightness of a design with the structural element, I think is very special and peculiar kind of design.
When it comes to designing shoes, do you have to sacrifice design for comfort?
You have to pay attention to comfort, it is part of the design process. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do high-heels, but you have to do it properly with lots of attention.
You went at it alone in 2006, how did it feel starting your own brand?
I was very very excited, before I was working with my father in a big company with a lot of needs, so the collection was very vast with different type of shoes and marketing. So, when I started my own brand, I was very excited, because for the first time I was completely free to do just what I like to do. I want to focus on my angle, my point of view, my aesthetic.
Was it hard for people to separate you from your father when you first started out on your own?
Umm, no I think because it was a different point of view. I was my father’s right hand for a long time, then when I started my own brand, I wanted to focus on a specific part of the design attitude. I wanted it to be very feminine and elegant, so we are different.
Is there a specific moment in your childhood that inspired your direction in life?
I grew up around shoes, so I would say finding yourself around shoes is a good memory. Yes, being around shoes as a child has shaped the direction that I took.
You have been designing for a very long time, so how do stay inspired to come up with innovative pieces?
That is the hard and fun part of the job. Looking for something new, a new attitude, a new way to see or perceive something is very interesting. Travelling, meeting people, seeing life happening is what inspires me.
What would you say your new collection reflects?
The Spring-Summer collection is very summery and free attitude. So we have the light, feminine transparency of some styles. The feathers that make you look like you can fly in a way, and then there is also a very brilliant engrave in the mesh.
Who is the woman wearing your shoes?
There is no specific woman, but for sure, she is a woman who is not a fashion victim. A woman who has her own personality, and wants to live and feel feminine without feeling too overexposed or insecure.
Confidence is very important, so when I make a shoe, I make sure that the woman who wears it would feel very confident and empowered by the shoes.
When it comes to SS19, what do you think is the trend? What shoe should every woman have in her closet?
I think that one nice trend of this season is colour. So having a touch of strong colour is relevant. It is nice to have a pure, simple style in a strong colour.
Is sustainability important to you? How do you practice it?
I think it is very important, I come from an industry that is facing it. There are several steps taken towards sustainability. We are not going to use fur in the future, and there are more steps being taken, especially in the chain of production. From supplier to stores.
What has been your biggest achievement?
I have been lucky because I have had a lot of moments. I have been rewarded, but the most important is when I see a woman wearing my shoes, and feeling confident. Also, a lot of celebrities wore my shoes, like Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow.