Italian-born shoe designer Gianvito Rossi grew up surrounded by women’s shoes. Learning the ropes from his father — Sergio Rossi, whom he worked under for a decade — Gianvito honed his skills to launch his own label back in 2007.
He has since become a regular fixture at Milan Fashion Week, but this year he will make his mark at New York Fashion Week too, as his sexy stilettos are sure to pop up on many a fashion editor. He’s also been featured in the likes of The New Yorker, stocked in Barneys New York and coveted by stylish names, including Natalie Joos and Leandra Medine.
We caught up with the designer to get a greater understanding of his creative process.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from your father?
There is always a way to make things better, and you should never stop looking for that.
Tell us about the first women’s shoe you can remember.
It is very difficult to say, I really grew up among them.
Who or what inspires you?
My travels, people — but more generally, the images you see that subconsciously fuel your imagination.
Finish this sentence: “A woman in heels is ... ”
When you design, who gets to test out your creations?
The girls in the design team try them. It is fun!
Do you feel wearability or practicality ever hold you back creatively?
Yes. It is very easy to design new and strong styles, but it is only with the filter of these aspects you can do a quality design.
What excites you more: the pencil-to-paper process or the arrival of the finished product?
Drawing is a growing conceptual excitement, but when you get the finished shoe is a more physical, special moment.
Do you consider yourself to be led by trends?
Trends are obviously considered while designing, but most of the time I discard some ideas when they are too evident.
Some of your shoes are ultra-sexy. How do you capture sex appeal in a shoe design?
I always try to design a shoe that exalts a woman’s natural sex appeal in a way I would be personally attracted by. I actually work for my visual pleasure!