Cesare Paciotti, sculptor of shoes
The designer works with the greatest fashion houses, from Roberto Cavalli to D&G.by Natalia Grgona
A dreamer, traveller, musician, Cesare Paciotti dreamt of being a bohemian artist. His life changed dramatically in 1980 when he inherited the company of his father, a renowned artisanal shoemaker in Italy. He decided to carry on this family tradition while still attempting to live all his passions within the creation of luxury footwear. He quickly brought out a first men’s collection and instantly made a name for himself. In 1990 he launched the women’s collection. He kept the same ateliers his father had, not far from Rome, but left behind his ever-wandering imagination. Shoes that are extravagant, exotic, mysterious and highly acclaimed were born.
Cesare Paciotti collaborates with the biggest names in fashion, from Roberto Cavalli to Dolce&Gabbana. He has also appealed to the greatest photographers such as Mario Sorrenti, Steven Meisel, Terry Richardson, and top models like Karen Mulder, Stephanie Seymour, Carla Bruni, Isabella Fontana to interpret sexy and chic publicity campaigns. At the same time he never ceases to expand his collections in search of new fabrics with which he works in the ateliers, where handwork remains the priority.
Quality is advocated above all else, his footwear is the top of the range, and nothing else. The quest to be the “best of the best” is also felt in the location of his shops, from the one on Via Sant’Andrea in Milan to Avenue Montaigne in Paris and to Cesare Paciotti boutique London in Sloane Street. Following the launch of accessory and jewellery lines, he is now preparing a ready-to-wear collection. A brief but inspiring meeting with the man himself, a sculptor of shoes.
All your shoes seem to tell a story. How does each story start? From where do you draw your inspiration?
The story of my shoes started when I inherited the factory that belonged to my father, Guiseppe Paciotti. I was inspired by the world of art, cinema, photography and by everything which can express emotion.
Being top-end, is seeking out new techniques and new materials important to you? Do you give yourself technical challenges in each collection?
It’s fundamental for me. I am always looking for new ideas. I love surprises but without being too exaggerated, which is the hard part. The result must be harmonious while still remaining realistic.
Can you describe your collection for spring/ summer 2009? Your inspirations?
It’s a roaming woman, a traveler, a luxurious nomad who has chosen both Africa and South America. As a result, there is a very ethnic feel to the next summer 2009 wardrobe. And in my shoe collection, I’ve created exceptional satin footwear in an Ottoman style, all sorts of outlandish fabrics with brooches set in precious stones like jade and amethyst. They could have belonged to an Inca or Somalian deity.
You have developed your own jewellery, accessory and ready-to-wear lines. Nothing seems to hold you back. Is it your wish to touch on, be present in every area?
I seek to develop the brand more and more, to create a Paciotti world and also to reach a maximum clientele and make them share my creations and my style.
How would you define your shoes, what would your ideal definition be?
My creations are unique in their style, their look, their shape but they’re always sensual to my taste. Even our advertising campaigns are always planned down to the last millimeter of details so that the customer can really grasp the spirit of my collection.
You’re in Paris and in the most luxurious of avenues, Avenue Montaigne. What does this avenue represent for you?
I think it’s the most refined avenue in the world.
What do you like to do when you come to Paris?
I love the Musée d’Orsay. I go there regularly. For me this museum represents an era that I particularly like, with its realist painters.
What are your future projects?
A Cesare Paciotti clothing collection.
For a complete list of Cesare Paciotti boutiques worldwide, click here.