One Foot in Heaven Featured

Luxos meets Giuseppe Zanotti, the undisputed romantic of luxury footwear

Harnessing the female passion for footwear is how one-time DJ Giuseppe Zanotti has become one of the most successful and well-respected shoe designers of his generation. Back in the early 80s when he entertained crowds at Europe’s most exclusive clubs, his love of fashion drew him towards the shows in Milan and Paris, where he developed his fascination for footwear. His career began from the bottom as an apprentice to master craftsmen, and here his formidable talent soon enabled him to climb the first rung on the ladder, with a job at a leading fashion house. Zanotti soon outgrew these creative confines, purchasing the Vicini Shoe Factory in Italy, so that he could design with a free reign. His debut collection in New York became an instant hit, and now Giuseppe Zanotti Designs has over 50 international outlets with a client list that includes royalty and celebrity. Here, he talks exclusively to Luxos UAE about his inspirations and his art.

You have one of the most coveted shoe brands in the world right now - where do you go from here?
“I have not found the perfect shoe yet, and that's what keeps me going. To be honest, I might never find it. You are never 100% satisfied with what you do and always think there must be something better, that’s the engine for creativity.”

Women love to indulge in luxurious footwear, what luxury could you not live without?
“I love handmade things. I like to see that what I wear or what I buy for my house has been made by somebody who used their skills and knowledge to produce that very piece I now have. Such things are more expensive but they’re long-lasting because of the technique and material used. Also because you become emotionally invested in the product you’ve so carefully chosen. There’s a type of fashion you use and throw away, but you’ll never want to get rid of luxury.”

You launched your marque in 1996, how has the industry changed since then? Have there been advances in technology that have better enabled you to achieve your desires for different designs?
“Our method of crafting shoes is comparable to a couture house. Our aim is to produce unique works of art. We make everything in this little village called San Mauro Pascoli. There are over 300 highly skilled workers who work in this sort of gigantic laboratory; in this way we have 100% control over all production processes, and we can assure top quality. I think our customers are aware of this, and trust us above all for this reason. We’re very proud that this is true ‘Made in Italy!’”

How difficult is it to harmonise the design of a shoe with a woman's foot?
“There is no school that can teach you how to achieve that perfect balance and harmony of proportions, but there’s a strong passion and a great love for this job that can give you the strength to keep on searching and trying.”

What makes you uniquely capable of making beautiful shoes?
“When I imagine a shoe, I see a dressed and barefoot woman; sometimes I even imagine the make-up and hair that goes with my shoe. The creative process and the development of a shoe are highly influenced by this imaginary look I invent; it’s like a colour dream in which I see each and every detail.”

You have a huge celebrity following. Does it still excite you to see your shoes on the feet of a famous woman?
“The support of celebrities is very important to me. I always feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied, and when a celebrity is so happy with my product that she chooses it for a video-clip, for the cover of her album or for a red carpet event, that makes me happy!”

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For a list of Giuseppe Zanotti boutiques, click here.

UAE SUM 2010