Giuseppe Zanotti, interview with the Sole King Featured

From DJ to heading a designer footwear empire

“I wanted to give women a playlist to work with for this collection, where each shoe tells a different story,” says designer Giuseppe Zanotti as he takes us through his Milan showroom – a lavish Neoclassical space whose decor reflects his own penchant for the finer things in life. Creative from a young age, Zanotti sketched everything from comics to former girlfriends, first realizing his desire to connect with the outside world as a radio deejay.

Recounting his deejay days to us, we begin to see the relation to shoe design. “I invented this program where I chose songs, organizing them into a series so they made sense as a collective. The idea wasn't to focus solely on the music alone, but to create an emotion, not much has changed from the work I do today” he muses. “Every woman has different moments, during the day she's at work, at night she turns into a star, so I created various realms. I used winter hues like gold and bronze with python for the evening, pretty rhinestone hearts on ballerina flats, suedes dyed in electric blue, Indian red and yellow for a pop art look. I've done calfskin boots with a high heel for an androgynous flair and wedding shoes, something many (designers) don't think to do. I got the idea at a wedding, I saw so many ugly shoes and I thought, why not design beautiful ones?”

Never forgetting his first love, Zanotti constantly listens to albums for inspiration. “There's always a certain music that accompanies me for each season. For fall-winter 2011-12, I listened to Kanye West's album Runaway a lot, which I really like from a creative and technical standpoint” - a new unisex sneaker from the collection was in fact inspired by West. “What's interesting to see in the designs is how we put creativity into shoes, not just through style and colour, but objects and emotions from the past.” Notably this season is the presence of crystal detail. “Diamonds are a symbol of light and beauty. A woman loves having them around her neck and on her finger, so why not on shoes?”

LUXOS loves to ask jetset designers about their favourite global destinations. For work, Zanotti likes museums. “Contemporary art is a great force today, I often visit modern art museums in New York, Miami, London and Italy.” What about to getaway and relax? “Lately, I really like Dubai. It's interesting because everything is there, it's a mix of so many different things. I feel totally calm there, it's a place you go to relax.” After designing this collection, we'd say a vacation is well deserved.

Read more:
Sexy shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti
Rue Kothari interviews Giuseppe Zanotti
The Giuseppe Zanotti fall-winter 2011-2012 collection reviewed by Alessia Sara Domanico