MAN OF THE MOMENT: BEST FOOT FORWARD
Edoardo Caovilla, the third-generation heir of a near-100old luxury footwear brand strives to redefine artisanship with bold designs and forward thinking strategies.
Edoardo Caovilla strives to redefine artisanship with bold designs
ot many family-run businesses manage to pass on the torch to their descendants. Edoardo Caovilla, the grandson of 95-year-old Italian designer René Caovilla joined the footwear empire in 2009 after a taste of entrepreneurship for five years. Currently the Creative Director and COO of the brand, the thirdgeneration heir has been injecting unexpected details into the bejewelled stilettoes. Thanks to Caovilla’s sharp eye for aesthetics, appreciation for age-old craftsmanship and pioneering business acumen, the shoemaker has grown exponentially in the past decade, counting celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé among his fans.
While he is well versed with the brand’s heritage, Caovilla worked hard not to be tied down by the traditions. As a firm believer in crossovers and customisations, Caovilla’s efforts to breakthrough and nurture young talents is evident in their recent partnership with Italian Vogue of young designer apprenticeship in 2017. The Venetian luxury shoemaker talked to The Peak about his favourite pair of shoes, why shoes make or break a look, and a common styling mistake among men.
Let’s talk about your personal style. What is your philosophy? I believe in a spontaneous instead of contrived style. Fashion should propose and not impose. While I love to dress in “city” style for business, I’m usually clad in sporty attire with vibrant colours during my off time. Who is your style icon? Why?
I don’t have a style icon. I grew up admiring Mr. Ralph Lauren for his maritime aesthetics and his country chic style. Today, I wear what makes me feel good. I don’t care about the judgment of other people, as whoever judges me does not deserve my attention. What’s the latest addition to your wardrobe?
I like to adorn my wrist with accessories like the Hermès chain Chandancre and Garmin Fenix watch. How do shoes make or break a look?
The art of accessorising allows us to reveal our character. Women, for example, like to reflect their personality in their shoes. Nowadays, accessories take center stage in an individual’s outfit. The quality of your accessories is even more important than that of your clothes. Tell us about some of your favorite pairs of shoes? Do they have any meaning and/or stories tied to them? Some of my shoe designs are connected with special moments in my life. In summer 2013, I visited a 25-meter-tall arena where I came across a partially illuminated cavern. A couple of sea horses were swimming around a red anemone – I was fascinated by this scenery and that was how the shoe design of “Sea Horse Dancing” was born. The one thing you can’t live without?
My family and my kids.
What is your greatest passion outside of work? Swimming.
Do you have a favorite hidden spot in Venice? Osteria al Squero, the most romantic and charismatic place in Venice! What are your words to live by?
Grow and Consolidate.
Can you share a common styling mistake among men? Short socks.
What are the important elements to succeed as a shoe brand? I think it’s a mix of fashion culture, tradition, research of something new and innovative.
What plans do you have for expanding René Caovilla in the coming years? Aside from enlarging the scope of retail, I would also want to expand the product categories by adding in bags and custom-made jewellery, allowing customers to understand how big, diverse and interesting the Maison is.
René Caovilla is adored by Chinese customers. What is the main drive behind this? Will there be any upcoming editions targeted at Asian buyers? The secret is the huge admiration and respect I have for the Chinese culture. The Chinese were ahead of the Europeans in many ways – they pioneered various innovations while the Europeans were still trying to understand how to use the fire! I guess the reason why they are attracted to our designs is because of our dedication to combine my vision and personal aesthetics with their culture.