The shoe designer on his s 20th anniversary and what to wear to dance the night away. By Cai Mei Khoo.
Congratulations on your 20th anniversary! Thank you – 20 is a good target. It was very hard in the beginning, all by myself without any support. I started at The Plaza hotel in NYC; I was too shy to show the collection in Italy even though I’m Italian. The secret of your success? There isn’t a specific formula, I just want to create shoes that make women feel sensual and look beautiful. I love it when they wear my shoes with creativity. Tell us more about your 20th anniversary limited editions. All four represent the most important parts of my career. Jewel is a collection of flats, all in gold, because I wanted to create the idea of the beach and of freedom and simplicity. Rock ’n’ Roll is music energy with a dose of androgyny, inspired by punk, bikers, rock stars, and metal with buckles and studs. Black Stilettos is an intimate story of the shoe used to lure victims, to attract lovers – the woman with the heel. Disco is the final collection; it’s fun, it’s free, holding no direction. Why all gold for ‘Jewel’? Because gold is timeless. The idea to make them all flats came from Brigitte Bardot in Saint-Tropez in the ’60s but each sandal has its own story. One is like Venus, the body of the woman. Another, not a snake, yet dangerous like a snake. Sensual. What was the design process like? Drawing this collection was a great challenge. I absorbed everything around me, from the people I see on the street to discos, art, music, and from the energy of the places I travel to. Then I mixed all of this together and just started creating. You’ve said that music plays a big role in your creative process. Always. I used to be inspired by Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones but now, I’m looking towards d hip hop. It’s in the street, it’s not couture, it’s another culture. It’s good to listen and absorb energy from different arts. Fashion is everywhere. Inspiration for this collection? Each shoe signifies a special memory. The Cruel Summer sandals were inspired from a dinner with Kanye West; the Skorpion sandals are a nod to my father’s astrological sign. Who’s the Giuseppe Zanotti woman? She is not constant at all. She’s always sexy, but in different ways. A fickle monster, she changes quickly and doesn’t like old energy on board. Your thoughts on how women have changed in the past 20 years? Women are more self-confident. They used to follow “safe” outfits but now they play with different elements, mixing irony and fun. Three key shoes to buy now? A pair of man sandals, a Native American-style boot in suede, and a black-tie shoe. What’s best for dancing the night away? Naked feet! They are terribly sexy, and they allow you to move freely. The Jewel collection is currently available; Rock ’n’ Roll will be available in September; Black Stilettos at the end of November; and Disco in February 2015. Giuseppe Zanotti Design, 2.31, Pavilion KL. Tel: 03-2142 5757.
Sketches of the Jewel collection Cruel Summer flats, Giuseppe Zanotti Design
Spipiott flats, Giuseppe Zanotti Design
Rita Ora in Giuseppe Zanotti Design
Amira flats, Giuseppe Zanotti Design
Jennifer Lopez performing in Las Vegas wearing Giuseppe Zanotti Design