The renowned Ital­ian lux­ury shoe de­signer Giuseppe Zan­otti on bal­anc­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween com­merce and creativ­ity


Giuseppe Zan­otti has been de­sign­ing footwear for more than 20 years. His cre­ations, blend­ing the el­e­gance of jewel de­tails and bold, fem­i­nine shapes, are the epit­ome of “state­ment shoes” and have graced just about ev­ery red car­pet. For the spring/sum­mer sea­son, the mae­stro has con­cep­tu­alised a col­lec­tion in­spired by the colours of the 1990s – a decade that he de­fines as ideal. In Hong Kong for the open­ing of his newly ren­o­vated bou­tique at IFC Mall, we talked with him about the in­spi­ra­tions be­hind his new col­lec­tion, the evo­lu­tion of the fash­ion busi­ness and his unique re­la­tion­ship with shoes.

So what’s the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the

SS18 col­lec­tion?

The col­lec­tion’s main in­spi­ra­tion is a sum­mer party, dur­ing an ideal sum­mer in an ideal pe­riod: the 1990s, when ev­ery­thing was per­fect. We wanted to move away from the grey im­age that re­flects the his­tor­i­cal mo­ment we’re liv­ing in glob­ally. We imag­ined a party by a swim­ming pool, with colour­ful cock­tails and biki­nis, and with ea­ger, sen­sual women bathing with their shoes on – su­per-glam­orous, fem­i­nine and erotic, but cer­tainly never vul­gar.

How does it dif­fer from pre­vi­ous col­lec­tions? What I’ve al­ways been try­ing to do in the past 20 years is to con­cep­tu­alise ev­ery sea­son, with its own ti­tle as a chap­ter of the same story – like a great movie or a novel di­vided into chap­ters. The en­sem­ble con­sti­tutes the life of the brand, my per­son­al­ity and my taste, and at the cen­tre of ev­ery col­lec­tion is the wo­man and her fem­i­nin­ity. So, yes, this col­lec­tion is dif­fer­ent and di­verse but it still has the same DNA; it’s like chang­ing the menu, but not the cui­sine.

Why did you de­cide to use trans­paren­cies? The trans­paren­cies are in­spired by the wa­ter of the swim­ming pool. Like the metal­lic and turquoise el­e­ments, they cre­ate a mir­ror ef­fect that gives a sense of depth, ex­actly like wa­ter.

Since their in­tro­duc­tion, your sneak­ers have be­come iconic. Tell us about the lat­est in­car­na­tion: the Light Jump.

Clock­wise from be­low: Anya san­dal and Har­mony stiletto, both from the new hol­i­day cap­sule col­lec­tion Stars; Giuseppe Zan­otti; the newly ren­o­vated store in IFC Mall; Cleopa­tra clutch

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