Putting the Right Foot Forward with Giuseppe Zanotti
Next year shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the launch of his signature label.
When he started out ,during the heart of the 90s era of minimalism, his sexy, vibrate footwear was in stark contrast to anything else on the market And since then he has built up a reputation for creating shoes that are closely linked to the world of music (another one of his passions) as well as using innovative materials and eye catching embellishments – all of it grounded in old school artisanal craftsmanship.
A powerful combination that today means the Zanotti brand is a global entity, with almost 100 stores worldwide, that has expanded from women’s footwear into luxury handbags, mens shoes, children’s footwear and a smattering of ready to wear.
Zanotti was born in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy, a village that was just down the road from Rimini, which has a long tradition of shoemaking. It was there that he learned first-hand his trade, designing footwear freelance for small, artisanal shoe companies. Besides whipping up imaginative shoe designs, Zanottti spent much of his after hours during his youth as a radio DJ. Bringing nightspots to life with his impressive musical knowledge and ability to set a party mood. And it was the covers of those LPs that he played that often acted as inspiration for his designs in his early days.
Interestingly, it was celebrities who were first draw to Zanotti’s work almost from the start, with Madonna an early fan. Now the list of his high profile clientele probably reaches a mile long, with stars like Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz, Charlize Theron, and Cameron Diaz buying up his designs.
Men too; with Kanye West not only a collector of his mens shoes, he also regularly collaborates with the designer. In fact, Zanottti got in on the collaboration game much earlier that most luxury brands. Working with both celebrities and up and coming fashion designers, supply the shoes for their seasonal collections, long before many of his competitors.
That is the real take away you get from Zanotti when you talk with him. He is an artist who enjoys the creative and collaborative process of bringing his hand draw sketches to life. And when I say life, I mean seeing them being worn on the street by real people who love to stand out, get noticed and blaze their own path.
Jessica Michault is the Senior Vice President of industry relations at GPS Radar by Launchmetrics. She is also the editor-at-large for ODDA magazine and contributes to publications like the New York Times, the Business of Fashion, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Mixte magazine.
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