When we think of Italian craftsmanship, we think of shoes. One of the most iconic of the Italian shoe designers, Sergio Rossi, has sadly passed on April 2nd at the stately age of 84 from Coronavirus (he donated $100,000 to a Milanese hospital last month to help fight for a cure in his home country). His impact on Italian culture and fashion as a whole is deeply felt through his rich history of design;
Sergio Rossi learned how to make shoes from his father at the young age of 14. He continued his craftsmanship building and started selling his shoes in stores in 1966 until his own namesake brand began in 1968. One of his most iconic styles of shoe was created during this period, the Opanca sandal. This Slavic inspired shoe exemplified the Italian craft. Its rounded toe, sculptural kitten heel and foot-hugging straps reflected the casual and sensual elegance of the Italian woman.
Rossi even collaborated with another Italian icon, Gianni Versace in the 1970s. Collaborations may seem normal today, but back in the 70s, this was not a typical concept. He would go on to be a favourite of young Versace and put his shoes in all Versace ready-to-wear shows of this time period.
His line kept its popularity well through the 1980s, with reportedly one-thousand pairs of shoes made in the factory each day. This is also the period when Rossi designed shoes for Dolce and Gabbana lines as well as Azzedine Alaïa. This close-knit group of designers melded together to create the epitome of Italian clothing and shoe design.
The Gucci Group received a 70% stake in the brand in 1999. Rossi continued to design for a few years before he retired. The brand is now owned by Italian investor Investindustrial and is headed by Riccardo Sciutto. Sciutto continued the legacy of Rossi by continuing the journey of creating the perfect leg extension. Scuitto uses Rossi’s archives as the main inspiration and has digitized over 6,000 shoes and accessories to keep Sergio Rossi’s legacy deep in the hearts of all Italians and shoe-lovers alike. His son, Gianvito Rossi, continues in the Rossi family footsteps with his own namesake label and the same dedication to craftsmanship that his father had.
|Never Worn | EU 35||Worn | EU 39||Worn | EU 37.5||Worn | EU 38|
|Vintage | EU 34.5||Hardly Worn | EU 38.5||Vintage | EU 37.5||Hardly Worn | EU 35|
|Never Worn | EU 39||Hardly Worn | EU 37.5||Never Worn | EU 39||Vintage | EU 35|
Shop more Sergio Rossi here.