FOR THE LOVE OF SHOES
Since he showed his first collection of jeweled footwear in New York in 1994, Giuseppe Zanotti has enchanted the worlds of fashion and entertainment with his ingenious, elaborate and tirelessly innovative designs. Mixing innocence and rock & roll, refinement with sex appeal and a love of craft with a futuristic, boundary pushing aesthetic, every Giuseppe Zanotti shoe is a true original, created using time-honored artisanal techniques that ensure the highest level of quality. Though Giuseppe Zanotti Design has gone from success to success in the past two decades, expanding globally and incorporating bags, jewelry, men’s shoes and ready-to-wear, its founder’s spirit stays the same – his is a tireless creativity born out of a love of art, music, design, and a dedication to providing women with the most superlative shoes in the world.
Giuseppe Zanotti is born in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy. His parents run an ice cream shop in the small seaside town, just a few kilometers from Fellini’s Rimini, which has a long tradition of shoemaking, dating back to the 1930s. Zanotti is fascinated by the craft industry of his home. “I was born in a town where everyone was used to the smell of leather,” he says. “Since I was a creative boy, I decided to put my talents and ideas into making shoes.”
Inspired by his love of design and admiration for the prêt a porter fashion shows in Paris and Milan, Giuseppe Zanotti begins working as a freelance designer for small, artisanal shoe companies. This experience quickly leads to consultancy work for some of the world’s leading fashion houses. By night, the designer explores a different passion: music. He spins records into the small hours as a radio DJ and frequents the cutting-edge nightspots, bursting with the energetic fashions that typified the decade.
Giuseppe Zanotti buys a shoe factory in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy, and finally becomes able to manufacture his own designs. He transfers his style department to the workshop and sets up additional departments producing jewels and heels. He also takes on skilled embroiderers, establishing an operation built on creativity and craftsmanship of the highest level. His vision is of the shoe factory as something more akin to a dressmakers’, set up to meet every woman’s footwear needs.
At the Plaza hotel, New York City, Giuseppe Zanotti presents his first collection of shoes under his own name. The collection, in which shoes are embellished with lustrous jewelry, intrigues buyers with its bold innovations. “I’m Italian, but I was too shy to show my collection in Italy,” says Zanotti. “I had a dream and nobody wanted to produce my shoes, so I started to produce myself.” Customers were immediately impressed.
Celebrities soon develop an affinity for the bold glamour and sex appeal of Giuseppe Zanotti’s designs. The first famous customer is Madonna, who buys a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti Design sandals in Los Angeles. By the early 2000s the shoes are in many stars’ wardrobes, from musicians like Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue and Jennifer Lopez to Hollywood royalty including Penelope Cruz, Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz and style icons such as Eva Herzigova and Karolina Kurkova.
The doors of the first Giuseppe Zanotti Design boutique in Milan open to the public. Additional boutiques follow in major fashion capitals: New York; Paris; London; Moscow; Dubai; Hong Kong. Today the label has almost 100 flagship stores around the world.
The jewelry collection launches for fall/Winter 2010/11 as an extension of Giuseppe Zanotti’s jeweled shoes. It offers a range of necklaces, bracelets and show-stopping body belts. Giuseppe Zanotti Design is no longer restricted to elegant women’s footwear – a total look, also incorporating Giuseppe Zanotti’s hugely popular luxury sneakers, is coming into focus.
For fall winter 2012/13, Giuseppe Zanotti launches Giuseppe Homme, a collection of men’s shoes to complement the women’s collections. Through hip-hop inspired sneakers, elegant moccasins and tough biker boots, Giuseppe Zanotti articulates a new masculine style.
Giuseppe Zanotti celebrates 20 years of incredible footwear design. To commemorate the occasion, the designer launches a series of special collections, focusing on iconic designs from the past two decades. The first, featuring a range of jeweled sandals curated from the Giuseppe Zanotti archive, launches for fall/winter 2014/15 . Simultaneously, Zanotti expands upon his vision for a “total look” by launching a ready-to-wear capsule collection featuring a series of luxe sportswear pieces in tactile leather, embellished with the designer’s trademark metal zippers, buckles and chains.