Gianvito Rossi On Craftsmanship, Quality and His Passion For ‘Made in Italy’ Products

Lindsay Judge   |   09-10-2023

Gianvito Rossi has been surrounded by shoes his whole life. The son of legendary shoemaker Sergio Rossi, he was inspired by his fathers success to set up his own footwear brand which opened in 2006. Gianvitos designs are far from his fathers classic styles, with a bold modern design aesthetic that still considers comfort and the elements that will help a woman to look and feel beautiful. Much like his father, Gianvito Rossi prefers to keep his shoe production in Italy, specifically in San Mauro Pascoli, an area renowned for its longstanding tradition in the art of luxury footwear. He prides himself on using only the best Italian craftsmanship and puts quality and the highest savoir-faire at the heart of his brand. Here, we discover more about the brand and the latest collections to launch in stores this season.

Tell us about the universe of Gianvito Rossi today. What is your current vision and direction for the brand?

My direction has always been to enhance a womans silhouette and make them feel beautiful on every occasion. I design shoes that women can enjoy for what I like to call the red carpet of their everyday life. The world keeps changing, and trends evolve faster and faster. Our clients know how to recognise substance and quality in a product, and I believe women have been searching for a more modern take on shoes – which made me reconsider the proportions, making the design even more geometric with clearer lines. Having said this, my research for perfection never stops, and I try to create sophisticated and original styles every day, which is what makes our product special.

Looking at our retail distribution, we have worked on an important rollout of openings for the Middle East. We have recently opened a store in Doha, and we will soon open in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Sustainability is also a very important practice for us at the moment. Luxury should produce products that last and that can be repaired over time so that they last as long as possible. This approach has been in the back of my mind since the start, it is how I conceive my collections, from design to manufacturing. Nowadays, technology allows us to improve the production process, reducing waste and shifting toward energy coming from renewable sources.

Tell us about your current collection and the new Carla Ballerina Flats.

I am currently finalising our new collection presentation, which will take place during Milan Fashion Week – but I dont want to ruin the surprise for you! Carla is the latest addition to our family of flat styles; it reinterprets ballet shoe proportions with a modern take. It is handmade using the best traditional Italian method: the construction is carried out according to the so-called slip-lasting method”, the artisanal process results in a final product with extraordinary softness and flexibility thanks to unique full stitching, which is used for the insole too.

Who is the woman that you design for today?

Every woman has a special relationship with her own shoes, and this feeling is 100% based on the quality of the product and the special emotion it encourages. I have always tried to produce shoes that can enhance the feminine silhouette in all its beauty. Making people feel their very best has always been my starting point and my final goal. The Gianvito Rossi factory is made up of people who try to create every single pair of shoes in the best way possible; our thoughts are always towards our clients and their needs. Its not just a matter of aesthetics; the relationship with shoes is much more intimate: they are in touch with your whole body, and if impeccably constructed, they transmit joy and pleasure.

How important is it for you to stay loyal to the Made In Italynotion and to produce shoes in your home country?

Italy is an amazing country, rich in culture, arts, and history. Those are fundamental elements that characterise the DNA of all Italian designers, in addition to the knowledge of craftsmanship that has been passed from generation to generation. For these reasons, Gianvito Rossi can only exist if our shoes are made in Italy, otherwise, it wouldnt have been authentic to me.

What for you makes a successful luxury brand today?

I believe quality is the key. One aspect of this element is how a style is made, which is why I spend so much time on every new development. I ensure all our collections are produced with excellent materials, spending a long time on each step of the process. We can speak about the duality of quality, the quality of the material but also, and perhaps most importantly, the quality of the design. I am used to thinking that our approach to product development is like an Atelier”, where all is special, and nothing can be anything but perfect. This requires a lot of time, and if you think, this is the quintessential essence of luxury.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced or face today, and how do you overcome that?

There have been many of them through the years, but there are no secrets: you must face them fiercely and directly. The most important thing has been to have my family near me; this has been a force of support that has allowed me to always perform in the best way. With this reassuring force behind you, you can ensure the highest level of performance that helps overcome any problem you might encounter along the way.

What is a lesson that you learned from your father?

From my father, I learnt not only the secrets of the job but also the real savoir-faire of being an artisan. He was a very strong and disciplined man, and work meant the world to him. The most important thing that I learnt from him is to try to look to the future in a positive way and always try to create the highest quality product possible.

What are your first memories of shoes growing up?

The memories I cherish the most are connected to the Veglie” (vigils in English). Once our collection was ready in the factory, we were used to finalising it in just one night. We would stay there until the early hours of the morning to ensure everything was complete. Of course, we were exhausted but very excited to see the new models come to life, one after the other.

What makes Gianvito Rossi different from the competition, and how do you stay ahead of competitors?

Time. We put a lot of effort into every step. From the study of the perfect proportion to the research of the materials, each pump requires a specific process, and to ensure the maximum quality, you need a lot of time, which is the essence of luxury. My obsession is the research of perfect proportions, which I research, aiming to find the best possible enhancement of the female silhouette. I wanted the proportions of our Pumps to give length to the leg.

Whats the professional motto that you live by?

To always try to perform at my best and to think positively!

What can you tell us about Gianvito Rossi in the Middle East?

Middle Eastern women are sophisticated; they understand luxury well and recognise the value of quality and craftsmanship. I think this is why they appreciate our creations so much.

What message would you send to your fans and clients in the region?

I cant wait to return and visit your beautiful cities, meet more people, and be inspired by them!