ITALIAN LUXURY FOOTWEAR, ACCESSORIES
---PLUS. New Collection in Men’s/Women’s Collaboration with
Designer George Esquivel
Editorial Preview SOHO HOUSE, NYC
Words, Images Judith Ecochard
High-end Italian Fratelli Rossetti shifted its USA media preview to the beginning of Fashion Week…a smart move---
…and to a hip, downtown location.
What else was smart was the collaboration with CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2009 finalist George Esquivel, with intros by Vogue editor and fashion’s leading light (IMHO) Anna Wintour.
The buzz ensued in the press…and we are certain will translate into celeb wearings, print credits, a new customer base etc…
We got to The Library/Soho House for the preview and lucked out with Diego Rossetti, a third generation Italian scion of the family owned Fratelli Rossetti --- and LA based George Esquivel --- to ourselves for a quick sit down chat, prior to a look see at the collection.
With Anna Wintour’s introduction, Esquivel noted, “…we shouldn’t lose time and we didn’t lose time. It’s an easy relationship. They’re shoemakers in every sense of the word…it’a a dream of mine to work with a brand with history.”
Rossetti felt the timing was good. “George knows the shoe business so when he sends us sketches…we can actually use, and that’s unusual. He (G.E.) knows a lot about manufacturing.”
Esquivel could not have been more enthused…even late in what had certainly been a long day. “That’s the inspiration,” he said,"...the best shoes are from Italy. They (Rossetti) weren’t looking to re-launch…they didn’t want to be a new Gucci…they don’t need to be revamped and remade.”
What Esquivel does bring out for this high-end purveyor of shoes and accessories, is a “new freshness… fun and a different customer…someone who hasn’t heard of Fratelli Rossetti.”
From Diego Rossetti’s perspective, “…everything came at the right time…George would give us support to the collection--- that’s been well accepted…we wanted to do what was new.”
“(And)... retailers are looking for something new,” he added. And considering the quality of materials, hand stitched and finishing details like laboriously applied dyes and unique washes…up-to date designs referenced from the Fratelli Rossetti archives---it’s no wonder why this Italian brand is one of our favorites and a top hit with readers. Already,
As far as value---a tricky term somewhat incongruous with the term “luxury.” But since THAT now dreaded word is often synonymous with overpriced from a retailer perspective, or from a craftsmanship eye---about a logo---we all agreed that true luxury ---the ultimate luxury is often made in very limited numbers, using the local artisans who have craftsmanship inbred…”the local guy, not mass produced.”
We then took a tour wih Esquivel of his contributions to the House of Fratelli Rossetti…
“My designs fuse with their design…this is not a one off, “ he added. “I tweaked the classic styles.”
As in this tassel shoe (pictured up top---the tassel being a Fratelli Rossetti invention, FYI)…with a special wash. A wash, in fact, that went through many trials and errors including throwing them in the washing machine. “We ruined so many shoes.”
The look is a soft deconstructed hand sewn, hand polished shoe---with pleated leather. Elegant, casual and versatile.
A Classic Chuka /Desert Boot---graduated tones
Alip-ona with edged uppers & with band of pop colors for modern guys.
Another knockout and favorite for men --- the super soft suede moccasin/driving shoe---that’s been washed and faded in the way that it looks “like it’s been sitting on the deck of a boat.”
For Fratelli Rossetti, Esquivel “didn’t go with heels…(but) turned a man’s last into a women’s last…” for a feminine take on oxfords and penny loafers.
There are elongated toes too for a “younger girl who likes to play with the toe.” We think Singer Janelle Monae the obvious spokeswoman.
“It’s comfy and cool…” Esquivel marveled…and strongly felt that it’s hipper when women are confident enough to wear what they want…”including flats with a dress.”
We eyeballed the details---the polished soles, and female version of the washed colors of these super soft suede moccasins…
Top ESQUIVEL/ FRATELLI pick:
These perfectly hip and chic ties with sculptural, layered heels that reminded us of our jazz dance shoes---in terrific two tones...that will look awesome when we wear them with our uniform, skinny dark denim jeans and tees.
Love this tassel edge
A travel bag that comes with a removable shoulder strap for easy hauling. And a semi-structured clutch, and travel slippers…. all together.
We always gravitate towards shoes with heels ourselves…and thought this retro style sandal with a heel made of a solid wood…stunning…wearable chic and with the height that we want.
Our favorites were these tasseled heels---an ideal example of a Fratelli Rossetti leather classic with a sporty twist. Lovely.
Wedges that manage to be graceful---not clunky. With nice mix up of materials uppers/outsoles, bright contrast stitching/laces/ties.
Both men agreed were obviously thrilled with the collaborative results…not surprisingly...that will be available at Fratelli Rossetti flagship boutiques in New York (625 Madison Avenue) and Milan (Via Nirone, 1 & Piazza San Carlo, 2) this December.
As George Esquivel remarked---
“We are always researching and developing, not resting on our laurels…we want to move forward…and Fratelli Rossetti is open minded enough.”
And might we add, Fratelli Rossetti ‘s main collection is as fabulous as always…a superlative tribute to the heritage of the brand, as well.