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The Power of the Pump

The Power of the Pump

Yellow suede Heel with Ankle Strap

Gianvito Rossi Aluna Stiletto Heel

“To truly empower a woman, you have to show her personality, not yours,” Gianvito Rossi says during his time at his Bal Harbour showroom. “You need to give her a shoe for her every style and every mood.”

Portrait of Italian shoe designer Gianvito Rossi

Italian shoe designer and founder Gianvito Rossi

Glamorous and practical, it’s no wonder that Rossi’s eponymous label has quickly become a staple for smart dressing among the style set. Developing his craft alongside his father, the venerated shoe designer Sergio Rossi, Gianvito Rossi struck out on his own in 2006. “Confidence for a woman means being feminine but not too fragile, and wearing a style that makes her feel comfortable,” he says.

Crystals shine bright in the Nadja flat thong sandal in metallic silver leather. Bare feet can be “dressed up” in only a glittering anklet for a hippie chic attitude.

Gianvito Rossi Nadja Flat

His design ethos is inspired by the women in his own life: His wife of 25 years, Monica Rossi, works for the brand and his daughter Sophie spends her time away from university consulting her father on a variety of projects. With his son Nicola also at the helm, Rossi’s business and personal life are inextricably intertwined. “A typical Saturday or Sunday morning is spent in the studio, going over our designs and spending time with prototypes, sketches, ideas and materials,” he says.

Set on a 105mm stiletto heel, the lace-up open toe Gianvito Rossi Helena Bootie is made of ultra-soft fabric. The mesh in Praline color wraps around the ankle in a sensual game of hide-and-seek and creates an illusion of sheer skin camouflage.

Gianvito Rossi Helena Bootie in Praline

The resulting footwear tows a delicate balance between fashionable and functional, with subtle accoutrements preferred over extravagant details, and quality fabrics sourced from Italian tanneries. His signature Vamp bootie, for example, is the embodiment of his sensual-yet-powerful credo.

The Kylie pump combines plexi and animal print. Embellished with leopard spots, the pvc pump has two buckled slingback straps and a black patent 105mm heel.

Gianvito Rossi Kylie Pump

Comfort may not immediately come to mind when you slip on a gravity-defying Gianvito Rossi pump, but it’s at the core of Rossi’s philosophy. Each shoe is meticulously researched, with 10 to 15 fittings to find the proper cut, proportion, and shape.

Delicate white feathers enrich the ankle strap and toe band of the Athena sandal. Finished with a 105mm stiletto heel, is showcased further with tone-on-tone feathers.

Gianvito Rossi Athena Stiletto Heel

His 2019 Spring/Summer collection will certainly bring a smile to any woman’s face: Inspired by a Mediterranean summer—Rossi spent his summer holidays in Greece— the line features an airy color palette, Grecian sandals with chain-link straps, and fishnet ankle and over-the-knee boots for cooler temperatures. “I really wanted to create something that expresses freedom, because to me, that’s summertime,” says Rossi. “I envisioned a collection that works for laying on the beach or partying on the beach, and just feeling very relaxed and free in the moment.”

The multifaceted plexi heel comes in a distinctive shade of green, reminiscent of a precious emerald, and is combined with Mekong gold nappa silk in the Palace ankle tie sandal. A glamorous style that is like jewelry for the feet.

Gianvito Rossi Palace Heel in Mekong Gold

With a style for every mood from racy to romantic, edgy to decidedly laidback, Gianvito Rossi proves that a woman can be anything she wants. “Feeling beautiful and confident,” he muses, “now that’s true empowerment.”

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