“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”