bal harbour blog

Staying Sharp with Cesare Paciotti

Q&A
Cesare Paciotti with supermodel Bianca Balti.

Cesare Paciotti introduces its first full clothing capsule collection, Wild Dagger, in stores this summer. Here, we talk to the brand’s namesake and designer about the meaning of the dagger, influential Italians and keeping his brand fresh, 60 years later.


Wild Dagger is your first capsule clothing collection. What brought this on?
It started as a necessity. I couldn’t see any other designer’s collection representing the mood of my shoes. In the beginning I started with the 4US Cesare Paciotti clothing collection, but it is mostly sportswear, so more casual, certainly too young for most of the Cesare Paciotti shoes’ customers. Subsequently I decided to translate the feeling I have when I design the shoes also for a clothing line. A collection that is certainly rock ‘n’ roll inspired, but also a collection based on details and attention to style.

The dagger is an important part of the brand's iconography. What does it symbolize to you?
The Dagger was at first a male symbol, representing force and honor but it’s also related to the shape—sleek and sharp—that I love. Then, when I started the women’s collection, I thought that there couldn’t be a better symbol than the dagger—which is translated in Italian as “stiletto,”—an object that looks exactly like the high heels I love to design.

Over the course of your career you've developed friendships with a number of Italian fashion designers. How do you inspire or influence one another?
I worked with the glorious Gianni Versace, with Romeo Gigli, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli and naturally we were inspired by each other, without necessarily influencing one another, in order to maximize our cooperation, each one adding his personal and work experience. Certainly who showed me the work addiction and passion for his creations was Gianni Versace. We shared our life backgrounds in order to adapt our ideas to fashion.

Cesare Paciotti feels like such a contemporary brand, yet the company was founded more than 60 years ago. How do you keep it fresh?
I think the only way to keep a brand contemporary is to look towards the future remembering where you come from. And what my parents, who founded the company in 1948, taught me is to learn the value of the handcraft work applied even to the most technical idea. Naturally I need to keep myself updated and to live the present in order to avoid to be left out. At the end I think that the combination of my artistic view of life, mixed with the pragmatism of my country creates the special combination that my customers love.

Do you enjoy designing for men or women more? Do you find a balance between the two?
I am a man and I started designing for the man, but I cannot deny that I love to design high heels thinking about the marvelous creature who’ll wear them. Especially because the woman’s shoe allows me to create more innovative solutions than the man’s. Each time that I design I sketch the shape of the shoe first, then the heel that may fit perfectly, then the accessories in order to make it precious and sexy. But to tell you the truth, when I create a shoe for a woman I already have in my mind the perfect mix of shape, heel, leather and accessories. So I’m satisfied only when I see it perfectly realized so as I imagined it.

What is the sexiest pair of shoes a woman can wear?
The stiletto (or dagger) heels, without a doubt.

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