Was it Monday or Shoesday last eve? On Saks Fifth Avenue’s eighth floor, it was certainly the latter: Sergio Rossi’s design director, Angelo Ruggeri, was being honored at a champagne-fueled cocktail hour. Olivia Chantecaille and Natalya Poniatowski hosted the occasion, bedecked in colorful pumps. The well-heeled crowd included Stefano Tonchi, Indre Rockefeller, and Karen Mulligan. While Ruggeri was signing complimentary sketches of his stiletto designs, there was also a feel-good component to the eve: 10 percent of all sales benefited The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. But back to the shoes! We sat down with Ruggeri to talk about all things footwear-related…
Where can the best shoes in the world be found?
Italy for sure, because that’s where we produce shoes! All the best shoemakers are based in Italy. Even if they design elsewhere, their shoes are still made in Italy. Also, we’re an Italian brand, so I need to promote Italian design!
You also design men’s shoes. Do you design with yourself in mind?
I try to keep the DNA of the brand in each shoe, but my personal taste does go into the whole process, too.
Do you play favorites when it comes to your shoe designs?
No, because each season I try to explore different sides of my creativity. Each time I experiment with different things; each season might see something I’ve never created before.
In that case, do you have a favorite shoe each season?
I have many favorite shoes each season! Sometimes it’s difficult to find just one. From this collection, my favorite has to be the one with the petals in the back. It’s a perfect mix of the seasonal collection with the essence of Sergio Rossi.
How long does it take you to create one of these sketches of your shoes?
I love to sketch, so it doesn’t take too long. For me, it’s a very quick way of creating a design. My sketches are immediate and not so perfect, but they give a good idea of a potential silhouette. Then, my team turns my sketches into a shoe.