Giuseppe Zanotti

Giuseppe Zanotti is a footwear designer. He founded his brand in 1994 and captured the attention of many celebrities with his sculpture shoes

Giuseppe Zanotti was born on the 17th of April 1957 in San Mauro Pascoli, Emilia Romagna, in a family of ice cream makers. In the 80s he embarked on a career as a DJ and came into contact with the subculture of those years. Jewelry and accessories were the things that fascinated him most of the 80s fashion. Driven by this fascination, he began to collaborate as a freelancer for some local shoe factories. Subsequently, Zanotti will enter the ateliers of the most important fashion houses such as Roberto Cavalli, Fendi, Missoni, Thierry Mugler and Valentino.

The beginnings and the foundation of the brand

In the early 90s he decided to start producing his own line of shoes and accessories. He acquired the Vicini shoe factory in San Mauro Pascoli, giving life to a combination of sartorial creativity and craftsmanship. Here he also established the headquarters of his style office, with two departments specialized in jewelry and heels. He debuted with his first collection at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 1994, immediately capturing the attention of buyers. In 2000 he opened his first boutique in Milan. New York, Paris, London, Dubai, Moscow and other international cities will follow. After experiencing considerable success in Europe, in 2007 he decided to land in the Chinese market through a franchise agreement with Life Luxury Group.

Experimenting with shapes: Zanotti shoes

Giuseppe Zanotti experiments with shapes and decorations. An example is the empty wedge of the “Bloc” sandal and the “Slim” jewel sandal with a fishbone insert.

In his creations, Zanotti recreates a balance between a rock and hip-hop style with a more classic and elegant one. This characteristic allows him to be chosen by celebrities with very different personalities such as Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Penelope Cruz, Lewis Hamilton, Usher, Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson and Eva Herzigova. The development of the eponymous brand did not prevent him, in the meantime, from continuing to work for the big brands, such as Balmain.

sandalo bloc Giuseppe Zanotti
sandalo Bloc

The new lines and the acquisition by L Catterton

In 2010 he expanded the brand’s portfolio by introducing new product categories: jewelry and sportswear products. Zanotti renews itself and reinterprets footwear in a street key by offering luxury sneakers. In 2012 the brand debuted with the men’s line Giuseppe Homme, throwing sneakers of increasingly marked hip-hop inspiration, moccasins and combat boots, while in 2016 it debuted with the children’s line Giuseppe Junior. In 2014, to strengthen growth strategies, the private equity firm L Catterton of the LVMH group acquired 30% of Vicini Spa, owner of the Giuseppe Zanotti brand. At the same time, in 2016 he strengthened the agreement with Life Luxury Group by creating Giuseppe Zanotti Design Holding Hong Kong. The goal was to increase the presence in the market. In 2017 the Giuseppe Zanotti brand recorded a turnover of 174 million euros, 47% of which represented by men.

Giuseppe Zanotti line Giuseppe Homme ss17
Giuseppe Zanotti line Giuseppe Homme ss17

The collaborations

In January 2019 the capsule collection with singer Rita Ora, “Giuseppe for Rita Ora” was launched. The collection was sold by Saks Fifth Avenue and on the official website of the maison. The result was a collection of sculpture-heeled sandals and open-toed knee-high boots, alongside modern flat slippers. Distinctive element of the collection are: textured suede, precious silk satin and the iconic hip hop chain, the Cuban link chain. Emblem of hip hop culture and the designer’s enduring attraction for jewel details, the chain mesh pattern, in shiny yellow gold, is present both in the form of a decorative element and transformed into a surprising and unexpected heel.

Giuseppe Zanotti x Rita Ora
Giuseppe Zanotti x Rita Ora

He also collaborated with rapper Swae Lee and Evan Mock creating two different capsules but very oriented towards a younger audience with a casual style.

Giuseppe Zanotti Icon

In 2020 he launched the Giuseppe Zanotti Icon project, an initiative in which he reissued the brand’s most iconic models: among them the Venere Sandal characterized by a snake-shaped metal insert, a sensual shoe that wraps around the foot. The same year he signed a licensing agreement with Alexandre Vauthier.

venus sandal
Venus sandal

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