Giuseppe Zanotti

Tonie Ong

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Articles on Giuseppe Zanotti

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Throughout the years, footwear has evolved alongside fashion. For some decades, the more elaborate the fashion got, so did the footwear. Soon, shoes no longer were exclusively about necessity, but about glamour as well. Footwear became as powerful as fashion, with some people even collecting them like art. Who could forget Carrie Bradshaw of the HBO hit TV series “Sex and The City” and her insatiable love for shoes? Even spending money on them rather than her dinner? For a lot of people, their footwear became their symbol, emblem, and status symbol. And that is just how Giuseppe Zanotti wants it to be.

For Giuseppe Zanotti, footwear is a work of art. While other shoe designers focus on material, silhouette, and color of their pieces, Zanotti focuses on embellishments. He designs his pieces with as much jewelry, gemstones, studs, and any other material he can think of. He wants his items to stand out as much as the wearer’s outfit, maybe even more so depending on his design. His work has gotten so much acclaim that it’s been worn some of the wildest fashionistas today, from Hollywood A-listers to pop music icons. For him, simplicity is not an option—everything must be bigger, bolder, and better!

The Man Behind the Brand

He was born on April 17, 1957, in the Emilia Romagna region in Italy. He lived near Rimini, a city in the country known for shoe-making. By going there countless times during his youth, he developed an affinity for the craft, later learning it and making a career out of it. By the 1980’s, he started working for various shoe companies, perfecting his craft and creating a name for himself in the industry. He soon became a shoe consultant for many of the leading fashion brands of the time. During this decade, he also bought a shoe factory in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy, beginning the establishment of his brand.

In 1994, he debuted his first shoe collection at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. His bejewelled designs and elaborate offerings quickly became a hit, receiving critical and commercial acclaim. Suddenly, his name was all over the fashion circuit, mostly because his shoes looked like no one else’s. Other shoe designers at the time, like Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo, focused on simpler and sexier styles. Meanwhile, Zanotti’s shoes were far more elaborate, ornate, and flashy. Soon, his name rivaled those of Blahnik’s and Choo’s, establishing his brand as one of the premier shoe labels in the world.

Other Ventures

During its early years, the company focused a lot on women’s shoes, which at the time were far more lucrative than any other category in footwear. But by the 2000’s, the label began selling luxury sneakers, redesigning the sportswear staple into more couture-like creations. They created sneakers using luxurious materials such as velvet, lined them with metallic gold, and at times, put studs on them for their signature ornate look. It was their first venture into men’s shoes, of which the eventually started offering by the mid-00’s. Although their products had the same shape and silhouette as normal sneakers, they more for show than for playing any type of sport.

In 2010, the label also launched their jewelry line, which was as extravagant as their shoes. Their line ranged from necklaces, rings, bracelets, and belts. With the same principles as their shoe line, their pieces were big, luxurious, and oftentimes, showstopping. They made use of a variety of material as well, from metal, crystal, chains, and a few exotic stones like jade. Similarly to their shoes, the label’s jewelry line also met critical acclaim and commercial success. Although the brand is still primarily known for their shoes, they’re slowly getting recognized for their accessories as well.

Retail Expansion and Prominence

Ever since he debuted his first shoe collection in New York, retailers from the fashion capital has been carrying and selling his pieces. Since the 1990’s, the label’s shoes can be bought in prominent stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York. Other retailers that have since started selling Giuseppe Zanotti shoes are Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols, and Harrods in London. His first boutique was in Milan, opened in 2000, which was then followed by other flagships in New York, Paris, London, Moscow, and Hong Kong. In 2016, the company opened their 100th store in Shanghai, China.

High-profile Fans & Muses

Because of his show-stopping designs, a lot of A-list celebrities have worn Zanotti’s shoes on the red carpet to make an impact. From the 90’s to today, pop stars like Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera, and Jennifer Lopez have all worn his designs. Some have even commissioned the company to design their footwear during their world tours. From Hollywood, actresses such as Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and Charlize Theron have all been spotted on the red carpet in Giuseppe Zanotti shoes. For the men, singers like John Legend, Zayn Malik, and Jason Derulo have all worn the brand’s luxurious sneakers.

If one wants their shoes to stand out, one of the best places to buy a pair is at Giuseppe Zanotti’s. Their glamorous legacy is a testament to how important extravagance is in the world of fashion.

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