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Hong Kong women one step ahead


Shoe designer Gianvito Rossi on how he keeps Hong Kong women one step ahead

Italian shoe designer Gianvito Rossi might know how to draw a crowd but he takes nothing for granted.

His newly expanded boutique in Hong Kong’s Central shopping district was packed last month for an event to celebrate its relocation and Rossi was happy his Plexi pumps and latest Cocktail collection were delighting the hordes. But he remembers advice his design legend father Sergio gave him.

“He taught me that you can always do better. The idea is not very relaxing but it’s the truth. My work is never finished – you constantly need to evolve and listen to improve your work,” Rossi says. “That is what drives me as a designer.”

Designed to commemorate the brand’s 10th anniversary, the limited-edition Cocktail collection features a range of fun styles inspired by classic cocktails, including a bootie spelling out the word cocktail in neon crystals and decorated with an encrusted twist of lemon. Also Instagram-worthy is the Portofino, a sleek satin strap sandal featuring a crystal cherry on the front.

Admittedly, Rossi had a head start on many of his counterparts when he launched his footwear label in 2006. He grew up in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy’s famed shoe district. Most of his childhood was spent at the family’s shoe factory, which he refers to as his “playground”, learning the business. Pursuing a career in shoemaking was “second nature” to him, although his famous family name was would later turn out to be a double-edged sword.

“True, you have a bigger opportunity than any new designer, what with the attention and a chance to show your product to a lot of people. At the same time the expectation is not one you would expect for young designer – the bar is set much higher. It took a while for me to really make this business work, especially since we started when the economy wasn’t very good,” he says.

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