3 Questions for Pasquale Fabrizio

Pasquale Fabrizio is stretching his creative side. After servicing celebrity shoe repairs in Los Angeles for the past 20 years, the designer is now focusing on his own Q by Pasquale collection of feminine styles.

“We have always been pushed by the industry to build, to create, to go after crazy stuff,” said Fabrizio, who soft-launched his line for fall but is moving full steam ahead for spring ’13. “I love the creativity of making different things and then watching what’s out there and saying I can do better.”

Q by Pasquale is made in Italy and retails for $535 to $1,175. The collection is sold in Los Angeles at a branded boutique located directly next to Pasquale Shoe Repair, and sells at select shops in Europe.

“This collection has more of a punch,” Fabrizio said of his spring offering. “The market is ready for something different, exiting, fresh and new.”

While Fabrizio is still working on his U.S. distribution, he’s already garnered attention from celebrities, many of whom have been frequenting his shoe repair shop for years. So far, his styles have been worn by Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Julia Roberts and others.

“Fashion is driven by celebrities,” the designer said. “Everybody looks up to the fame. Consumers wants to mimic that [style] because they want the glamour. [Celebrities] are the ones who place product and make it move.”

Here, the designer talks maintenance, comfort and his next big projects.

1. What makes your collection different from other brands?
PF: We’re standing behind a new maintenance program on everything we do. It’s not just warranty on products; it’s maintenance of anything you want done to it. It’s for one year from date of purchase. It doesn’t cost anything and it comes with all our products. But from our other business, we understand that women don’t throw away good product. With that in mind, we are able to give that extra service. For the retailers, it’s a good selling point.

2. How important is comfort in your brand?
PF:
Comfort is No. 1 for us, but you don’t want to lose the style to achieve it. We have memory foam that adds cushion, and we paid a lot of attention to the lasts and how the straps are positioned. [With the shoe repair business], we do almost 15,000 pairs a year and get to see all the latest and greatest features, but we also see all the little defects. So we tried to sidestep some of the mistakes we see.

3. What other ways are you promoting your line?
PF:
We’re getting a lot of attention from stylists. Our product is going to be on NBC’s “Fashion Star.” The styles will be paired with the looks the designers have created. It’s exciting because they approached us. They like the product because it’s new, fresh and different. It will give us a bigger window and bigger audience. We also have shot a reality show. The production company came after us. I had no intention of going after television or being a part of it. But I said, “If it will help the brand, let’s do it.” It’s about the family business and footwear.