FN: When you joined Via Spiga last fall, what were your initial goals?
CDF: “I wanted to go back and look at the brand and its history. I loved Via Spiga’s philosophy, which was bringing a higher level of craftsmanship at an affordable price point [to consumers]. I’ve been lucky enough to look at the archives — and maybe the shoes were a little bit heavy because they didn’t have the technology we have today. It’s about how we can make it more refined and clean by looking contextually at where we are at today and what feels right. Connecting those ideas to the past while bringing it to a modern time — and also bringing production back to Italy — was important to do.”
FN: What is your design process?
CDF: “I’m a bit of a sponge; I’m excited by new things and what feels relevant. But then it’s nice to take it from the angle of the Via Spiga brand. I believe in trying new things and going into the unknown. It’s those moments when you achieve something.”
FN: How important is craftsmanship in your work?
CDF: “Something happens when you actually make [a product]. You get a lot of knowledge on how materials work. How you handle a leather — it will do certain things, and you have to understand that language. If you’re going to design [shoes], you need to have a connection with how those materials operate. You’re handing a sketch over to the factory, but you need to know that it will work.”
FN: How does Via Spiga’s heritage factor into its new identity?
CDF: “The Via Spiga collections from [the late 1980s, early ’90s] felt very strong. It was about the construction and silhouettes [then], and [now it’s about] combining that by using the best materials and more technical fabrics. I felt that aspect wasn’t prominent in what was recently happening with the brand. I wanted it to have a visual language you could connect to. I feel like less is more. There’s a stronger message when you pare things down and get to what’s important.”
FN: Who is the Via Spiga consumer?
CDF: “It’s targeting working women in whatever capacity. With the internet and the iPhone, we [as women] are always doing a lot across the board. [Look at me], I’m a consumer of the brand. I’m busy; we all do a million things. And I like the idea of feeling good as a wearer. I’m always thinking about heel heights, flexibility and keeping things light. I’ve gone through trials and tribulations of how bad a shoe can be. Success [would be] to reach an ageless audience.”
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