3 Questions for Luxury Rebel’s Fabiana Rigamonti

Luxury Rebel is taking it easy while taking it up a notch.

“The big word out there [for fall ’13] is casual,” said Fabiana Rigamonti, who recently joined Highline United as design director of the Manhattan-based company’s 4-year old in-house women’s label. The designer, whose background includes running her own label, Due Farina, and serving as co-creative director of Daniblack at Schwartz & Benjamin, is helping lead Luxury Rebel in a new direction.

Rigamonti’s second full collection for Luxury Rebel is a reflection of that sensibility, including leather booties, wedge sneakers, pumps, smoking slippers and brogue-inspired looks, with details such as mesh and a refined take on metal studding. The label carries price points of $120 to $275, and retails at Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop.com and independent boutiques across the U.S.

Rigamonti spoke with Footwear News about her plans for Luxury Rebel, why technique is as important as creativity, and the shoe designer who inspires her the most.

1. What is your vision for Luxury Rebel’s aesthetic?
We wanted to embrace the true original DNA of the brand — the essence of which had a rock ‘n’ roll glam edge. When we started working on Luxury Rebel, the line had gone a bit too tailored. We still want to keep the street utilitarian aesthetic, which is also important to the brand, but we are tweaking it to have a more glamorous look. We also are working on expanding our categories to make sure we can satisfy the needs of our girl from day to night.

2. What advice would you give young shoe designers just starting out in the business?
My biggest advice is to really have a great knowledge of the product and the way it’s built. You can always come up with some original ideas if you know the different ways a shoe can be made. Technique is key at this point. The industry is saturated with product that looks the same, [and] the only way you can stand out in the sea of shoes is to deliver a well-made product. You also have to listen to all the feedback from the rest of the team, sales especially. It really helps, even if sometimes it’s painful for designers.

3. Which iconic footwear designers do you admire?
It’s difficult to say because I find inspiration in many different designers, and especially in vintage footwear, but I would say Azzedine Alaia is my biggest inspiration. His style is always glamorous, but always edgy at the same time. I find all his creations amazing. That’s what girls want to wear now.

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