Gianvito Rossi is a crowd pleaser. The Italian designer swooped into the Big Apple for two days last week to make a personal appearance at Bergdorf Goodman. Among those in attendance were writer Stephanie LaCava and Linda Fargo, SVP of the fashion office and store presentation at Bergdorf, and both took Rossi’s suede over-the-knee boots for a whirl.
The designer had Milan on his mind, as his upcoming presentation is looming, but Rossi still happily shook hands and signed shoes. He deferred questions, though, about what he and runway collaborator Joseph Altuzarra have in store this season. “That should be a surprise,” he said.
Here, Rossi talks with Spy about personal appearances and family ties.
How important are in-store events for your brand?
“I like the idea of meeting my customers very much because it’s the reason I make shoes. It’s important for me to have this contact. It’s nice to see how people all around the world respond to my shoes. It’s about the emotion they [evoke].”
What can we expect to see at your Milan presentation?
“The full spring ’14 collection is very much about the lines. I have a more organic kind of shape — soft with a reconstructed print that may seem like an animal print, but in fact is a very modern take. I played with colors and at the same time I very much like the idea of cutouts done in an unexpected way. I present again at the beginning of December, so there will be no rest time. We had a very nice summer, but now it’s finished.”
How would you recommend one wears your daring over-the-knee boots without giving too much away?
“That’s really key, even with this type of cuissard. I don’t like when one tries to over-decorate oneself. You have to dress a little bit more basic with them — keep it simple and modern. You don’t need to reveal much.”
You brought your family with you to New York this time. What’s on your to-do list for the city?
“We’re going downtown to have a look at all the stores. My daughter is 16 and wants to pick up some things.”
Does your daughter wear your shoes?
“Sometimes. Not the super-high ones. I am afraid I can’t [control] the situation anymore. I am a suffering dad.”
It’s no secret that John Varvatos is a music lover. The designer kicked off New York Fashion Week at the 10th Annual Style Awards, where he was honored as Menswear Designer of the Year. And although he won’t be presenting this time in the Big Apple (his line showed in Milan this summer), Varvatos will be making the runway rounds — with his playlist ready, of course. “I’m listening to New York music right now, with a Fashion Week vibe,” he said. “Patti Smith, Blondie, Television and the Ramones. All the bands you think about when you think about New York City.” And the week also gives Varvatos time to scope out fresh talent. “I’m looking at all of the young and new designers. I’m less interested in what the big names are doing than to see who is coming up in the ranks,” he said. “I’m super-excited to see the next generation.”
It’s football season for Kristin Cavallari. The Chinese Laundry collaborator is gearing up to support husband Jay Cutler as he leads the Chicago Bears. And she is eager to sport her Chinese Laundry collection at the games. “Fall is definitely my favorite because I love boots and booties,” she said, adding that she recently wore a brown pair of her ankle boots to a pre-season showdown. “I should be at all the home games, and boots are great for games.” Cavallari, who got hitched earlier this summer, said married life has remained the same. “I wouldn’t want things to be drastically different, so it’s great,” she said.
Red Carpet Ready
You’ve got a friend in me. Dennis Basso is prepped for his runway show Tuesday with help from a special guest designer: Brian Atwood, who crafted Basso’s shoes this season. Atwood’s personal favorite? An ankle-strap peep-toe in a variety of pastel colors. “We’re excited to do shoes for [Dennis],” Atwood said. “He’s such a personality, it’s fun.” For is part, Basso said the decision to work with Atwood was an easy one. “He’s a dear friend, and I love his look,” Basso said. “It’s sexy and luxurious like our [label], so it’s a great collaboration. He’s got it going on.” And Atwood already has a starlet in mind to sport his runway looks. “I love Lily Collins, I love what she’s doing,” he said.
Shoppers stopping by Sam Edelman’s boutique in East Hampton, N.Y., got an unexpected chance to meet the designer on Aug. 30. He visited the shop before heading over to Bridgehampton for the 38th Hampton Classic horse show. Edelman’s eponymous label sponsored the Equitation Championship for young riders and also had a pop-up in the event’s shopping area. The annual competition, which caps off summer on Long Island, not only brought out the world’s best equestrian athletes but some major celebrities, too. Jerry Seinfeld, Christie Brinkley and Jon Bon Jovi all stopped by the VIP area over the weekend — and Brinkley and her daughter, budding model Sailor Brinkley Cook, were guests at Edelman’s Classic table.