The creators of L’F Shoes mean to get people talking.
“Our brand is connected to a conversational object, where you are wearing the shoes and people stop to ask you about them,” said Francio Ferrari. The co-founder launched the line in 2011 with partner and girlfriend Licia Florio, who has a background at Marni and spearheads the design. “We are very passionate about our work — our work is our life,” added Ferrari.
What started as a signature laceless brogue has expanded into a full collection of glitter booties, fur slides and feather-trimmed slip-ons. For spring ’16, the brand, based in Piedmont, Italy, will introduce heels and more unisex styles, but the designers plan to stick with what’s working instead of following trends.
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“Every season, we keep our key styles and add materials or launch booties in new colors,” said Ferrari. “We think about if this style could last longer than just a fashion trend and if we can use it in more than one collection.”
As a made-in-Italy label, L’F comes with price tags that range from $350 to $480. But Ferrari said the home base has definite advantages.
“We are an Italian brand because we like to be part of the production, and we are able to fix our own problems,” he said. “And Italy is all about meeting people. Everywhere you go, there’s an open door, and everybody is connected.”
Even so, the couple is looking to build a bigger presence in the U.S. Since debuting L’F in the States six months ago, the brand has been picked up by Modaoperandi.com and Shoescribe.
To connect with consumers here, L’F recently joined in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” by crafting a special red-glitter bootie inspired by Dorothy’s ruby slippers.
While the founders have ambitious goals, Ferrari said every future move must make sense for the brand. “We are growing and increasing to three seasons per year,” he said. “But we like to grow step by step and reach our goals in a [natural] way.”
Click through the slideshow to see more surprising looks from their fall ’15 collection: