After previous stints at Via Spiga, Sergio Rossi and Calvin Klein, Paola Venturi is now a partner and designer for the Frances Valentine footwear label, which was launched for spring ’16 by Kate and Andy Spade.
While the bulk of its line is made in Italy, the brand sources its espadrille styles from Spain. However, Venturi confessed to Footwear News that her experience working in the country goes back much further. Here, she shares a few of her favorite things about working there.
Current factory location: “We are working with one of the best Spanish shoe factories, based on the beautiful island of Menorca. It is a family business that they have run successfully since 1923.”
Where I stay: “In a tiny hotel called Petit Maó in Mahon, near the pier. It is very cozy.”
Best casual meal: “During lunchtime we go near the factory to a fancy bar run by the owner of the factory.”
Evening haunt: “At night there are so many places to eat tapas — my favorite meal since you do not need to sit for a long time. And then I go with friends to have a nice cold beer near the pier.”
Favorite place to visit during downtime: “Barcelona — since you can see incredible architecture, and it is on the beach.”
Most treasured memories of the country: “I used to live in Barcelona for a couple of years, working for Té Casan, and I enjoyed that time so much. It is a pretty similar culture [to Italy], but the ‘movida’ lifestyle made me fall in love with the country. On top of that, Gaudí is one of my favorite architects. I love the ergonomic shapes mixed with pop sculptures in Barcelona. Park Güell is the most incredible park I have seen in my life. You should go!”