With marble interiors and wide, light-filled windows overlooking the Italian countryside, the Caovilla shoe archive occupies an entire floor at the company’s headquarters in Venice.
Housed there is the Rita style, which is not only the oldest piece in the collection, but also has special meaning for multiple generations of the Caovilla shoemaking family.
“It’s the first creation of my father, Edoardo,” said René Caovilla. “He dedicated this style to my mother, who has always been there to support him,” he said.
Dating back more than 80 years, the historical collection features many outstanding designs, such as a limited-edition sandal with diamonds, rubies and sapphires that is valued at more than $10,000. But it’s not Caovilla’s favorite.
“I don’t have one, since all of them represent the history of the brand and the creativity of the family,” said the designer, who is not opposed to donating a piece of the archive for a special cause.
The shoe collection is open to visitors and also is frequented by members of the footwear family.
“My son and I used to spend a lot of time in our archive. We found it inspiring, and so do the outsiders who visit,” said Caovilla, adding that the archive is a great resource when creating new designs. “Memories are closely related to inspiration and creativity. Looking at the past is the best way to create a great future.”