The Reason Behind Rene Caovilla’s New Face (and Look) for Fall ’17

At their best, advertising campaigns present the ultimate opportunity for brands to present themselves in a new and fresh light. For fall ’17, Rene Caovilla did just that with a Giampaolo Sgura-lensed series of black and white shots that strip back accoutrements and overwrought details, instead allowing a sophisticated lineup of refined (but still Swarovski sparkly) styles to shine.

Rene Caovilla fall ’17.
CREDIT: Giampaolo Sgura

Sicilian model Giulia Maenza showcases the latest collection, which was styled by Viviana Volpicella, in classic head-toe-toe black looks. “For an Italian girl, Caovilla is a traditional luxury brand,” she tells Footwear News. “That was my starting point: to translate that old luxury tradition into a modern luxury perception. Being cool with a traditional item is the new big fashion trend. Caovilla shoes are perfect now, more than few years ago.”

As for herself, Volpicella, a frequent street style subject noted for her tomboyish sartorial flair and way with mixing the unexpected, has her own favorite pair. “The new slingback flats,” she says. “They are perfect with capri pants. Flats can be more sexy than the highest heel.” You heard it here.

Rene Caovilla, fall ’17. Photo by Giampaolo Sgura

Footwear News also spoke with creative director Edoardo Coavilla (son of Rene) to hear more about what’s behind the latest look for the third-generation Venetian luxury label.

Why did you want to take Caovilla in a new direction with this campaign?
“Actually, is not a new direction. This campaign is the clear interpretation of the evolution of our DNA. Today this campaign represents perfectly the Caovilla girl I have in mind.”

Rene Caovilla, fall ’17. Photo by Giampaolo Sgura.

How hard is it to change perceptions about a very established brand?
“To be an established brand means you have a strong history and a recognizable DNA. I’m trying to be able to lead the evolution of my brand and let my positioning be always appealing [to] different generations of clients. Is a way of showing consistency that nowadays is the key aspect on which a brand strategy should be focused on.”

August 2016: Rihanna was spotted out and about in Rene Caovilla heels.
CREDIT: Splash.

How did you decide upon the talent involved in this project?
“I trust my communications team, and when they came to me with clear ideas and the right interpretation of my ideal woman, I gave the green light. The team involved is 100 percent Italian, and I was very happy with this synergy. The model represents a timeless beauty, and through the lens of Giampaolo and the styling of Viviana, the result was that sensual sophistication we wanted.”

Caovilla Archive
Inside the Caovilla family’s archive.
CREDIT: Courtesy of company.

What do you think this new campaign says about the Caovilla woman of today?
“It’s sends a clear message [about] the new generations of Caovilla customers around the world: young, proactive, feminine, sexy, confident, determined, stylish, fun and beautiful … a Caovilla girl.”

What’s new and next for the brand? What are you focusing on now, and what are your top priorities going forward?
“Since I took over in 2010, we have been working to reinvigorate several departments of the company. Today we are activating crossover strategies to optimize all of them. In the last year, we were focusing on the evolution of our retail format, with new openings in the Middle East, Asia, U.S. and the refurbishment of the European DOS. We have doubled our factory to satisfy the request of product by our stores and our allies in department stores around the globe. A new communication approach, a brand-new e-commerce, stronger social media activity and the reactivation of celebrity dressing are also key elements that drive our expansion globally.

Click through to see all of the fall ’17 campaign shots.

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