In recent conversations with FN, the two designers revealed how it all came about:
STEP 1: Make Friends at Work
The two designers have been pals since they met at Louis Vuitton, where Martini worked before her time at Balenciaga and Pierre Hardy and before founding her own label. “It was my dream job. Fabrizio was my boss,” recalled Martini. Added Viti, “It was a fun time. There was a lot to be done, and we were molding the identity of the Vuitton footwear together.”
STEP 2: Stay Connected
Having bonded over trips to remote factories and intense periods working on runway collections, Martini and Viti kept in touch, even though the former is now based in Greece and the latter has been busy launching an eponymous brand. “Fabrizio sent me a message on WhatsApp saying, ‘I want to collaborate and do some sandals like yours, so we should do it together,’” Martini said.
STEP 3: Opposites Attract
Viti said his goal was to create easy-to-wear sandals similar to the ones worn in Capri or Greece. “We used both our materials for the uppers, and she used my daisies,” he said. “It was very natural and fun working together again.” Over email, they exchanged sketches and collages, selecting their favorites from a short list of prototypes. “Fabrizio is more girly, as he likes bows, flowers and is obsessed with dolls,” joked Martini. “I like more masculine shapes, but he understands my sensibilities and I his.”
STEP 4: Face Learning Curves
Overall, the process taught Viti to be more democratic. “I learned that there are other ways to do glamorous things — playing with materials that are not necessarily super-expensive,” Viti said. Nevertheless, all the daisies were hand-stitched with waxed thread by a small atelier in Greece that Martini discovered. “I didn’t know it existed,” she said. “I will certainly be doing more projects with them.”
STEP 5: Present the Work
The capsule collection comprises seven styles, named after 1960s dolls from Viti’s personal collection. These range from the strappy Sylvie sandal to the high-heeled Susana design. All are handmade in Greece using traditional techniques. They will retail from $325 to $495, starting in March, at outlets including Barneys, Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion.