Stewart, who counts Julia Roberts and Viola Davis among her clients, celebrated the launch of the collaboration Thursday in Los Angeles at the Italian luxury brand’s pop-up store at Westfield Century City.
Pumps and sandals in black, red and light pink are emblazoned with empowering words like “strength,” “hope,” “kindness” and “sharing.” The messages are meant to give women a chance to embrace style, substance and solidarity — with 100 percent of sales supporting Time’s Up, an organization dedicated to women’s safety and equality in the workplace.
“I wanted the shoes to be a sort of a talisman for the wearer,” Stewart told Footwear News at the event. “First it was ‘strength’ and ‘power’ — the idea being you can go on a job interview and you put them on and it gives you strength — but also I don’t want to forget things that [women] want to be, like kind and sharing. It’s a reminder and source of strength.”
Sergio Rossi Group CEO Riccardo Sciutto said working with Stewart on the collection was an organic process as she has had a longtime relationship styling her famous clients in the brand’s shoes.
“When you get trust, the relationship is stronger and it’s easy to do something together all the time,” Sciutto said, adding that it’s the label’s first time supporting a social movement issue.
Last year, Hollywood was engulfed in controversy after boldface name actresses exposed years of sexual misconduct and gender inequality that continues to plague the entertainment industry. Stewart said one of her movie star clients, who has been a vocal champion of Times Up, might connect with the shoe the most. “Jessica Chastain — she posted for Times Up twice today.”
Though the words and messages on the shoes were easy to conceive, rendering them on the shoes proved to be a challenge. Initially, Serigo Rossi designers tried to emboss the verbiage, but the production technique used to pull the leather material made the words unreadable, Sciutto explained. To achieve the desired effect, the designers created a special technique to print the words in a slightly different but matching color on the material.
Special guests included entertainers Jameela Jamil, Angela Sarafyan, Molly Sims, Skai Jackson, Lindsay Price and Kelly Rowland.
Along with Stewart’s capsule, which is sold exclusively at the store through March 6, the space also features 37 different styles from Sergio Rossi’s resort ’19 and spring ’19 collections, as well as a customization bar.
The temporary digs are a part of Sciutto’s retail expansion strategy in the American market. “Half of the business is [in] Asia, and the rest is split between Europe and America. America is the opportunity. It’s the smallest market for us,” he previously told FN.
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