“We don’t have the calendar like before. We spent the last six months at home. I was in garden, on my boat. For me, this [collection] is more real.” Giuseppe Zanotti said today at his Milan Fashion Week (by-appointment-only) presentation.
The veteran designer admitted that the beginning of the pandemic presented great personal challenges. “March and April, that was a bad time for me. I was very frustrated and negative,” Zanotti admitted.
By May and into June, the music-obsessed designer was energized again and worked with a video producer and technical engineer to make a special film showcasing his new collection. (The video will be revealed in stores when the new styles are released.)
Zanotti presented a smaller collection of men’s and women’s styles that ranged from sandals with oversized gold chain accents to western-inspired boots with a star embellishment to silk-adorned sneakers.
“When I used to do shoes for couture 30 years ago, silk was the most beautiful material ever,” Zanotti said, as he talked about his artistic kicks. “I translated all the elegant and special elements from the past into the sneaker direction. I never did sport, I’m not a sport person.”
While Zanotti explored sneakers long before most luxury players, he is still fiercely passionate about heels.
Even during the pandemic, while women were staying at home, they were still shopping for heels online. “From March until now, our digital has been growing so fast,” the designer said. More broadly, he noted that the brand saw a dramatic dropoff in business in China, up until June. Now it has receovered, except in Hong Kong.
Looking forward, Zanotti is hopeful the industry can come together to create a more sustainable future for younger generations. “This was a horrible time, but also we need to learn from it and do better,” he said.
Click through the gallery for more from Zanotti’s spring ’21 collection.