“Now I have a double weight on my shoulders to do everything according to his DNA,” said Sergio Rossi CEO Riccardo Sciutto.
He spoke exclusively to FN from Italy via Zoom following the news that shoe legend and namesake passed away last night from coronavirus.
The two last spent time together over Christmas, the executive said, when they visited the Sergio Rossi archive that Sciutto has curated at the brand’s headquarters in Italian shoe district San Mauro Pascoli. “He was so amazed to see it all in one place. He said to me, ‘I can die here,'” Sciutto revealed.
The CEO said that those words had been haunting him since he heard the news.
Sciutto has kept the brand’s rich history — and extensive archives — in the spotlight since he took the helm in April 2016 after Sergio Rossi was sold by previous owner Kering to Italian private equity firm Investindustrial. Now he plans to continue the founder’s legacy.
For one thing, the executive hopes to create a museum in San Mauro Pascoli dedicated to the designer’s oeuvre. The brand’s headquarters already houses an extensive archive featuring some 6,000 pieces, including the groundbreaking 1966 Opanca sandal and styles done in collaboration with Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Azzadine Alaïa. It also includes Rossi’s personal collection — shoes from the ’30s and ’40s from which he drew inspiration. (Sciutto found them in a box a few years ago.)
The archive helped Sciutto gain a deeper understanding of the brand — and now he wants to extend this opportunity to the public. “I have already opened it up to friends of the brand, but now I will invest a lot so I can show it to everybody else as well, to keep his memory alive,” he revealed. “His master idea was to make shoes as an extension of a lady’s body and this is what I want to preserve.”
In 2017, Sciutto introduced SR1, a capsule collection drawing inspiration from this archive. “It is now our bestseller,” he said, adding that when Rossi saw it, he said it was a real extension of his original idea.
The two men met for dinner every few months. “He was my greatest inspiration and my opportunity to find out his secrets,” Sciutto said. “I want his legacy to outlast me as well. People can pass but good ideas remain. That is the destiny of humanity.”