Rising designer Alfredo Piferi is taking on a fresh challenge as the new artistic director of French shoe brand Free Lance.
Piferi — who won FN’s 2020 Launch of the Year Award for his namesake vegan luxury label — will unveil his first Free Lance collection this fall. In addition to overhauling the product assortment, the designer will revamp stores and the website. (The current collection and branding is not under Piferi’s direction.)
“Free Lance is young and rebellious, and a completely different brand than Piferi. I was fascinated by the archives, and the team let me express my creativity,” the designer said.
Free Lance, founded in 1980, is part of the Rautureau Group, a heritage shoe player in France that owns five brands.
“Alfredo is a shoe addict who fully understands the DNA of the brand,” said Camilla Schiavone, CEO of Rautureau Group.
The brand, which is produced in France and Italy, is primarily distributed in France, the Benelux region and Japan. Schiavone noted that Piferi’s appointment will help jumpstart an international expansion strategy.
Piferi said he plans to tap into Free Lance’s rich heritage, starting with its earliest collections. “I investigated the root of the collection and started pulling out what was relevant for the current times,” Piferi said. “There were so many codes already there.”
Piferi is also designing a vegan capsule for Free Lance, which meshes with his sustainable vision.
Before launching his own collection last year, a longtime dream of Piferi’s, he was head of design at Jimmy Choo, and also built his résumé with gigs at Burberry and Kanye West.