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Giuseppe Zanotti has found his newest collaborator in Evan Mock. The Hawaiian skater and star of HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” is the latest to join forces with the Italian shoe designer, launching a capsule collection with his brand Sorry in Advance.
The duo’s collection has been a longtime goal of Mock’s, who “just clicked” with Zanotti when they met at his 2020 Milan Fashion Week presentation. “I knew I wanted to do a project with Giuseppe because he’s just a fun guy to be around,” Mock tells Footwear News in an interview. For Zanotti, the feeling is mutual. “He’s cool, smart, always with a perfect look, nice to be with and with a great charisma,” says the luxury shoe designer. “To me, he’s an artist first, and then a skateboarder. Indeed, for his knowledge and his innate sense of style, I believe he is a great artist.”
Taking cues from Mock’s own carefree style, Giuseppe Zanotti x Sorry in Advance gives Zanotti’s signature sleek footwear and aesthetics a subversive tint. The collection notably features a high-top sneaker inspired by Zanotti’s Talon style in soft tones of pale pink, pastel blue and white. The shoes all include lace-up silhouettes with leather uppers, ridged soles and perforated toes.
However, their boldest statement is a black “Sorry” motif with Mock’s signature frown face logo, designed to look like spray-painted graffiti—plus a similar version of Zanotti’s logo on their backs. Needless to say, the kicks are sentimental to Mock, inspired by a pair gifted to him by Zanotti on the day they met. “They’re a classic GZ silhouette and I didn’t want to tamper with greatness, I just wanted to add a little of my seasoning to the collection,” says Mock.
“The Talon was the first sneaker of mine he ever had and he just loved it and wanted to add his touch to it,” says Zanotti on the Gen Z star’s version of the style. “And for me it’s been interesting to see this mesh-up between our different imprints. The result is a fresh style, designed for the free-spirited generation Evan well represents.”
The line also includes black and white T-shirts and hoodies, printed with the logo atop a graphic of the Sorry! board game. This gives the $350-$1,190 capsule a playful punch, which is fully intentional. After all, Mock drew from his own childhood to create the clashing motif. “I try to tally up my bucket list things I’ve always thought of throughout the years (mainly my childhood), and the board game Sorry! was a big part of my childhood,” the actor shares. “I play a lot of board games and card games with my family, so it was just cool to have the representation on an article of clothing. It reminds me of laughter and fun times as a kid.”
Mock’s relaxed skater wardrobe’s “all over the place” approach also influenced the collection, which he hopes people will freely merge in their own. “I think these pieces can mix and blend with a lot of other pieces in your closet, so it’s really how you’re feeling that day,” says the model on how he’d style the line.
Mock both starred in and designed the accompanying campaign, which depicts him posing in the line’s shirts and sneakers. Though holding multiple roles sounds challenging, the actor reveals Zanotti’s open-minded nature made the experience a breeze. “It was easy and pleasant from a creative standpoint, because GZ really listens to what you wanna do,” says Mock. “It’s nice to have someone like him actually listen to how we can collectively make it a great and fun collaboration.”
For Zanotti, the choice came from his belief in Mock. “I totally trust Evan’s eye and style,” says the designer. “We had collaborated on a digital project the year before and I knew he was going to interpret this capsule with his disruptive approach. This campaign feels fresh and surreal.”
Mock’s line is the latest collaboration for Zanotti, who’s previously partnered on collections with Jennifer Lopez, Zayn Malik, Rita Ora and Kanye West. “We all need to be shaken and surprised sometimes, and this is also our mission as designers,” the Zanotti shares. “If I look at my career, for instance, I started as an elegant women’s footwear designer, I’ve collaborated with many fashion houses for decades, then I launched my first sneaker 10 years ago with Kanye West and now we are here talking about another type of collaboration, with an artist who comes from the world of skating, and it is a totally different story. These experiences are all exciting for me, and one after the other build different facets of the brand.”
Though fall 2021 has been a busy season for Zanotti, who just showed his spring 2022 collection at Milan Fashion Week, the designer is still looking towards the future. “I think the future looks interesting, with lots of challenges,” says Zanotti. “From a creative perspective, this is a moment of great energy and creativity; there are so many things that I have not explored yet and that I want to do.”
This collection marks Mock’s latest accomplishment in the fashion world. This season alone, the actor has attended the 2021 Met Gala and sat front row at numerous top shows at Fashion Month. Needless to say, his acting debut as Aki Menzes on HBO’s fashionable “Gossip Girl” reboot has also furthered his it-boy status.
You can shop the Giuseppe Zanotti x Sorry in Advance collaboration in select boutiques and on GiuseppeZanotti.com.