As the son of Sergio Rossi, Gianvito grew up surrounded by shoes and style. But rather than rest on his father’s laurels, he struck out on his own, launching his first collection in September 2006.
Pared-back and lacking, as he puts it, “grand embellishment or excess,” Gianvito’s quietly striking designs are meant to keep the female figure the main focus. So whether you slip into one of his ankle-skimming stilettos or pop on a pair of understated kitten heels, these Italian-made designs will help you make a show-stopping entrance anytime, anywhere—feet first.
Below, we caught up with the designer to chat about his collection, his secret to winning us over season after season, and his need for speed.
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Growing up in the business, did you always know you wanted to become a designer?
It has always been my world, and it became the way I express myself.
How did you take what you had learned from your father and implement this into your own design philosophy?
Everything I know about shoes, I learned from my father. If I had been a better student, I could have learned much more, but there is still hope! I see his aesthetic in the angle of my shoes and the desire to discover beautiful shapes. For me, this dual devotion only enhances the women’s silhouette in Gianvito Rossi shoes.
Who or what inspires you?
Travels, people, women!
Who is the quintessential Gianvito Rossi woman?
I love the idea that when a woman wears a pair of my shoes a little smile appears and she feels that much more feminine.
How do you manage to keep things fresh season after season?
It is always a challenge—and frustrating sometimes because I am a perfectionist—but I welcome the challenge each season. You will not find grand embellishment or excess in my designs. Instead, I look for that intriguing concept or that unexpected detail that will make you smile.
What’s the best piece of advice your father has given you along the way?
Never be satisfied—there is always a way to do it better.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Life is quick and I love speed!
Umberto Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913)
“The energy and momentum of this work is very inspiring for me—great creative energy that does not compromise on the perfection of forms.” – Gianvito Rossi
Describe your collection in three words.
Modern, elegant and feminine.
What are your three favorite styles on Barneys?
I love the T-bar mule, the black tie sandal and of course the stiletto pump.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The first time Carine Roitfeld came to see the collection and told me she liked it.
Is there an iconic film you would have loved to design the shoes for?
Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.”
1. T-strap sandal; 2. Pointed toe pump; 3. Lace-up bootie; 4. Bow tie pump; 5. Contrast toe pump; 6. Satin pump with lattice detail; 7. Pointed toe pump; 8. Bow strap sandal; 9. Back zip python sandal
Portrait courtesy of Gianvito Rossi; image of Umberto Boccioni’s sculpture courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.