There are some things that you want, and some things that you really need. But in the case of Via Spiga footwear – both apply!Paola Venturi, the new Creative Director for the brand was at Norsdtrom in Chicago last week which was the best excuse to revisit the amazing shoe department there. Not only was I going to get to talk about my favorite subject – shoes – but meet an Italian shoe designer! In matter of seconds after meeting we were in full-blown shoe conversation, only interrupted by several gasps (coming from me) as I approached my favorite shoes and boots from the Via Spiga fall collection that she was showing me. Paola has over two decades of experience in shoe design. She lives in Milan and is the architect of design and the creative vision for all of Via Spiga products, including handbags and belts. To me, it is a dream job!
SCS: I love that the brand has an Italian Influence but who are you designing for? How do you go about designing a shoe collection?
Paola: Marketing does all the research on what we need to provide for a given collection. They lay out all that is needed and I design for those specifics.
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Paola: Everywhere – they love this shoe! This is very popular. Yes it is basic, so that is why I also wanted to offer it in the metallic. I think the metallic can be worn in the same way as black!
SCS: I see the platforms are still big (which I love) – but I was starting to seeing a trend at last year's (Fall 09) fashion week where the shoes were coming down off of the platform, a pointier toe, a little more like a classic 50's pump.
Paola: Yes, did you notice that? That is a direction that shoe design is taking, but the platforms are still big right now.
SCS: Flats are important, and I like that these have a little heel and are not so flat-flat.
Paola: Yes, and a new direction that we are taking is with the use of different hardware and different leathers, soft textured crocodile embossed patents and suedes.
SCS: Your classic riding style boots are great. Easy to walk in, and very refined, not clunky.Paola: The boots are cut slimmer, more feminine. I also design men's shoes, so I know the difference. I have these – (she shows me a basic black platform bootie) and I wear them with everything!
SCS: Those ARE perfect for everything…(another gasp)
Paola: These are also very easy to walk in. (She shows me a covered wedge boot, pictured above, left) And you can wear them up over the knee, or fold it down!
SCS: That wedge is another great one! Now these over the knee boots… so simple, with stretch, again the not-too-high platform. Over the knee may be a trend – but these boots are just right!
Paola: This is a great boot to have this season. With a dress, with coats, or more casual over leggings or slim jeans with a long sweater…SCS: I think I may have to tell everyone that they simply must get these over the knee boots for this season! It's a practical trend! And they also need these Avery platforms…How cool are these? Seriously – a woman can wear these a lot! And then they need a bootie… and of course then you have to get the pump…
— Carol Calacci