‘Fashion philosopher’ Giuseppe Zanotti explains how COVID changed his design process

Giuseppe Zanotti has always used his designs to tell stories – and during the pandemic, writing became a formal part of his process.

“Before I draw, I write what I want to do on my iPhone notes – Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and so on,” said the veteran designer, calling himself a fashion philosopher. “The COVID era has taught us to be more patient and not to go as fast as before. Social networks are so fast. We have to devote time to ourselves. We can play, we can learn. We don’t have to be a billion dollar company. For me, it’s a pleasure to work when I’m around shoes.

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The veteran Italian designer has always gone his own way, and this season he hosted a planet-themed presentation at his Milan showroom.

“These are shoes for a cocktail party on another planet… for a cool party on Mars,” Zanotti said of her Bebe rhinestone platform sandals, which feature multi-colored rhinestones covering the heel.

Very tall platforms are a big part of the collection – Ariana Grande wore a custom pair for her wedding in May – and Zanotti said they were the top performers among buyers for Spring ’22. “They were # 1 in terms of sales for the main collection,” he said, citing a vibrant color palette that included hues like teal as another way the style stood out.

Other highlights include a new geometric wedge, inspired by a Y2K archival style, a more minimalist Plexi mule, and a Plexi point-toe sandal, styles that reflect a clear trend in Milan collections this week.

Giuseppe Zanotti's new eco-friendly Blabber sneaker - Credit: courtesy of Giuseppe Zanotti

Giuseppe Zanotti’s new eco-friendly Blabber sneaker – Credit: courtesy of Giuseppe Zanotti

Courtesy of Giuseppe Zanotti

Zanotti also unveiled a revamped GZ metal logo buckle – which looks like molten gold – which was featured on several models.

Sneakers also continue to evolve, and the designer showcased an eco-friendly version of his Blabber skater-inspired style, with an upper crafted from a polyurethane-polyester blend mostly made from recycled plastic bottles.

Zanotti’s new Cobra Kicks for men, featuring a 3D cobra snake wrapping around the shoe, were designed by his son.

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Billie M. Secrist

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