Giuseppe Zanotti may have toyed with the sneaker world in recent years and conscripted music sensations including Young Thug and hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, among others, but he’s sensing a return to dressier shoes for men, the more bejeweled the better.
The Italian shoemaker animated the Fortezza da Basso with an evening edit of its men’s collection, marking its 15th anniversary this year and giving the peacocks mingling at the fairgrounds plenty of options to sparkle past dawn.
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“As I introduced men’s shoes a decade and a half ago my genderless approach – as in male footwear covered in rhinestones – was somehow critiqued, but back then I thought it was just right, rhinestones just felt good, they are the epitome of glam,” the designer said.
The designer first introduced its men’s collection in 2008 at Pitti Uomo and has returned occasionally until 2016.
Zanotti said men’s now accounts for 50 percent of his business and while sneakers are ditching the sportswear bent that has dominated in recent years in favor of urban designs, there is also growing appetite for what the designer characterized as “sartorial shoes.”
They include tuxedo loafers with side metal accents and dressy slip-ons covered in multicolor rhinestones, sometimes arranged as to mimic galuchat skin, as well as crocodile-embossed leather booties with a 1970s flair, that the younger pack may wear just well for a black tie night out.
“Here’s a tribute to bling-bling, dressy shoes with a provocative side but also sartorial,” Zanotti said.
He mentioned that a few celebrities that have worn his shoes for a long time, including John Legend and Jared Leto, are embracing the dressier footwear game. “There’s a lot of appetite for such products, men are changing and so are their tastes, after the e-commerce euphoria and sneakers craze there is growing self-confidence,” he offered.
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