Giuseppe Zanotti's Rare Texas Visit

I had the pleasure of experiencing a rare occurrence- shoe designer to the stars (like Beyoncé, Rhianna, Lady Gaga and Kanye) – Giuseppe Zanotti made a rare appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue at Houston’s upscale Galleria mall. The event consisted of a Q&A session with the designer and Joy Sewing, passed champagne and light bites and a glimpse of the latest collection. The event benefited Recipe for Success Foundation– which was launched in 2005 by Gracie Cavnar. This charity caters to helping to fight childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food; as well as educating and mobilizing the community to provide a healthier diet for children all over the city of Houston.

There was a large audience in attendance to hear the Italian designer speak with Houston Chronicle reporter-Joy Sewing. It was such a joy to hear the “master shoe designer” himself speaking about how he got started in the business and his perspective on his brand, etc. He was very down-to-earth and had some great advice. We were even introduced to one of his sons- Ricardo, who was looking dapper in a sneaker from his father’s menswear collection. Here are some highlights from the Q&A session:

*His love of shoes and fashion (which started at a young age) comes in second prior to his love of music.

*He still has his first pair of shoes from his Mother, which he acquired when he was around 7 or 8 years old.

*He was a radio DJ in Italy before his rise to fame as shoe designer.

*He owns over 17,000 pair of shoes. Those of which are from his brand and also shoes he buys from all over the world.

*He designed the shoes for the ‘Mrs. Carter World Tour.’

*He designs 800 shoes every six months.

*Twenty years ago during his first season, he sold 700 pairs of shoes. Now he sells over 500,000 pairs per year.

*When asked about making mistakes as a designer, Mr. Zanotti replied, “I don’t want to follow what the other designers are doing…If you follow everybody else, you can lose that direction. It’s better to be passionate. Sometimes you need to do something wrong to learn…”

*His suggestion to young designers: “Be passionate, learn and then dream. Think. Fly very far with your mind. Pick something and take a risk. Take your risk and follow yourself {not everyone else}.”

*He designs for beauty and not so much comfort.

*When asked if his shoes had a song, he replied, “ABC by the Jackson-5.”

*He doesn’t have just one muse. “When I close my eyes, I have to think ‘woman and wardrobe.’ {I have to have a shoe for every occasion}. I get excited when I see something cool…like an outfit or in the street. Or a great tattoo or expression or personality. Also, beautiful vintage jewels or a super-chic classic dress with a nice cut…all is inspiration…”

It was great listening to this amazing and very humble designer speak about some of his life and design experiences. I also had the extreme honor (and the equivalent of star-struck, but in the fashion sense) of meeting him. Total highlight of my week!

Thank you Saks and Recipe for Success for allowing me to attend!

heathermarie_033's Giuseppe  Zanotti Event album on Photobucket

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