Italian Infatuation

When you think of luxury designer shoes, what’s the first name that pops into your head? It’s most likely one of these three: Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, or Jimmy Choo. And although it’s true that the those three designers certainly have stunning collections, Italian designers will always be placed higher on my list.

We all know there’s nothing better than real Italian pasta, and I’m here to tell you there’s also nothing better than an Italian shoe. I have a weak spot for fine Italian shoes. I don’t know why and how it started, but they are always at the top of my ever-changing list of shoes I lust after. Perhaps it’s because Italian shoes are consistently ranked high among most favored luxury footwear. Or maybe because the quality is, in my opinion, unsurpassed. Spending a summer in Florence surrounded by exquisite shoes on almost every street undoubtedly left it’s mark on my preferences as well. Whatever the reason for my partiality is, there’s no denying that Italian shoes are some of the best out there; fashion houses Gucci, Sergio Rossi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Aquazzura, and more all originated in Italy. And if you look for it, you’ll notice that almost all luxury footwear (whether the designer is Italian or not) is stamped with “Made in Italy” on the bottom.

My two favorite Italian designer shoes are Casadei and Sergio Rossi. Both companies have a unique vision, and although I don’t always love every single shoe in the seasonal collections, I can always count on their more classic designs.

Casadei was founded in 1958 in San Mauro Pascoli by Quinto and Flora Casadei. In a small workshop, they created their first collection, which consisted of sandals for tourists on the Italian Riviera. And over the years, their workshop transformed into a business that continues to grow.

Casadei’s range of shoes has greatly expanded since the original sandals. They experimented with platforms soles in the 70s, wedges soon after that, and still create unique and distinctive designs today in a stunning array of styles. Casadei shoes are works of art, not just shoes with a designer label. The combination of original ideas, colors, patterns, unique shapes, and innovative materials results in truly magical shoes. Every one is designed with feminine sensuality in mind, turning fantasies into reality.

The SS 2013 Collection is truly one of a kind. Details inspired by architecture and engineering transform the collection into sculptures. Using new materials such as plexi glass and steel, Casadei created illusions and new shapes, eliminating excessive detail in favor of simplicity in order to highlight the simple beauty and structure of the shoe. Check out this video about the company and how the shoes are made!

Casadei Blade (also available in turquoise on Shoescribe)

Casadei Softymetal in grey

Sergio Rossi inherited the tools and traditions of shoemaking from his father; he observed the gestures, techniques, and tricks of the trade. After training in Milan in order to refine his knowledge, he began selling his own models in 1966. The first factory was built in San Mauro Pascoli, and still manufactures shoes today.

During the 1970s a collaboration was formed between Gianni Versace and Sergio Rossi. He soon became a designer favorite because of his exceptional eye for beautiful footwear. In the 1980s, the first boutique bearing the Sergio Rossi name opened in Ancona and the legacy continues on today, although under the creative direction of Francesco Russo.

The shape of a Sergio Rossi shoe is absolutely delectable, particularly the gently curving slender heel. They’re also some of the most comfortable high heels I’ve ever worn. The brand is known for stellar craftsmanship and beautiful feminine styles, which include pumps, sandals, and boots. If you’re looking for a luxury shoe in a classic style, Sergio Rossi should be on the top of your list!

Sergio Rossi Asteria

Beautiful and simple: Sergio Rossi Godiva Pump (also at DSW)

Sergio Rossi cream and gold pump (ShoeScribe)