You come from a family that worked in the shoe industry, so you’ve always been in direct contact with this world, its dynamics and aesthetic. Do you think that this has influenced your personal path in some way? How did your passion develop?
Of course, I’ve been influenced. Being aware of how shoes are produced and how to easily interact with craftsmen and technicians helped me a lot. My passion mainly developed when I realised that, in addition to the manufacturing techniques, there were also the ideas and the creation of the product.
What kind of path have you undertaken and what were your first steps on a professional level?
My first experience has been an internship within the Prada group, for Helmut Lang. I haven’t attended any design school and, at that time, you could still get into our world with the experience gained in the field. Then I moved to Miu Miu, where I actually grew thanks to the opportunity of working first with footwear, and then with leather goods and jewelry. Then again, Christian Dior arrived and it brought me to France.
Today you are the Creative Director of Roger Vivier. What kind of role do the respect for tradition and the innovative drive play when it comes to work with such a historical maison?
Roger Vivier has been one of the most prolific and innovative creators in the history of shoe making. To me, innovation is one of the codes that belong to this extraordinary brand. Also, tradition is at the base of my work: without savoir-faire and the archive I have at my disposal, everything I do would be completely different. Innovation means to make a collection contemporary, and I think this is the actual goal of a designer.
Is there someone you consider as a mentor, to whom you look at when you’re searching for inspiration?
Of course, Roger Vivier: he’s always been a point of reference during my career, especially now.
What role does contemporary art plays in your creative approach?
Contemporary art is a source of inspiration and, as long as it remains that, everything is easier and exciting. I think that there’s a huge difference between art and fashion design: fashion can be easily and pleasantly inspired by an artwork, but when art becomes fashion is more complex, and more likely to become a pretext. However, the right collaborations can be extremely interesting.
This year, you’ve been part of the jury that assigned This Is Not a Prize, one of the initiatives featured in the Mutina for Art programme. What can you tell us about this experience?
The most beautiful thing has been to discover or find some extremely interesting artists. The selection of candidates was varied and it was hard to express a preference.
Why did you choose to assign the prize to Matt Connors? What struck you the most about his job?
I think my choice has been most influenced by his ability to work with colour. I love colour, its usages and pairings.
How would you describe your relationship with ceramics?
I love ceramics, it’s probably one of the materials that attract the most. It embodies contemporary and ancestral features at the same time. The possibility to colour it, its versatility and preciousness are unique. I think that working with this material can give great emotions.
What do you imagine for the future of Roger Vivier?
For the future of Roger Vivier, I imagine the brand preserving its rarity and preciousness, without ever falling into massificati on, losing tenderness and poetry.
“I love ceramics, it’s probably one of the materials that attract the most. It embodies contemporary and ancestral features at the same time. The possibility to colour it, its versatility and preciousness are unique. I think that working with this material can give great emotions.”