I have come to a conclusion: there just isn’t enough information about designers on the Internet. As always, when searching Mr. Zanotti’s name, I come across only the fabulous celebrities who sport his luxurious heels. In this case, I don’t care about them, I care about the man behind it all, Giuseppe Zanotti. Let’s get down to this little known, “A list” designer.

The handsome Giuseppe is from a small village in Italy called San Mauro Pascoli. After first working as an apprentice for international shoe designers, he began his own shoe making career in 1985 as a freelancer for footwear and clothing companies. After 10 years, in 1995 he began his very own line, by purchasing Vinici ( a shoe factory) in 1996. Him and his wife worked to cultivate Vinici, which is centered around style, research, and creativity.

Maybe the reason why there is so little information on Giuseppe is because this self proclaimed shy guy designs for other “A list” labels that bask in the glory of his successful shoe designs. Fashion houses such as Roberto Cavalli, Vera Wang, DSquared and others, just to name a few.

However, another reason is because Zanotti insists on only producing his shoes in Italy and not cutting corners by going to China. He invests in the growth of the Italian shoe market because he believes there is talent to be noticed there. He even helped establish a footwear school called Cercal that teaches students all facets of the shoe trade. He then employs them, with the average age of his 340 employees in 2006 being 35.

Giuseppe’s dedication to the shoe world in Italy is reflected in his dedication to making high quality shoes. While designing shoes he keeps in mind a woman 18-60 years old who desires nice things and desires to look good for herself. Zanotti handles each detail of the shoe making process with delicacy and care. Each shoe is hand crafted with a file on hand explaining the details of the shoe making process and the materials used in order to assess a fair price ( one that might make you do a double take when checking the bottom of the shoe to verify that, that mark in the price is indeed a comma and not a decimal point ).

Contrary to what we might believe, Giuseppe is interested in things other than shoes. For instance watches, he owns just about 60 watches… 45 of which he claims are expensive and the other 15-20 that are horrible. He also showed an early passion for music, owning more than 6,000 albums! In an interview, he even compared making shoes to music, saying each piece of a shoe is like a note and when they come together they either make something beautiful or something horrible.

I’m am sure he was not referring to his shoes as that something horrible. Celebrities and models all over the world show silent appreciation about their Giuseppe shoes. These socialites wear his masterpieces in public, but he does not get the same publicity as his competitors like Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin ( maybe because Oprah hasn’t publicly shown her appreciation to him as she has done for the other two).

Regardless, Giuseppe’s shoes are a work of art. They are so detailed and intricate that simply wearing clothes takes away from their elegance. It’s no wonder his latest campaigns show women shirts and sequined skirts with lots of leg action, so that the focus is remains on the shoes. Hey, if I am wearing a $5,000 pair of Giuseppe’s with Swaroski crystals that where glued on one by one and hand stitched embroidery I will wear shorts and a tee shirt that says ” Look at my fabulous shoes that you will never be able to afford.”

Giuseppe’s success is no surprise to me because designers that take the time to tend to the details of their creations always reap the benefits of their relentless work ethic. How else would he distinguish himself? Well, another reason he can distinguish himself is because he has a live in muse, his wife Cinzia. After raving to the review journal that his wife has the most interesting closet , it comes as no surprise the appeal of Giuseppe’s seductive creations. She is gorgeous and stylish and with a member of Giuseppe’s target audience by his side at all times, he is able to get trustworthy and immediate feedback.

After reading about this star designer, I can’t understand why he doesn’t get a lot of attention. He has fabulous goals and has made a name for himself. He doesn’t just speak about charitable work, or lend his thousands or millions of dollars in the hopes of getting publicity, but he actually participates in events with charities like Meals on Wheels and his own “charitable cause” of helping students in Italy that are interested in footwear design.

Giuseppe Zanotti is not to be looked over. This owner and operator of 3 lines, Giuseppe Zanotti Designers, Vicini, and Tapeet, with receive the publicity he deserves one day. Honestly, who can resist his bejeweled sandal, he even said himself to vogue UK that the easiest, sexiest and most perfect shoes is a flat sandal with a bit of sparkle.

This under-the-radar fabulous designer of women’s footwear is a fabulous feature for my blog. He is exactly what I mean when the celebrities get all the attention and not the designers. So Giuseppe here is your opportunity to shine.

Wake up everyone and smell that Giuseppe’s.

Laura and Kate Mulleavy were the winners of this years Council of Fashion Designers of America Womenswear Designer(s) of the Year. Who are these award winning ladies, you ask? Well let me give you the run down.

In 2008 the sisters won the CFDA coveted award of Emerging Womenswear Designer Award and have won a following of people like Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Louboutin. However, they did not just appear in the fashion world, they worked their way up through the back door.

In 2005 Rodarte was founded by the Mulleavy sisters in Pasadena,California. The line, bearing their mother’s maiden name, was made after their graduation from U.C. Berkeley. Kate and Laura, 30 and 29 years old respectively, graduated college in 2001 with liberal arts degrees. They boarded the plane to New York with 10 garments on their laps and hope in their hearts that one day they would make their name in the fashion community. They arrived to the fashion capital and showed their collection to every editor and buyer they could track down. Their attention to detail would be their key to success. Their couture-like style shot them straight to the top and the awards began to pour in.

These two don’t look like your typical fashion-passion ladies but their work speaks volumes. They take the approach of minimal yet extravagant, rough yet refined, intellectual yet effortless, something I am a HUGE fan off. Their style is said to resemble the craftsmanship of influential designers like Coco Chanel. They have won even support from major Fashion Heads like Anna Wintour.

The sisters were destined for greatness at an early age. At the age of 5 they began drawing. Their mother, an artist, exposed them to the arts. Their father, a botanist, exposed them to math and science but also had an interest in photography. He took pictures of abstract patterns which have inspired their pattern choices of today.

They knew that if they would do fashion they needed to get out of Pasadena. Before they left to take their collection to New York they took a chance by sending a letter to Cameron Silver, a L.A. Stylist. They asked him to review the collection and from then on he has become their mentor.

When they first arrived to New York they had no appointments to show their collection. They were banking on their unique idea of look books made of paper dolls and sending those to top editors. They got their first call from Women’s Wear Daily and they were on the cover in a matter of 3 days.

In 2006 their line grew to 16 pieces but they were limited because of the complication of their fabrics and sewing process. They make each garment start to finish one at a time to make them beautiful and special. It has taken them 100 hours to make one knee length cocktail dress!

Despite the radiance of their line, they do not wear it themselves. Not only because they are self funded but because they need to be comfortable when sewing for hours on end.

The self taught sisters gained their designing skills from trial and error. They are not afraid of trying new things and learning from their team which works closely with them. The process they have is pretty simple. They start with inspiration and work in a abstract way to unfold the collection. They like to capture a moment or feeling as opposed to a literal translation of their ideas and inspirations.

Since they began they have won recognition such as:
2006 Runner up in CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Competition
2007 Rodarte gown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute
2008 Rodarte is selected a finalist in the ANDAM competition
2008 Rodarte is awarded the CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer award
2008 Rodarte is awarded the Swiss Textiles Award
2009 Rodarte is awarded Womenswear Designers of the Year

Rodarte is a marvelous and captivating collection with prices ranging from $1300 to $2000. Made form only the most expensive fabrics and time consuming techniques, the ultra feminine line is sold everywhere from Barneys to Bergdorf. Their clientele includes Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Obama and the style sweetie Chloe Sevigny.

These two sisters are an inspiration for me because, as a college student looking to get into the fashion arena, I want to know that there is hope for the untrained. After researching the journey of the Mulleavy sisters, I see that anything is possible with faith, talent, and tenacity. They are bringing back the importance of detail and care that should be put into every garment that a women wears. They certainly are hot up-and-coming designers that deserve all the success that is soon to come after their win at the CFDA awards.

So ladies, here is to you! Thanks for paving the way, now watch out for me!