August 4, 2009
So if you don’t already know, Jeffrey Campbell is the MAN. He has been designing shoes for 9 years with a strong focus in vintage designs and now he is finally getting the shine he deserves. His shoes are original, sexy and affordable!
He is based in LA with his small team that includes some family members. Jeffrey began designing shoes in his garage in 2000 and is now one of the most sought after shoe designers. He specializes in conceptual vintage recreations, reworked runway looks, revamped and re-amped current must-have trends, alongside his continual best selling ballet flats and boot. Obviously very family oriented, Jeffrey considered his children, Amber and Brigitte, his muses and main inspirations.
Jeffrey is helping all us fashionistas out during this horrid recession with his over the knee, economy fighting boots, distressed leathers, and over embellished classics for affordable prices, encouraging us all to “WORK.”
Let’s do a flash back: While in high school , Jeffrey started off working in a stockroom at Nordstroms in Seattle. He worked for other stores until he was in his 30’s and then began his own line with the support and help from his loving wife and his brother who are both still contributing to the company today.
Back to Now: Jeffrey is very hands on in the conception and creation of his line. He gets a lot of inspiration form vintage collections and from designers for the color or treatment of the shoe. He has an employee in new york with whom he emails back and forth for inspiration from the chic city dwellers.
I love JC because he is not feeding into the hype that surrounds his lovely designs. He loves to read fashion blogs and his website features a contest allowing JC lovers to take pictures of themselves in his shoes which will allow them a chance to win free stuff. He even shouts out his fans in his biography. I mean, how adorable can he be right ?
When a website that sells shoes in London asked Jeffrey Campbell to describe his line or inspiration in twenty words or less,he responded: EDGY. SHORT-SHORTS. LA. BROOKLYN. AFTER-PARTY. W-O-R-K. INDEPENDENT. UNDERSTOOD. DOWNTOWN. VINTAGE. CHIC. 1970’s. MUSIC. SIENNA. MARY-KATE. LUCKY. STYLE Vs FASHION.
Speaking of Style vs. Fashion, the good thing is that JC doesn’t work by collection he works on an item based system. this means that his fall line, for example, doesn’t all have to have the same theme. If he were to catch a drift of a new trend tonight and produce a shoe tomorrow it wouldn’t have to follow the same blue print as his other shoes, which I think is the way everyone should work.
JC shows a lot of love to the streets by selling his shoes to mostly smaller boutiques as opposed to department stores because they know what their communities like and what they may not like so much. JC keeps his ears to the streets by insisting on hearing from each of his accounts ( stores that sell his shoes) any feedback they may have, whether good or bad. His business is very close knit and family like which is a reason that he will go far in this business.
I soo wish I could show you a picture of our beloved JC but I simply CAN NOT find one. I remember reading that he was shy and didn’t want to take a pic for one of his interviews, but darling we need to see your brilliant face! Don’t worry, I have plenty of pictures of your creations that will be sure to hold us all over.
… and remember, according to JC, we all betta “WORK!”
" You gotta have ’em, you glad you got ’em, Like every color Giuseppe’s, your guilty pleasure is me"- Jay Z
June 23, 2009
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.