FRATELLI ROSSETTI AND REBECCA MOSES CREATE A “FASHION FABLE”

FOOTWEAR FOR FALL 2011.

There is a reason Fratelli Rossetti has been in business for 58 years:  they create shoes and accessories that combine modern style with old-world craftsmanship and quality, and their customers just keep on coming back.  You would think that dedication to the ways of the past might mean products that are a bit boring, a little same-y.  Nope.

The company presented its Fall 2011 collection of men’s and women’s shoes, handbags and leather accessories at an elegant Fifth Avenue space, in an artistic collaboration with designer and artist Rebecca Moses.  She created a “Fashion Fable” especially for the launch, a series of colorful, whimsical illustrations that surrounded the classic, beautiful leather goods, featuring women in five international cities who literally live in their shoes.  No, they don’t just wear their shoes all the time, they live inside their shoes, like the old woman, only they’re not old, and their more sophisticated shoe-homes are in Paris, Rome, New York, etc.

She found the idea of the collaboration exciting because of the traditional yet up-to-date designs.  She said, “the tailored modernity is refreshing now to all eyes, without the tricks and trends.”

The idea itself pays homage to Renzo Rossetti, who founded the company in 1953 with his brother Renato, in Parabiago, Italy.  His sons, Diego, Dario and Luca now run the company, and Diego told me, “late in the ‘60s or early ‘70s, my father made a cartoon about shoes that played in the theaters before the films started. So we went back to our roots and that led to something creative, illustrative, about shoes.”

Rebecca Moses, who spent much of the last two decades living in Milan, was the perfect choice to create the fanciful illustrations, which perfectly played off the elegant, beautifully tailored shoes. The designs are classic, with pops of rich colors like aubergine and turquoise.

Diego Rossetti says there’s a simple explanation for the company’s success that goes beyond the sophisticated styles to a strong family tradition: “we are very concentrated on the product.  We only make shoes, handbags and leather goods, that’s our core business and we stand behind it.  For other companies, shoes are an accessory.  For us, it is everything.”

photography:  Anton Brookes

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