mylifestylenews

2012-11-02

6 Minutes @ Diego Rossetti & Luca Rossetti

  Shoemaking in Italy are known for their exquisite craftsmanship over the past hundred of years. Over the generation, from father to son and now brother to brother, the spirit never die. This is the Fratelli Rossetti Story, the premium Italian shoemakers Diego & Luca Rossetti brought along some of their archive collection to Hong Kong recently and talks to mylifestylenews their family brand's history with respect to tradition, faithful to their own value and the secret know-how ......
 
In 1945, our father Renzo Rossetti started the shoemaking activity in sports footwear for cycling, football, athletics and hockey. These were sold in the famous Brigatti sportswear shop in Milan, one of the few shops of its kind remaining in the city today. The responds was good and transferred the trademarks and equipment for sport shoe production to Atala Sport in Padua.
 
In 1954, the shoe manufacturing was then switched to making classic shoes and implementing new skills emerged in the creation of women’s ballerina shoes and elegant men’s footwear with extraordinary flexible shoe workmanship. All of this led to the creation of a small collection of men’s shoesfeaturing shapes and contours that were distinctly different from the styles available at the time.
 
In 1960's, the decade was characterized by greater serenity and economic calmness. Important collaborations with skilled craftsmen were established, leading to the brand attaining excellent results, placing emphasis on style and research.
 
Over the period, lifestyle and customers’ requirements for footwear changed rapidly, but uniformity in men’s shoes’ production did not always allow shoemakers to adapt to new developments. With increased mass production in the era, there was an idea of returning to the beautiful shoes handmade by expert shoemakers. As the decade moves on, the market became more mature and discerning, and was more open to the concept.
 


In 1961, Fratelli Rossetti started to combine great details to their product with innovative ideas, introducing into the production unusual accessories and atypical materials. The company took an interest in moccasins, which were an expression of liberty in footwear.
 
Moccasins were produced in a wide variety of styles, and an early version with bowscalled the Yacht was produced, of which Fratelli Rossetti was the first to import from the United States. This incredibly soft summer shoe is still in production today.

 

 


The year 1965 witnessed the presence of Fratelli Rossetti at the men’s fashion shows in Sanremo. Because of this show, the only one of its kind at the time, the company received attention in the press at a time when the business of public relations did not yet exist.

The 1960s concluded with a bang: the company moved to its current premises at Via Cantùin Parabiago, and our father took his first trip to America, giving him the opportunity to familiarize with the leading footwear manufacturers of the United States.

In the 1970s, Fratelli Rossetti’s exposure in the international market and the big names of fashion intensified. Landmark meetings were held with stylists and celebrities who were creating a new fashion industry: from a precocious Giorgio Armani, who designed several models for Fratelli Rossetti including a successful series of Yacht moccasins to other prestigious brand names from Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, and Yves Saint Laurent.

These partnerships based on the desire to best express the style of the period through to modernizing a product, never lost sight of the value of tradition. Over these years, Fratelli Rossetti widened its production greatly, and established itself as an important name in Italian manufacturing.

 
In the 1970s, this period also saw production of the first women’s shoes, and the blessing of L’Uomo Vogue, which was already considered the men’s fashion Bible at the time. The thrust of Fratelli Rossetti has always been its ability to adapt to every kind of footwear to the fashion of the day, offering elegant shoes, classic moccasins or casual footwear that are suitable for any occasion.

In the decade of 1980, the brand opened with a transformation that was very important for the company: the new logo. At the opening of the New York boutique in New York in 1979, Our father met Massimo Vignanelli and his wife Lella, whom for years had been one of the most important couples in international design.

 

Our father entrusted them with the important task of communicating the brand, every aspect of usage for the Fratelli Rossetti logo was taken into account with great professionalism: from stationery to packaging, like the famous shopping bag which was an exhibit at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Three of our brothers joined the company and today I am the Managing Directors taking care of sales and communication activities in Italy and abroad. Dario manages the design office, coordinates the modelling department and looks after the strategic purchasing division. Luca joined the company a few years after and concentrates primarily on the financial and administrative segment, he is also deeply involved in the production process.

The 1990s were the years of innovation. The new casual range Flexa was launched, which combined the comfort of light trekking shoes with a metropolitan style and anticipated the free-wear trend that was to come.
 
Flexa came from an idea of our father, Renzo Rossetti and his personal desire to create a multi-use product that would meet a wide range of requirements. These characteristics led to its immediate success and in the coming years the range of models was significantly developed and perfected.

Through the collaboration with the famous photographer Giovanni Gastel, whose style offers images with highly evocative content, the brand began to realign its image with the new market.

The close association with Gastel continues to this day. The journey of innovation continued with the noted architect Peter Marino who fitted out the new Fratelli Rossetti boutique in New York, looking after every detail personally. The concept would be reused subsequently for the company’s other shops.
 

Every Fratelli Rossetti shoe is a work of art produced by our master craftsmen and each shoe requires over a hundred working phases. From the design of the model to its manufacture, every phase is carried out in the workshops of Fratelli Rossetti in Parabiago, outside of Milan.

Craftsmanship, research and design are combined to create excellence in a product that conveys the genuine essence of a beloved handmadeobject, fully capturing the Fratelli Rossetti philosophy which encompasses tradition and innovation.
 
In 2003, Fratelli Rossetti celebtrated its 50thbirthday and was acknowledged by Poste Italiane (the Italian Post Office) through the issuing of an official stamp, coincided with the key moment of the passing of the baton to the our generation of the Rossetti family.
 
We still have not forgotten the focus on the products and quality craftsmanship and to be faithful to brand value by respecting the tradition and the heritage with the secret know-how in shoe production. 
 
In the years that many brands saw frequent strategic alliances, we remain being independent as we believe that our clientele would favour products and services from the specialists.
 
With the customer base that is becoming ever more sophisticated and discerning, the brand value of Fratelli Rossetti comes from the quality of our products.
 
With the clientele that remained loyal for the brand through their immense appreciation, Fratelli Rossetti continues to offer our customers quality and innovation without the diffusion of value and craftsmanship.
 
This exhibition presents a collection of  the brand's archival shoes alongside antique examples collected by our father, Renzo Rossetti. Hong Kong is the first stop of the shoe museum’s tour which is on display for the first time and to be followed by Shanghai later.
 
The exhibition features 31 pieces drawn from the company’s archive and Renzo Rossetti’s 300 plus pieces of ancient and ethnic shoes highlighting the beginnings and the evolutions of Fratelli Rossetti.
 
The display includes the first sport models created by the young Renzo Rossetti straight after the war, when the company was still a long way off being established. The story continues through the many revolutions of Fratelli Rossetti’s history: from the introduction of the tassel to the invention of the men’s shoe worn without socks, the many innovations in style and the launch of the ‘mannish’ women series.
 

We have always jealously guarded our historical pieces in the archives of our company. Today we are displaying our heritage because we are aware that these models have helped create Italian costume history.
The Rossetti's Brothers


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