Buro 24/7 Middle East Interview: Angelo Ruggeri, Collection and Design Director at Sergio Rossi
“Life without passion is like a building without foundations”
Ahead of the reception at the Sergio Rossi store at Level Shoe District in The Dubai Mall this evening, where Sergio Rossi CEO Christopher Melard, and Angelo Ruggeri, Collection and Design Director, will present the arrival of the Spring/Summer 14 collection, Buro 24/7 Middle East talks to Angelo Ruggeri to find out more...
A special sketch created exclusively for Buro 24/7 Middle East
You've worked as Design and Collection Director at Sergio Rossi for just over a year now - how are you enjoying the role?
It has been a very exciting year, full of initiatives and projects, during which my hard work has been rewarded with encouraging results. I'm proud to be the creative ambassador of the brand, and to have the chance of putting my creativity and my talent at the disposal of this amazing brand.
What is the most innovative concept you've introduced so far?
Since the beginning I have tried to interpret the brand's codes through my creative perspective, in a very respectful way. I think that today the biggest challenge for a design director of such a great brand like Sergio Rossi is to be innovative and contemporary, remaining loyal to the tradition and preserving the heritage.
Tell us about the Spring/Summer 14 Sergio Rossi collection.
The Spring/Summer 14 collection was my first step into the company and it started with the amazing tribute to the artist Gabriella Crespi, which launched at Milan's Salone del Mobile Exhibition, in April last year. This capsule collection was dedicated to one of the most famous and fascinating Italian artists whose works were so inspiring that I decided to keep this small project at the heart of the whole collection. In the end, the collection itself became sort of a celebration of Italian design in the 60s and 70s, with a focus on the eclecticism and the extravagance of those decades.
What is your personal favourite piece from the SS14 collection?
I like many of the pieces but the styles inspired by Crespi's furniture and her beautiful filigree jewellery are the ones I particularly love.
You've been in the shoe business for 15 years, having previously worked for the likes of Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford - did you always know you wanted to be a shoe designer?
I have dreamt about working in fashion since I was six years old, so let's say it was immediately clear that I would become a designer, especially when I became more and more aware about my passions and my personal attitudes growing up.
How would you describe the personality of the Sergio Rossi woman?
The Sergio Rossi woman has a strong personality, self-confidence and natural elegance. She greatly appreciates unique design, a high level of craftsmanship and over all, she likes to consider shoes as a powerful way of expressing her personality.
Do you have a favourite shoe designer of all time?
I appreciate Andrè Perugia, a French shoe designer with Italian origins who revolutionised the world of shoes. He was the first designer who understood the great importance of shoes. He strongly believed that what a woman wears reveals a lot about her personality.
When you're designing, do you have unlimited freedom to inject your own creativity or what is the usual process?
I like to say freedom is in the framework, whereas the freedom is my creativity and the framework is the brand identity, its heritage, its strategy and its commercial network. In this perspective the teamwork and the precious support of all my colleagues are extremely important for me in developing successful collections.
Why do you think Sergio Rossi shoes are so special?
Sergio Rossi shoes offer a unique design combined with high level of craftsmanship. The brand always focuses itself on the search for the balance between innovation and tradition, comfort and creativity.
When you meet someone new, do you get an immediate insight into their personality via their shoes?
Of course, it's normal for me! Shoes reveal a lot about personality, lifestyle and habits of people.
What is the best advice you ever received, who was it from and why?
The best advice that I have ever received comes from my parents. They have always supported me and all of my choices, teaching me that life without passion is like a building without foundations.
Can you offer any insider tips that every woman should know when it comes to shoes?
It's not true that diamonds are a woman's best friend; that's true about shoes!