This obituary is component of a sequence about persons who have died in the coronavirus pandemic.
As a teen, Sergio Rossi and his brother, the sons of a bespoke shoemaker, would journey up and down the Italian Riviera offering shoes in the decades just after World War II, as the nation was rebuilding.
Mr. Rossi completely joined the household business in the 1950s and by 1968 had launched a namesake line, starting to be one particular of the initial significant figures in the Italian footwear field
Mr. Rossi died on Thursday in Cesena, Italy at 84. The lead to was coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the business that carries his name stated.
Identified for his properly well balanced, albeit normally spindly, heels, and models this sort of as the Opanca sandal, with a sole that curved up the sides to mix in with the foot, and his signature Godiva stiletto, Mr. Rossi was part of the era of Italian artisans who emerged soon after World War II established to just take the country’s expertise in leatherwork and accessories from regional household enterprises to the globe.
He was also among the the to start with footwear professionals to lend his talents to all set-to-have on designers, collaborating with names these kinds of as Versace and Dolce & Gabbana to create the footwear for their collections. Each and every Sergio Rossi shoe was famed for necessitating 120 steps and 14 several hours to make.
In a video article on Fb on Friday, Mayor Luciana Garbuglia of San Mauro Pascoli, an Italian shoemaking middle around Cesena on the Adriatic coast the place Mr. Rossi was born and lived, mentioned that Mr. Rossi had opened a manufacturing facility in the town in 1951 that has turned a important source of employment.
Mr. Rossi was born in 1935 and figured out his trade from his father.
As a key designer, he attained global prominence in the 1970s in component by means of his operate with the upstart designer Gianni Versace. The way Mr. Rossi’s sensuous heels complemented Mr. Versace’s clothes elevated sneakers to an integral element of a glance, as opposed to an afterthought.
Mr. Rossi, who opened his very first shop in San Mauro in 1980, also worked with Dolce & Gabbana and Azzedine Alaïa in the 1980s and ’90s. Around the up coming two decades he ongoing to grow in Europe and The united states, and his son, Gianvito, arrived to work at his aspect.
In 1999, for the duration of the flurry of consolidation between fashion brand names that laid the groundwork for the present day luxury business and also reflected how vital footwear had develop into to the sector, Gucci Team (later on Kering), acquired the brand for roughly $96.2 million Mr. Rossi remained as chairman and design and style director, however equally he and his son, who now has his have eponymous line, afterwards still left the business enterprise.
Kering bought it in 2015 to the private equity organization Investindustrial, which relaunched Sergio Rossi the subsequent yr.
“He cherished females and was able to capture a woman’s femininity in a exceptional way, making the great extension of a woman’s leg through his shoes,” Richard Sciutto, the shoe company’s main executive, explained in an Instagram write-up commemorating the founder.
The business has preserved his legacy with an archive of sketches and documents in their San Mauro facility, alongside with shoes, lasts and other extras. Therefore far, it has 6,000 products.