Mr. Diego Rossetti, head of Fratelli Rossetti
Mr. Diego Rossetti, head of Fratelli Rossetti, a footwear company based in the small village of Parabiago, near Milan, where all of the company's shoes are produced.
What has been the historical development of the Italian footwear industry in the period after World War II?
After World War II shoes were very basic: mainly black lace-up. My father, who founded Fratelli Rossetti in 1953, debuted in the sport sector in 1948. This experience opened his mind towards classical footwear with an approach that allowed Fratelli Rossetti to propose new colors and styles towards the Italian footwear.
Are there aspects of Italian footwear design that you regard as especially or distinctively Italian?
Something that is really Italian is the heritage of the craftsmanship. Our shoes are still made in the traditional way: more than 150 steps, most of which are done by hand although the factory boasts the very latest equipment and organizational style. Our artisans are very specialized and this is not easy to find. Mainly we have trained them internally, but lately we have been supporting some schools to help us with this task. Although for the industry as a whole some production is moving overseas to China and other low-wage countries, at Fratelli Rossetti we are very loyal to our traditional production system and we are very proud of this.
What is the role of Fratelli Rossetti, in the Italian footwear industry?
Fratelli Rossetti It is a quite unique brand in the footwear fashion scenario. It is one of the few Italian companies which is family owned, has internal production and is based on craftsmanship. These are all factors which allow us to maintain the know-how and competitiveness.
What are the most important current trends in Italian footwear, and Italian fashion in general?
In this particular moment people are concentrating more on contents and quality when dealing with fashion in general. People customers look for values such as tradition, heritage, solidity. This is a trend that a lot of Italians are following and that we hope is meant to last.
What trends in footwear design and manufacturing do you foresee in the next few years?
Fratelli Rossetti is constantly evolving, preserving at the same time the values that have always distinguished the brand. A tangible example of what Fratelli Rossetti is doing is the collaboration with George Esquivel. This Los Angeles designer has been working with us since last year and will continue throughout all 2012. Working on colors and materials, he has given a new take on tradition without actually overhauling its essence. The result is a collection that blends in perfectly with the main collection of Fratelli Rossetti: hence we have given that collection the name Blend In.