PHOTOGRAPHY BY XAVIER MAS
interview by carlotta buosi
Carlotta Buosi speaks to Fabrizio Viti
Joy, fun and playfulness all have in common the fact that the fashion industry sometimes seems to forget about them, but not Fabrizio Viti. Deeply embedded in his design, irony is dear to his heart. So dear that he couldn’t work without at least some of it as part of his creative process, as he told LURVE. The past of this uber creative shoe designer speaks of iconic brands – Gucci and Prada among them – just as much as his present does: Viti is currently the shoe director at Louis Vuitton, position he has held since 2004. Then, last year, the ultimate challenge: creating a brand with no other but his own name on it, free from anyone else’s identity and eager to express his very own one. Viti designs for an unapologetic, energetic, lively woman. Someone who’s going her own way, despite the direction everyone else’s taking. A woman who’s the sum up of all the strong female figures who’ve been inspiring Viti through his life: from his 85 year old mother, wearing dark shades and smoking cigarettes, to his friends around him. A woman who wears fun shoes, just because she likes them, and who’s not afraid to eat a daisy.
Fabrizio, why shoes?
Because they are little sculptures.
We know too well about your incredible career: you’ve been creating shoe collections for Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton, where you’re still Shoe Style Director. What has each of these experiences meant to you and how have they changed you and your design?
Every show or collection in those brands was a challenge and it still is. Throughout the years, I’ve learned how to identify myself with the dif- ferent moods and styles, and that is a key point for me. After all, I am a man doing shoes for women: I must be able to see beyond myself.
With Please Don’t Eat the Dasies you’ve crossed an important border: creating a shoe collection which has no other but your own name on it. What made you desire to do so?
The curiosity to see if it’ll work out!
Has anything changed in your approach designing this collection, your collection, from all the ones you’ve created before?
Not really, it’s just that with my own collection I think about my very own references and whatever I feel right at the moment. There is no need to fulfill other’s desires.
How would you describe Please Don’t Eat the Dasies to someone who has never seen it?
One word: joyful.
You mentioned before the strong impact that the female figures in your life have had on you. Can you name one particular woman whose presence have determined who you are as a designer, but also as a person?
My beloved Donna Summer. Since I was a kid she’s opened the door of a magical world for me, through her music and her beauty. As time went by, she grew into a strong and spiritual woman who showed me how to be true to myself. Finally, I became close friend with her and her family and I consider this to be a huge blessing. A dream come true.
Speaking of female figures, you’re said to have an amazing collection of dolls. Can you tell us how did your passion for them started and if it inspires your design in any way?
It all started with a three year old Fabrizio, holding a little version of a model in his hands. It was Barbie, of course! Since then, I’ve always had dolls around me and I’ve started collecting them in the 90s. Dolls give me so much inspiration and joy, the same joy that I hope women will read in my shoe collections.
In this issue of LURVE, we explore the meaning of borders, both physical and mental. What is, in your opinion, the border between passion and obsession?
I can’t answer that because my passions have always been my obsessions. If I don’t fall into the depth of things that I love, I don’t feel satisfied. Is that obsession?
Often – especially in fashion – the desire to have fun and express ourselves gives us the courage to cross borders we wouldn’t normally cross. When, in your opinion, does fun become risky, compromising our chances to be taken seriously?
I think fashion needs to be the result of a good amount of work and background knowledge, first of all. Then, it might also evolve into something fun. So to answer the question, this element of fun doesn’t risk to compromise the value of the work behind it, unless it becomes the main intention of a collection. I think that the process which brings a designer toward injecting fun in his work needs to be a smooth and natural process.
What if she accidentally ate a daisy?
No worries: Nurse Doris (Day) will come to you and with a magic potion will save your life and bleach your hair platinum!