Italian born, Paris based designer, Francesco Russo specializes in the sexiest of heels. His fascination with shoes started from a young age when he noticed that his mother and sister would transform into “magnificent creatures” on putting on a pair of heels. His love for the shoe grew and in 2013 he founded his eponymous label, after working at a number of fashion houses, honing in on his skills.
Expect elegant, classic and sculptural silhouettes that are pieces of art in their own right. Cue his timeless black stiletto, statement boots that call out for a mini skirt and subtle flats for girls on the go.
FC: What was your first fashionable memory?
Francesco Russo: Renee Simonsen in “Sotto il vestito niente” directed by Carlo Vanzina combined with a tv programme called “Nonsolomoda”, it was played in the 80s in Italy at 7.30pm on Sunday night.
FC: How, when, why did you get into the industry?
FR: For me was a natural choice to dedicate most of my life to enhance woman beauty. My father had a fabric shop, my mother was a professional seamstress, I have two older sisters obsessed with clothes and fashion. I guess I had no other choice! Naturally, I decided to dedicate my professional life to enhance female beauty.
FC: Why shoes?
FR: When I was a child, I started to be fascinated by shoes watching my mother’s clients during their fittings. During the last one, when they were supposed to wear the heels to define the length of the dress, their movements were changing, the way they were walking was lighter, it was like watching a cocoon transforming into a butterfly. At the age of 6 or 7, every time I had the chance of being alone in my room, I put my mother’s shoes on and started to reproduce the movements I saw from clients. This is what fascinates me about shoes. The power of psychological changes they are able to produce in the person wearing them and in the one who watches.
FC: How would you sum up the aesthetic?
FR: Classic as the ancient meant it, there is strong attention to forms, lines, and proportions.
FC: What was on your mood board for the AW19 collection?
FR: A woman in a 40s French Deco interior, with a silky velvet leopard jacquard chaise longue and Dupre Lafont furniture, choosing her silk lace lingerie spread all around the room and her bijoux case filled with rock ‘n’ roll studs, while listening to the soundtrack of Madonna’s “Desperately Seeking Susan”.
FC: Who is your customer?
FR: Women who buy Francesco Russo are normally between 25 and 45. They are independent with a dynamic space in society, and they have a strong focus on shoes as an object with a functional use.
FC: What are the core principles of your label?
FR: The pillar of my brand is sexiness expressed through timeless pieces with a strong attention to comfort in order to highlight the natural beauty and elegance of the female body and posture.
FC: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
FR: To learn how to listen.
Shop Francesco Russo on his website.