Shoe designer Gaetano Perrone didn’t start out wanting to design footwear. After assisting Antonio Berardi on his RTW collections, he started designing accessories for the British designer and fell in love. Fast-forward through leading Ferragamo’s accessories department and stints at Sergio Rossi, Kenzo, Dior and McQueen; Perrone decided to branch out on his own with a namesake collection.
Jaw dropping heels, iconic details and amazing color compose the Gaetano Perrone shoe collection. The designer was kind enough to chat with ICON about how it all began, what inspires him and how to balance on his shoes!
ICON: Tell our readers about your iconic women’s footwear and accessories line, Gaetano Perrone, how did it all get started?
GP: All started 2 years ago; after many working experiences for different brands, I felt I
wanted to have a chance of expressing my concept of shoes.
ICON: Why did you decide to design shoes?
GP: I never wanted to be a shoe designer. I was working with Antonio Berardi, as assistant on his RTW collection and he asked me to design accessories for him…and I did it, and I enjoyed it. After two years I was no longer interested in garments and I decided to work on accessories only.
ICON: Your designs are super creative, and sometimes abstract, what inspires your daring designs?
GP: I have always been influenced by my background: I am from the south and I think this made a big difference; I like bright colours and rich textures; my inspiration often comes from the nature.
ICON: What must one take into account when designing shoes in regard to wearability,
durability and function?
GP: For sure the quality of both manufacturing and materials is important for the durability and wearability…but also technical features are very important: balance of the heel, proportions and fitting of the last, typology of renforcements used are only some of the key components to make a shoe wearable and functional. A shoe is made of so many
components and the feet are such a delicate part of our body…to make mistakes is very easy.
ICON: You’ve worked for a lot of big brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Dior
and Alexander McQueen, how did working under the umbrella of such established
brands help you create your own niche?
GP: Thanks to these experiences I had the chance to learn about the product, to understand how to build up a collection taking into account functions and market needs, and I met a lot of people (and friends) who made me grow into this world.
ICON: What can we expect from Gaetano Perrone moving forward? Any plans to distribute in the United States soon? Any celebrities you would like to see your shoes on?
GP: You can expect to see more shoes…I hope beautiful shoes. My business is really small at the moment. For sure I want to distribute in the US, but there is no plan at the moment. I would not mind to see someone like Nicole Kidman wearing my shoes.