Top footwear designers have paid tribute to the late Sergio Rossi.
The legendary craftsman died last Thursday night at the age of 84 after contracting Covid-19, his son Gianvito Rossi confirmed in a statement.
In light of the sad news, many leading fashion stars have shared messages of condolences with his friends and family.
“Sergio was one of the main forces in Italian manufacture and design,” Manolo Blahnik told Footwear News. “I met him years ago and he was so charming – he contributed so much, he was a major talent and very important. He had an incredible flair for what is current, he produced wonderful things. It’s an enormous loss for the shoe industry.”
Elsewhere, Sophia Webster described Rossi as “one of the greatest shoe designers of our time” in an Instagram post, and Tamara Mellon commented that she was “deeply sad” to learn of the designer’s passing.
Chloe Gosselin named Rossi as a personal hero, while Amina Muaddi labelled him as a “legend” of the footwear industry.
In addition, Rupert Sanderson uploaded a lengthy post in which he reflected on some of the “amazing memories” he had of the designer.
“My experiences with the Rossi family inform my approach to shoe making and the ways of running a shoe business. Generous and visionary, he gave me my first true break in the business. My thoughts and prayers are with Gianvito, the Rossi family and the shoemaking community of San Mauro Pascoli,” he added.
Born in the Romagna region of Italy, Rossi followed in his father’s footsteps and launched a factory in 1951. He soon built up a reputation for his Opanca sandal with a curved sole and later expanded his collection to include a wider range of footwear. The Sergio Rossi brand was purchased by PPR Luxury Division, now known as Kering, in 1999. The company was then acquired by private equity firm Investindustrial in 2015.
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