In this edition, we explore Rose Rouge.
Our relationship with 2020 had its challenges. And yet, now it’s almost time to say goodbye, we want to hold on a little tighter, knowing that the year that was might just be our most poignant. The one that changed us. The one we’ll tell our grandkids about. Its narrative felt so consuming, with all its twists and turns, we often forgot it was just a chapter – and there is a next about to begin. And so, with eyes bright and cheeks rosy, we turn to 2021.
|SIC BO||ROSANTICA Smorfia bag|
|ACE||ROSANTICA Ducas bag, Poker bag|
|GAMBIT||ROSANTICA Sacco bag|
Yes, we are living in a mad, mad world – but there is still plenty of fun to be had.
|COLOMBO Dione mini bag||BALENCIAGA slingback pump|
|MARYAM KEYHANI On Pedder exclusive acrylic paintings||BOTTEGA VENETA The Fringe pouch||ANN DEMEULEMEESTER boots|
|APEDE MOD Crescent bag||JACQUEMUS Le Bob hat|
|WINK Tear of the Ocean earrings||THE ROW Honore derby|
Much like the creations born from his eponymous vegan leather footwear label, Alfredo Piferi is a pleasure.
From his home in London, the Italian designer divulges on a life-defining moment, pioneering a luxury footwear “first”, and what’s topping his Christmas wish-list.
ALFREDO PIFERI (image courtesy of Piferi)
How does a typical day start for you?
“I usually start with some meditation or yoga, which helps me keep balanced. I followed this with a light breakfast and a walk with my dog Pip. And then, off we go!”
Tell us about your childhood.
“I grew up in a village outside Rome, by the lake of Bracciano. It is a natural reserve and truly a magical place. Growing up, I was in constant contact with nature, and I can see how this influenced my creativity. As a child, I spent a lot of time dreaming and wondering. I wanted to escape the lake as I thought it was too quiet and boring. Now, as an adult, it’s my favourite place to retreat to and think.”
Was there a defining moment that set you on the journey of becoming a designer?
“It was the moment I met my creativity; when I realised that what I was imagining could become a real object. That was a ground – breaking moment for me, and when I first understood I wanted to be a designer.”
Why footwear design, specifically?
“I studied fashion in Rome, at Istituto Europeo di Design (IED), where I graduated in menswear. While I always had a passion for shoes, I started to become attracted to them professionally during my first menswear internship at Valentino. Then, I started to look for a job in shoes, and Versace was my first footwear role. Before Pīferi I was at Jimmy Choo, where I spent five years as the Head of Design.”
This issue of Footnotes is titled ‘Rose Rouge’ – What instantly comes to mind when you see the words “rose rouge”?
“Danger, passion, sensuality.”
Congratulations on Pīferi debuting its very first collection. What is the biggest compliment you’ve received so far?
“That they are shoes you desire for their looks, and respect for their values. I loved it so much I now use this headline on my website!”
The main Pantone for Pīferi is Rose Quartz, with a splash of bright red. Why these colours?
“I love pink…pink is the sophisticated side of red, they both stand for love and passion, but pink holds a tone which is delicate and sensual. That is why it is so dear to me. Red is only an accent of provocation.”
You have previously worked at luxury labels that create footwear using real leather. Why was vegan leather important to you when starting your own brand?
“Not eating meat myself, I realised I needed to create a brand that aligned with my values. Ultimately, as a designer, you want to be remembered not only for a product, but for how you changed the perception of that product: nobody was doing vegan and sexy.”
Why do you think there hasn’t been a luxury vegan leather footwear brand until now?
“Because it’s a tough challenge. When creating vegan shoes, your options are limited in terms of materials, colours, and components. You can’t just dip a couple of leathers into the exact tone you want – you need to go and scout what is existent, while researching materials that push the boundaries. I have found working with limitations can be very inspiring.”
What three things in life do you love the most?
“An adventure, a snuggly, rainy day in bed, and conversations that makes me feel alive.”
What is at the top of your Christmas wish-list?
“A COVID-19 vaccination for everybody, so that we can be free again. I believe we will live in a great moment of joy when this is all over.”
What’s next for you and for Pīferi?
“I think of Pīferi as a lifestyle brand, so I will be looking forward to expanding into different categories. As a person, I wish to continue meeting inspiring people, and learning from them.”
illustration by @cosmoillustrator