In this day and age, it seems as if shoes are taken to crazier and more defiant heights with every season. They’re fun to look at and they’re perfect for high fashion editorials, but the fact of the matter is that for the real world – where business slacks are not complemented by Day-Glo hues and exquisitely opulent flower embroideries – you need to have a few pairs that are made of clean lines and pure sophistication. You know the shoes, the pairs that you can wear for years on end, the soles that have just enough edge to let onlookers know you’re feisty without being too over-the-top. For those shoes that have the honor of such frequent use, we turn to Tania Spinelli, whose spins on the traditional are both classy and confident.
You might recognize her name, as her designs have been spotted on celebrities and style icons such as Jessica Alba, Blake Lively, Gwyneth Paltrow, and model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The captivating designs are strappy and designed for a strong woman. For Spring 2014, we can expect studded supple leather, intricate gladiator-inspired sandals and heels, risqué mesh overlays, and an über chic mid-calf lace-up sandal boot that is sure to clear a path when you enter the room.
To know a bit more about the fabulous woman behind the footwear, we conducted an interview with her. In the following interview, we learn about what inspires her, what she thinks about her collections, and the kind of woman she designs for.
1. What was the inspiration for your current collection?
I never design into a theme, rather each collection is a design evolution of my aesthetic which is clean, modern, classic but with an edge. Many of my influences come from architecture. I love “building” around the foot and leg, often by caging details and geometric uppers.
2. Do you have any muses that you think of when you are designing?
My muse is the woman I’m designing for. She is not defined by age but rather a mindset. She is active, on the move, strong, sexy and confident. She is fashion conscious but yet, her style is effortlessly chic. She is true to her own style, she wears everything with confidence and because of that, whatever she wears, she makes a statement.
3. What does your design process look like? Do you have a favorite album or artist to listen to when you are creating?
My design process involves a lot of research and development. I begin with an idea in mind, a vision, but as I research and see new and different things, it evolves. I begin by developing each construction. I work directly with the last and heel makers in Venice, Italy where my shoes are made. I visit tanneries, and attend leather fairs to research materials and colors for the upcoming season. At that point, I am very inspired and excited to begin sketching. I keep sketching until I feel confident with how the collection looks on paper, knowing that I have some very strong pieces along with some great basics.
From my sketches I work directly with my pattern maker in Italy to make our first prototype. This is my favorite part of the design process as it’s where my sketch comes to life. As I am able to actually try it on, and see it on my foot, I modify the design whether for technical reasons or just to make it better. It’s a long process but an exciting one.
Although I do not have a favorite album or artist I listen to when creating, most of the process takes place in Italy so I am definitely listening to Italian music!
4. How would you describe your design signature?
My design signature is sleek, sophisticated, feminine shoes but with a cool, modern edge.
5. Which collection are you most proud of?
The collection I am most proud of is always the most recent. I feel each season I grow as a designer and become more confident in expressing my vision and who I am as a designer.
Her Spring 2014 shoes will soon be available at Tania Spinelli’s e-store. You can also shop new resort arrivals right now and we have a discount code just for ShoeRazzi readers! Just enter SHOERAZZI10 at the checkout and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase (until 12/25).
Asymmetric leather strap sandal in nude with a pull-tab back zip and woven straps, also available in black leather
White leather sandal with a studded high-rise heel cuff and long leather laces, also available in nude & black leather – this is my favorite style from the collection!
Nude patent leather platform wedge with criss cross front straps and center back zipper; available at Tania Spinelli
Black suede platform ankle-strap wedge with a 130mm wedge and 25mm platform; available at Tania Spinelli
Multi-strap in natural watersnake with a black lacquered heel and back-zip closure
Black leather sandal bootie with a mid-calf lace-up front and long leather tassel laces
Gladiator laser-cut sandal with 4 buckled straps; available in black patent leather, white leather and mirrored gold leather
Signature strappy cage sandal in natural watersnake with a pull-tab back-zip
Laser cut white leather gladiator sandal; also available in black patent leather
Black patent leather single sole pointed toe pump with a steel micro tip and 110mm heel; available at Tania Spinelli
Pointed-toe pump in yellow patent leather with a black mesh overlay and 110mm heel; available at Tania Spinelli
Classic single sole pump in coral patent leather with a 110mm heel; available at Tania Spinelli
Written by Shannon Weston