Table of contents:
- Is the personalization option only available to men?
- What item / part / material from your latest collection do you consider a real find?
- What should women wear to look perfect?
- What, in your opinion, is the absolute fashionable bad manners?
- Was there a time when you felt the most proud of your father?
- Do you have a lot of archival documents, drawings, photographs that have survived from the time the company was founded?
- Are you going to expose them, for example?
- Patricia Urquiola works on the interiors of Santoni boutiques, whose name has become iconic in the field of design, but thanks to projects of a completely different plan. How did you meet and how did it all start?
- If you fantasize about Santoni's collaboration with Topshop or with H & M … What would be a shoe from such a capsule collection?
- On the Russian Internet, there is a widespread story about Santoni sandals priced at 3.5 million euros, created especially for Naomi Campbell. Is it true?
- Do you know what your ancestors did in the 19th century?
- Who from the fashion industry are you friends with, or do you communicate with from time to time over coffee?
- What rituals can you not imagine your working day without?
- How do you spend your free time?
The presentation of the new Santoni boutique in the Crocus City Mall for Giuseppe Santoni begins a few hours before the official opening: before the designer with the Russian delegation of the brand leaves for the destination, he will have a series of interviews in the Conservatory bar of the Ararat Park Hyatt hotel. On them, he appears to be friendly and hospitable in Italian: and in this, according to the designer, Russia is close to his native country.
“You can also feel at home in the Santoni boutique,” says Santoni, pulling out brochures describing the new personalization service, which now in Russia allows playing with the color palette of shoes. The conversation, which began with the study of various models of men's monks, smoothly flows beyond the assigned half-hour framework.
Is the personalization option only available to men?
Not only, but, I must admit, it's hard for me to imagine a woman who will wait for her pair of shoes for a whole month. During this time, she will have time to change her mind more than once or want to change the color.
What item / part / material from your latest collection do you consider a real find?
This winter we worked a lot with soft materials and rounded shapes, actively used crocodile leather and in each case we used our favorite dyeing techniques. Color is our calling card and this season it comes in the warmest shades of brown.
What should women wear to look perfect?
Depends on the woman, her image and figure, as well as on the occasion, place of residence, time of day. There is no perfect solution. With men, everything is much easier, although the same rule applies here: it is important to choose something in which you will feel like a million. If, for example, I dress in casual style, then, looking at myself, I think: I look like a shit! At this point, I even stop looking Italian in my eyes. Formal dressing is another matter entirely. Although there are those who look much better in everyday looks than in elegant ones. And yet I know one universal trick: wherever you go, include at least one thing in your image that instantly makes you feel better. A product that works and gives you a boost of pleasure.
What, in your opinion, is the absolute fashionable bad manners?
Even if I see something really strange, I never judge anyone. At this moment, the thought appears: "Maybe I don't understand something?" And that is all. The only exception is an image made up of items from one brand. Seeing girls from head to toe in Chanel or Dior, one thinks that they are either ambassadors of the fashion house, or are completely devoid of imagination.
Edward Wilding and Jessica Stam in Santoni campaign fall-winter 2015/16
Was there a time when you felt the most proud of your father?
I feel it all the time, because my father is a really talented person, he still works in the company. It would be difficult for me to give an example of a greater professional than him.
Do you have a lot of archival documents, drawings, photographs that have survived from the time the company was founded?
Enough, although more important to us is that its founder is still working with us. We draw on my father's experience every day to improve the quality of the shoes. Our archive is extensive: it contains documents and sketches of early Santoni products.
Are you going to expose them, for example?
You see, our brand culture is more about looking into the future than nodding towards history. The archives are a very important part of it, but the question "what's next?" touches the soul of Santoni much more than others. More than once I have seen collections that resurrect iconic items of the past, and mostly I did not like them. Everything that was beautiful before cannot be the same now. Going back is a futile process. Santoni's approach to business is simple: to shape the spirit of the era, meet the needs of the client, respect our roots and be committed to innovation. Connoisseurs of luxury do not need what once was. They want to see something new, exceptional.
Patricia Urquiola works on the interiors of Santoni boutiques, whose name has become iconic in the field of design, but thanks to projects of a completely different plan. How did you meet and how did it all start?
We were introduced by friends from Milan. And then one day we go out to dinner, discuss our business projects, and I say: "Why don't we do something together in the retail industry?" “I don’t usually do this,” Patricia replies, but in a month she will show a project that I will simply fall in love with. Everything she suggested then was perfect.
If you fantasize about Santoni's collaboration with Topshop or with H & M … What would be a shoe from such a capsule collection?
Considering that we have been working on one pair of shoes for a whole month, and the mass market needs them in hundreds of thousands, I'm afraid it's impossible to imagine. Our shoes need to "rest" before they fall into the hands of the client. Although, if it were not so “not our case”, I would have liked such a project.
On the Russian Internet, there is a widespread story about Santoni sandals priced at 3.5 million euros, created especially for Naomi Campbell. Is it true?
Yes, we did work with Naomi when she was the brand ambassador for Montblanc. That was 6 - 8 years ago. Then our craftsmen made for her a special pair of shoes with large diamonds, existing in a single copy. I must admit that she is a rather difficult person (smiles).
Do you know what your ancestors did in the 19th century?
Generations of shoemakers in our family were preceded by generations of workers and farmers. Before founding Santoni (and it happened, as you know, in 1975), my father worked in a factory from the age of 14, where he learned a lot about the production of shoes. The idea came to him in 1972: starting from scratch, Andrea Santoni brought it to life in just three years.
Who from the fashion industry are you friends with, or do you communicate with from time to time over coffee?
Most of my friends have nothing to do with the fashion industry and business. So I'm the only "cool" one in our circle (laughs). However, they were very lucky: many are so wealthy that they may not work at all. I also communicate well with many representatives of the fashion industry, albeit not so closely. But I have no friends working on shoes at all.
The archives are a very important part of history, but the question "what's next?" touches the soul of Santoni much more than others.
What rituals can you not imagine your working day without?
Every day I get up at seven in the morning, have breakfast, drink coffee, and then jump in the car and go to the gym. Under the guidance of my coach, I work out until 9:00, then take a shower, and at 9:30 I start working in the office. It continues until late at night: I rarely leave before 21:00 - 21:30. The day ends with an informal family dinner: I travel and go to restaurants abroad so much that being at home is a real pleasure for me.
How do you spend your free time?
I am very attached to my wife and children, and I try to be with my family as much as possible. We often travel together: on Christmas, for example, we will have a safari trip through South Africa with a must-visit to Victoria Falls. Plus, I am actively involved in sports: having allocated the morning hours for it, I realized that 12 hours of work a day would be enough for me.
And finally: three words that you could use to describe Russia
Curious (in terms of people). Friendly (I have many friends here and I see a lot in common with Italy in Russia). Ambitious (I constantly meet people who follow the call of their hearts and their aspirations, trying to go further and further step by step).
Jessica Stam for Santoni Campaign Fall-Winter 2015/16