Sergio Rossi, an iconic figure in the world of luxury footwear, has sadly passed away at the age of 84, reportedly due to complications from Covid-19. Born in San Mauro Pascoli, a region known for its shoemaking heritage, Rossi’s influence on 20th-century shoe design was profound.
His journey into the world of footwear began with training in Milan and Bologna, supplemented by lessons from his own father. In the early 1950s, he embarked on his independent venture, initially gaining recognition for crafting exquisitely feminine sandals, which he meticulously produced during the winter months to be sold at beach resorts during the summer season. This commitment to quality and craftsmanship laid the foundation for his brand’s enduring reputation for exquisite sandals.
Although the Sergio Rossi label, as it is recognized today, officially launched in 1968, it quickly established itself as a dominant force in the world of fashion, renowned for its striking and influential designs. Rossi’s unique blend of strong design aesthetics and technical mastery led to collaborations with prestigious fashion houses like Dolce & Gabbana and Gianni Versace.
In 1999, Kering (then known as PPR) acquired a controlling interest in his company, which was subsequently sold to the private equity firm Investindustrial in 2015. The brand experienced a revival in 2016, with a renewed focus on its archive—a testament to the timeless appeal of designs created under Rossi’s creative vision.
Riccardo Sciutto, CEO of Sergio Rossi, remarked, «In this uniquely strange moment for our world where we need to keep alive the inspiration of the past of Sergio, we all now feel double engaged in the memory of a great designer.» Sciutto played a pivotal role in reviving the brand, investing heavily in rebuilding the Sergio Rossi archive, which now comprises approximately 6,000 pieces.
Sergio Rossi’s tragic passing from Covid-19 serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by many individuals during this global health crisis. His surviving son and fellow shoe designer, Gianvito Rossi, has also tested positive for the virus.