Sergio Rossi has died from complications of COVID-19 at age 84. The Italian shoe designer had been hospitalized for a few days at the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy. ‘Today everyone at Sergio Rossi joins me in remembering our dear Sergiom the inspiring founder of our dream’, said Sergio Rossi CEO Riccardo Sciutto. ‘Sergio Rossi was a master, and it is my great honor to have met him and gotten to present him the achieve earlier this year. His vision and approach will remain our guide in the growth of the brand and the business. He loved women and was able to capture a woman’s femininity in a unique way, creating the perfect extension of woman’s leg through his shoes. Our long and glorious history started from his incredible vision and we’ll remember his creativity forever’.
Rossi was born in San Mauro Pascoli, Italy, in 1935 and began designing shoes in the 1950s. by 1966 he was selling his wares in Italy, officially launching his namesake brand in 1968. He remained at the helm of his label until 2004, when it was sold to Kering. Even so, shoemaking remained a vital of Rossi’s life, with his son Gianvito Rossi launching his own footwear collection in 2006. ‘Addio Maestro’, Gianvito posted on Instagram today with a picture of his father.
During his five-decade career in footwear, Rossi collaborated with the likes of Azzedine Alaia, Gianni Versace, and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. His slinky sandals, including the Opanca with a curved sole that reaches up the sides of the foot, were some of his most popular designs, though a quick scan through the designer’s achieves shows him to have been just as brilliant with pumps and platforms.
‘There are those who have had the good fortune to transform their art into a work and those who have the extraordinary talent of transforming their work into a work of art. Sergio Rossi was this man. A husband, father, grandfather, and progenitors of a family that followed his example. The family offers, with love, their last goodbye. With the unquenchable fire of your passion, you taught us that there are no limits for those who love what they do’, his family said in a statement.