This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in a coronavirus pandemic.
As a teenager, Sergio Rossi and his brother, children of bespoke shoe makers, would travel up and down the Italian Riviera selling shoes in the years after World War II, when the country was rebuilding.
Mr. Rossi fully joined the family business in the 1950s and in 1968 introduced the name line, becoming one of the first major figures in the Italian shoe industry
Mr. Rossi died on Thursday in Cesena, Italy at the age of 84. The cause is coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the company that carries its name.
Mr. Rossi is part of the generation of Italian craftsmen who emerged after World War II determined to bring the country’s expertise in the field of leather crafts and accessories from local family businesses to the world.
He is known for his well-balanced heels, though often thin, as well as the style of the Opanca sandals, with soles curved to the side to blend with the feet, and his signature Godiva stiletto,
He was also among the first footwear specialists who lent his talent to ready-made designers, collaborating with names like Versace and Dolce & Gabbana to create footwear for their collections. Each Sergio Rossi shoe is famous because it requires 120 steps and 14 hours to make it.
In a video post on Facebook on Friday, Mayor Luciana Garbuglia of San Mauro Pascoli, an Italian shoe-making center near Cesena on the Adriatic coast, where Mr. Rossi was born and alive, noting that Mr. Rossi had opened a production facility in the city in 1951 which had become the main source of work.
Mr. Rossi was born in 1935 and learned to trade from his father.
As a great designer, he achieved global excellence in the 1970s in part through his work with budding designer Gianni Versace. The way sensual heels Rossi completes the clothes Mr. Versace lifts shoes into an integral part of the display, which contradicts later thinking.
Mr. Rossi, who opened his first store in San Mauro in 1980, also worked with Dolce & Gabbana and Azzedine Alaïa in the 1980s and 90s. Over the next two decades he continued to develop in Europe and America, and his son, Gianvito, came to work by his side.
In 1999, during the busy consolidation between fashion brands that laid the foundation for the modern luxury industry, Gucci Group (later Dry) buy the Sergio Rossi brand around $ 96.2 million; Mr. Rossi remained as chairman and director of design, even though he and his son later left the business. His son now the row itself under its name.
Dry selling the Rossi brand in 2015 to the private equity firm Investindustrial, which relaunched Sergio Rossi the following year.
“He loves women and is able to capture women’s femininity in a unique way, creating the perfect extension of a woman’s feet through her shoes,” Richard Sciutto, the shoe company’s chief executive, said of Mr Rossi in an Instagram post.
The company has maintained its inheritance with sketch archives and documents at their San Mauro facility, along with shoes, shoes and other accessories. So far, he has 6,000 items.
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