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DESIGN FOR UNIQUE FOOTWEAR: MADE IN ITALY ACCORDING TO ALESSANDRO OTERI
If there is something that Alessandro Oteri does better than others it is delighting women all over the world with the unique shoes he creates for them, all made with first class materials and certainly not mass produced.
This is the secret of this Ligurian designer, who is so fond of the coastal area of his native land that it has on several occasions provided him with inspiration for making some of his models. These have proved to be the most sought after by all those who want to stand out and seek elegant shoe design combined with the indispensable factor of comfort (www.alessandroteri.com).
After having experienced certain difficulties connected with the financial management of his brand in recent times, which were resolved when Emanuela Barilla (heir of the creator of the most famous brand of pasta in the world) and Count Galvano Landi di Chiavenna joined the company, he now looks towards the future with decided optimism, as was evident from a few questions that we put to him.
Let’s go back a bit: how did the Oteri brand begin?
The Oteri brand started in 2005, a bit by chance, really. On the one hand, there was the excitement and passion for my work, the desire to do something important, and on the other, a bit of courage that made me take the plunge. I certainly didn’t sit down at my desk to plan this venture financially.
In any case, I told myself it was the only thing I could do. I tried, like everyone else, to work with other brands, without ever getting any response, so I tried things my own way and really fell in love with the production side of footwear. For example, I learned from the craftsmen in Parabiago and Vigevano that 310 steps are needed to make a shoe.
What makes people choose an Alessandro Oteri shoe, particularly abroad?
The strongest appeal, in my opinion, is that they are made in Italy, with that time-honoured tradition that we have always had. It is not by chance that the most famous shoe designers in the world, Manolo and Christian, make their shoes in Italy, because of the precision in Vigevano.
In other countries, where you could say that I was “born” as a professional, I think there is a lot of interest in the bespoke concept: making shoes together with the customer, and styling them on the basis of her requests. This requires two or three months of work, but in the end there is great satisfaction for both sides.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Apart from being involved with my main showroom on via Cerva, in Milan, I am preparing the opening of a new one in New York. I am also investing in an important media advertising campaign in Japan.
What are the challenges for the future?
I see two kinds of challenges in the future: the first concerns my brand, with us opening up to new markets and having a true company concept, without, however, compromising the authentic “craftsmanship” of the shoes in any way. The second is a personal challenge, to continuously develop new, innovative and elegant styles, always with different and refined materials.