Giovanna Zanella has the world in her hands! To enter her shop in Venice, where we met her, is like entering a timeless magic land. Your eyes are captured by variegated high fashion shoes, whose traditional forms have each become unique when decorated with bright colours, feathers and sequins, in a show for all five senses!
From the hands of Giovanna the desired footwear takes shape, as celebrated in international journals of the field up to the New York Times! Each of the high fashion shoes embodies an artisanal idea and their simplicity or extravagance makes you smile, and you need to be a careful observer to grasp the message.
Giovanna tell me how did you come to the footwear industry, and how do your artistic inspirations arise to create high fashion shoes?
It ‘s always been a dream! I could never find the shoes that I liked and I had as a young woman the desire to make things myself. Thanks to the master Rolando Segalin, a very well known craftsman of high fashion shoes in Venice, I started my adventure in 2000.
At this time I had my shop, which was dedicated to clothing and out of fashion accessories. I’ve always had good manual skills and I attended the school of modeling. The master Segalin was my guide: has stood by me for 6 years passing me his knowledge. Coming from the fashion world, I knew that the foot is a part of the body that must be dressed with its curves, but the world of footwear art is so complex! I learned quickly, however, and my teacher was amazed by my first creations!
My high fashion shoes come from any particular object I see, and my impressions take shape in the form of footwear. I have a ‘box of ideas’ that stores the concepts that did not realize. All are within me, no one knows, and I realized them only when we are alone in the shop and I lock myself inside.
Giovanna who are your customers?
Europeans especially from Northern Europe and American medium-high and high society seek high fashion shoes. Some return to Venice only twice a year, others have a home here and come back more often. I keep the measurements of each client cherish for 10 years, cataloguing the shapes with the various names. The first pair they order here from me, then they ask me to email the latest news. They know they can change every pair to suit their preferences. I am content with that: they are first of all a shoe-!
Having a high fashion shoe shop in Venice is like having a window to the world! My being an artist in footwear has much of Venice in it: here there are the influences of all kinds and I know they are appreciated by customers all over the world just because they are from Venice. This city has shaped my creativity and I give to Venice an original touch with my creations!
What feelings are reflected in your shoes Giovanna? And what skill do you need to be recognised in this sector?
I think what I realize now is what I experienced in childhood, be surrounded by nature. Nature shows you the evolution of creation. This is a job that requires dedication, time and a lot of professionalism. When I hand over a pair of shoes I am anxious! The secret is the combination of beauty and comfort of the shoe, just like a dress!
In Venice we are three women working in this sector, including an Austrian. And we are now an all female industry! I think that my reputation is achieved by believing and wanting to convey a message that is not banal. Many clients tell me that my shoes transmit life, coming into my shop is like stepping into chrome-therapy. What I want is to convey fun, passion, playing!