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Sergio Rossi

Sergio Rossi
sergio rossi the shoe archives

Sergio Rossi is known for its craftsmanship, refined, feminine details, and designer collaborations.

 Founded in 1951 in San Mauro Italy the brand takes its name from its founder Sergio Rossi. 

 Born into a bespoke shoemaking family in 1935, Sergio’s father passed on the tools and traditions of the trade to his sons.

Sergio would go on to become part of the generation of Italian artisans who emerged after World War II determined to take the country’s expertise in leatherwork and accessories from local family businesses to the world.

He was also among the first footwear specialists to lend his talents to ready-to-wear designers, collaborating with names like Versace and Dolce & Gabbana to create the footwear for their collections.

Each Sergio Rossi shoe was famous for requiring 120 steps and 14 hours to make.

sergio rossi archive


A 20-year-old Sergio fully joined the family business in the 1950s after going to Milan to study and take an apprenticeship. In Milan, he learned how to make the most of his passion for shapes, the very heart of the shoemaker's know-how.



In 1966, Sergio Rossi started to sell his shoes to shops in Bologna and spent his winters making sandals he would later sell, in the summer, on the beaches of Rimini.

One such sandal, the Opanca, became one of the most popular: it was a simple design in which the sole curved gently around the foot becoming a single whole with the upper part of the shoe.

In 1968, the first shoes bearing the Sergio Rossi signature were produced, marking the first official collection and him becoming one of the first major figures in the Italian footwear industry.

 According to Vogue, during the 1960s, the company “quickly became synonymous with Italian quality and classic feminine designs”.




As a major designer, Sergio Rossi reached global prominence in the 1970s in part through his work with the upstart designer Gianni Versace. The way Mr. Rossi’s sensuous heels complemented Mr. Versace’s clothes elevated shoes to an integral part of a look, as opposed to an afterthought.



The 1980s was the period of expansion for the brand in Italy and abroad.

The first boutique bearing the Sergio Rossi name opened in Ancona, soon followed by Turin, Florence, Rome, Brussels, New York, Los Angeles, and London. An average of two boutiques were opened each year between 1980 and 1999.

At the same time, the brand became closely linked to some of the leading design houses in the fashion industry, producing shoes for the collections of Dolce & Gabbana (from 1989 to 1999) and Azzedine Alaïa.



The various images of the advertising campaigns of the 1990’s were a tribute to Helmut Newton, with whom Sergio Rossi shared his very contemporary vision of women: an image of forcefulness and of control over her body. Helmut used low-angled shots to highlight the length of the legs, and focused on the height and shape of the heel

Over the next two decades Sergio continued to expand in Europe and America, and his son, Gianvito, came to work at his side. Sergio remained at the helm of his label until 2004.

Continuing the shoe-making legacy of his father Sergio, Gianvito Rossi decided to strike out on his own, making a successful debut at the 2006 Spring/Summer Milan Fashion Week. Since then, he has made a name for himself in the industry with shoes, internationally known for their comfort, punched-out straps, and elongated backs.


Check out our collection of Sergio Rossi vintage shoes

sergio rossi gianvito rossi

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Andrea Pfister

Andrea Pfister