After a few quiet years, young designers are ready to shake things up. Here, six talented up-and-comers claim the spotlight.
Olivia De Ambrogio, Designer
Debut: Spring '12
Price tag: $315-$630
The look: "My brand can be recognized for its unusual mix of rich materials and exotic skins, with wood, cork and PVC, and the overlap of different components and layers."
The inspiration: "I have always been attracted to shoes, and [after] growing up and studying fashion, I started having the desire to create my own brand. Being in touch with different cultures and people from all over the world gave me the right inspiration to start up my shoe line."
On spring '12: "I like to call this line ‘cosmopolitan' because it can be worn at any time and everywhere, and it was created thinking of different places around the world."
Background: De Ambrogio studied fashion design at Istituto Marangoni in Milan, interned for Alexander Wang in New York, worked as a fashion stylist in New York and created a small capsule collection of limited-edition apparel sold at End of Century on New York's Lower East Side.
Big break: "This is it right now. An important showroom in Milan is [showing] my brand, and I am really satisfied as the collection has interested buyers from several countries. That was my goal."
Biggest challenge so far: "One of the most difficult parts of starting this adventure was finding the right place to produce my collection because many of the best factories in Italy don't have availability for small productions. It took some time, but I got the execution I was looking for and I am very happy with the result."
Most looking forward to: "I just desire to go on doing what I love to do, hoping that my line will succeed because I am putting all my efforts into this project that I really believe in."
Where to find it: Studio 88, Desenzano del Garda, Italy; Kitch, Gallarate, Italy; Absolute Fabulous, Beijing; www.The247.it
The retail buzz: "Olivia De Ambrogio shoes are a perfect combination of Italian and international taste, [have a] great sense of fashion, are playful but always sexy, and last but not least, are comfortable. The attention to detail and the close watch on quality will be her fresh flair in every market. [Her] shoes become jewels, renewing your collection and wardrobe." — Chiara Sparacio, sales manager, www.The247.it