In His Shoes
What do you get when you fuse traditional, artesanal shoemaking methods with a modern aesthetic? Diego Vanassibara tells us more
Born in the city of Caxias do Sul in Brazil, Vanassibara moved to London at the age of 22, honing his craft at the prestigious Cordwainers College (Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Jimmy Choo and Patrick Cox are all alumni). Now aged 31, his fledgling label has a global following, not to mention a distinct signature style.
You talk about your work being a contemporary take on artisanship – have you always been drawn to this sort of style? I come from a place where so many things were done by hand, so I think I grew up valuing that. I wish to preserve the traditionl approach but in a very modern context.
Your shoes feature hand-carved wooden panels sourced from a fairtrade plantation in Java. What's the significance of working this detail into your designs? Growing up in Brazil, nature was all around and is a constant source of inspiration to me. So I like to include a little bit of it in my work.
How has the look of the brand evolved since your first ever collection? We only launched in January 2013 but I do feel we've reached a balance between tradition and modernity, which is what I was hoping for.
Are there any other designers that you admire? Mihara Yasuhiro is one. His work is original and he's got a strong point of view that comes across.
What’s on your studio playlist? Sambas de Enredo, from the samba schools of Brazil.
What are the rules when it comes to styling statement shoes? I’m not fond of rules because I think they've held men’s fashion back. Personally, I tend to wear simpler garments if I’m in a statement pair of shoes.
Can you talk us through your creative process? It's very intuitive. Sometimes it involves more 3D experimentation, other times filtering imagery and often letting my brain speak. Always with the customer in mind.
Any plans for expanding the business? Ideally I’d like to offer a complete range of accessories alongside shoes.
How did LC: Mens go for you? Our installation was pure art - we called it The Tornado! We worked with William Murray to create this incredible set that looked like the all the shoes were caught in a tornado storm. It was a huge hit.
If you could sum up your A/W 15 collection in three words, what would they be? Modern. Detailed. Artisanship.