For the first time, Italian accessories label Sergio Rossi is venturing outside of the boot of its own country and into the land of fine art. The brand, which has made its shoes in Italy since its inception in 1966, is collaborating with Chinese artist Peng Wei on a series of boots to be exhibited in Paris.
Wei’s eight new designs are all elaborations on the sleek template of the brand’s popular “Chelsea” style. The artist, known for her reinterpretation of traditional Chinese ink painting, has hand-painted the boots, swathed in rice paper, in classic Chinese ink sketches, albeit, designs significantly reinformed by Chelsea’s sexy, Italian silhouette. Delicate pastel florals with moments of gold foil coincide with the boot’s smooth, over-the knee-cut, while mountainous landscape scenes and warriors on horseback complement a stacked wooden heel. The gentle contradictions of the collaboration don’t stop at style; Wei’s designs for Rossi are for display only, and can’t be worn.