With a refined aesthetic that stretches from rococo to rock ‘n’ roll, Casadei footwear is a miracle of manufacturing and a labor of love, just as it was when Cesare Casadei’s parents first launched the brand.
How can you be creative if you are not a dreamer? Daydreaming is my life.
The label, Casadei, was born back in the Fifties, when Quinto and Flora Casadei created sandals for the affluent tourists that holidayed on the Italian Riviera. Their distinctive style was delicate, elegant, exquisitely designed, made from only the finest materials, and soon hugely in demand. Ten years later it had grown into an important brand with a flourishing export business and its first store in Brussels.
Fast-forward to today, and Casadei is the embodiment of ‘Made in Italy’. Having grown up in the business, it was a natural step for their son Cesare to join the brand as creative director. That was over twenty years ago—in the interim he has presided over Casadei’s modernization and expansion, embracing a signature marketing aesthetic every bit as individual as its legendary shoes, with campaigns photographed by Nick Knight, Mario Testino, Javier Vallhonrat and Raymond Meier.
So it was no surprise that Casadei was among thirty top designers invited to let their imaginations run riot and each create one very special crystallized item to exhibit at Tech Dreamers inspired by Swarovski. It was hosted by LUISAVIAROMA, Florence’s famous destination high-fashion online retailer, as part of its annual fashion extravaganza, Firenze4Ever. Among the stunning contemporary examples of handcrafted design was a pair of sling-back stilettos by Casadei so exquisitely beautiful that visitors audibly gasped. Encrusted with crystals resembling floral brocade and refracting light from every angle, these are shoes that Cinderella could only dream of wearing to the ball. We wanted to know if any other exhibits at Tech Dreamers had caught the eye of the man who created them…
What excited you about Tech Dreamers inspired by Swarovski this month?
The beautiful setting, the couture masterpieces created especially for the event, the atmosphere and the crowd.
Would you describe yourself, personally, as a dreamer?
Definitely, yes. How can you be creative if you are not a dreamer? Daydreaming is my life.
What was your favorite piece in the Swarovski collection at LUISAVIAROMA?
A short evening gown encrusted with boldly colored Swarovski crystals. Stunning!
What forthcoming Spring/Summer trends can we expect to see from Casadei?
A new odyssey of inspiration, of creativity, of strategy. A new paragraph, a blank space, a fresh start. The Casadei Spring/Summer 2016 collection revolutionizes the cards dealt to us by the market and trends. Moving beyond fashion, the new Graphic Cuts, Young Jewels and Bright Colors creations are designed for urban tribes—for women who want the freedom to choose between eclectic yet complementary styles, who want more than just trends.
Any big plans on the horizon for the company?
We’re opening a flagship store in London, and we’re looking at further global expansion.