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Fratelli Rossetti Updates Image

Last year, the Italian footwear company started a new phase, which will culminate in June with the launch of its fall ad campaign.

MILAN — Fratelli Rossetti is revamping its image.

Last year, the Italian footwear company started a new phase, which will culminate in June with the launch of its fall ad campaign.

Ending its 20-year collaboration with photographer Giovanni Gastel, the company has teamed up with Lapo Elkann’s creative agency Independent Ideas, fashion photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari and stylist Robert Rabensteiner for the new campaign, which represents a significant turning point in the label’s communication strategies.

“We have the strong, consolidated image of a serious, traditional, high-end company but sometimes these qualities are not perceived as linked with creativity and innovation,” Fratelli Rossetti president Diego Rossetti told WWD on the campaign’s set. “We want to demonstrate that this outdated image is not true.”

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To reach this goal, a high dose of irony will be incorporated into the label’s signature elegant look.

“Elegance is the most important factor, but irony can make the elegance even more sophisticated,” said Rabensteiner. “Communication mustn’t be boring and it’s important to express a certain lifestyle,” he added, pointing out that, marking a big shift from the past, the pictures won’t feature close-ups of shoes but will show male and female models “to give an idea of a total look.”

Shot in a private house in Milan, the pictures have a playful vibe, i.e. models dancing in the room, and, according to set designer Charlotte Mello Teggia, a Sixties-inspired atmosphere peppered with references to Giorgio de Chirico and Magritte’s metaphysical works.

“Fratelli Rossetti is definitely a brand that is part of my Milanese imagery,” Ferrari said. “It’s great to see clients willing to create something new. My goal is to give personality and animate their products in my pictures.”

“The company had a conservative image but it wasn’t stuck,” said Independent Ideas chief executive officer Alberto Fusignani. “They have been among the first to advertise on TV and they worked with Pirella [Emanuele Pirella, an innovative Italian copywriter who died in 2010]. What we have to do now is to look for those unexpressed elements in the company’s DNA.”

According to Rossetti, through this updating strategy, the company aims to expand its business, with a particular focus on the Far East, where it’s going to open new doors in Thailand and Korea.

To boost the expansion and appeal to a younger customer, the company is adding more contemporary styles to the collection. “Differently from the past, we are including special treatments and bolder tones also in the men’s range,” said co-ceo Luca Rossetti.

In 2012, Fratelli Rossetti posted revenues of 79 million euros, or $103.5 million at current exchange, up 4 percent compared to 2011. “In developing markets we had a double- digit growth. The U.S. [is] performing well but the situation in Europe, especially in Italy, is pretty difficult.”