A René Caovilla sandal from 1995 to be exhibited at the Venice Biennale.
MILAN — René Caovilla was selected to represent Italian footwear at the 57th Venice Biennale as part of the Luxus exhibition at the city's Pavilion, revolving around the theme of luxury.A press conference to present the project will be held on Monday with the mayor of Venice in attendance. The exhibit will be inaugurated on May 12, then open to the public beginning the following day and run until Nov. 26.René Caovilla will be flanked by other artistic and traditional crafts from the city, such as glassblowing, mosaics, textiles and porcelain.“For over 80 years, we have been taking the inspiration for our shoes from the myriad facets of both art and Venice itself, a timeless city that continues to astonish and hold spellbound anyone that comes into contact with it," said chairman René Fernando Caovilla. "We are conscious that we have been part of something unique and extraordinary for three generations and so we have always attempted to use our creations to interpret the marriage of Venetian haute craftsmanship and the world of art."Caovilla also sees this as "a great opportunity to celebrate our relationship with the city. In fact, the project stems from a desire to rediscover a sense of the contemporary in tradition, underscoring a link with the local area that has flourished for over 80 years. As the first entirely handmade Venetian footwear brand, Caovilla simply had to be part of the project.”In September, Caovilla unveiled a video dedicated to the brand's hometown, Venice, to coincide with the city's film festival, which focuses on the artisans working in the city's "calli," the narrow streets between the canals, from a gondola maker to a textile workshop where brocade is woven on 18th-century looms. At the time, René Caovilla's son Edoardo, creative director and chief operating officer, acknowledged the influence of the city on the brand's designs.
Inside the Venice Pavilion, visitors are shown how the jeweled shoes are created through a sensory experience, with color and scent interplays and lighting effects.The company was founded in 1923 in Fiesso d’Artico, a footwear hub outside Venice, by Caovilla's father Edoardo, who opened his first atelier in 1934. After his design education in Paris, his son took the reins of the company in 1955, steering the brand into the couture segment and incorporating precious stones and luxury fabrics into the artisanal designs. The Fiesso d’Artico workshop and headquarters are housed in a Palladian villa.The exhibition will display some of the brand's most famous models, such as the Snake sandal designed in 1968 that was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1975.[caption id="attachment_10881993" align="aligncenter" width="731"] The 1975 Snake sandal.[/caption]In 1999, the company began to expand with its own stores, opening its first Milan boutique in Via Bagutta, near Via Montenapoleone, followed by units in Paris, Rome, Venice, London, Doha, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai and, most recently, Dubai, reaching a total of 13.[caption id="attachment_10882024" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The new René Caovilla boutique in Dubai.[/caption]Caovilla's son Edoardo joined the business in 2009, quadrupling the company’s revenues in less than a decade and expanding it globally. Exports now account for more than 90 percent of sales, equally divided between North America, the Middle East and Asia. Revenues now total more than 40 million euros, or $43.6 million, said Edoardo Caovilla, who expressed his pride "in a strategy that is aimed not only to grow our revenues, but to build all company sectors structuring our management, strengthening and sharing strategies and rejuvenating the workforce and the precious team of artisans."The company has doubled the space dedicated to offices and production at the plant and headquarters. "This underscores on one side the attention that we pay to all segments collateral to production and manufacture and, on the other side, inserting new state-of-the-art machinery for the treatment of hides and fabrics, the opportunity to start on new design paths. I would call this a full evolution of the Caovilla magic," he concluded.[caption id="attachment_10882932" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] René Caovilla LED sandal.[/caption]
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye