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Founded in 2014 by Francesca Pisano, Catherine de’ Medici 1533 is a footwear brand celebrating the designer’s love for end-century style. A vintage collector herself, Francesca began collecting vintage shoes, researching their long-lost designers and original fabrication techniques. When she could no longer find the shoes she coveted at vintage and second-hand shops, she decided to remake them for a new generation; she named her brand Catherine de’ Medici 1533 to remind everyone that women’s ultimate fetish accessory was initially introduced by an Italian, like her. A recent finalist for “Who Is on Next” competition launched by Vogue Italia, Francesca sat down with us to discuss her collection, the story behind naming her label and future plans.

Tell us a few words about your background, and how you broke into fashion.

I have always loved fashion, it’s in my Italian DNA. My husband works in fashion, as well. When I moved to Miami with him for business, I decided to drop out the law carrier and start doing what I love, and know best.

Catherine de Medici 1533 is an unusual name for a fashion brand — some would say. Why did you decide on this name, and how is her persona inspiring your work?

Catherine de’ Medici is the icon of innovation par excellence. In 1533, she introduced heels to the world — along with the forks, the underwear, and so many other things! She has always been an inspiration for me; she was a truly innovative woman.

Bicolor shoes are your signature. How did you come to this?

It was a natural choice for me. I’ve always been attracted by contrasts, when it comes to art and design. Mixing colors is a kind of art.

What are the colors and main materials you use for your collections?

I use bold colors, and premium leathers and fabrics, such as goatskin and satin. My favorite color is red.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

I’m so proud to be a finalist for WION (Who Is On Next?) — a Vogue Italia emerging fashion designers contest.

What is your relationship with shoes? Are you a shoe-lover yourself?

Of course, I am. In particular, I’m a vintage collector; I love buying shoes and clothing for my personal collection.

How does it feel establishing an Italian brand in 2014?

My brand is an American brand based in Miami. The shoes are made in Italy to honor my heritage.

What kind of shoes are you in the mood to see women wearing this summer?

Contemporary, feminine and funny shoes!

What are you currently working on, and what are your future plans?

I’m working on the Fall/Winter 2016 collection that will be very glamorous and fun — Can’t wait to invite you guys to discover it! — and my brand’s positioning in retail.
Images © Catherine de’ Medici
Special thanks to REP
Interview by Alexandra Zografou


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Originally published at on December 7, 2015.



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