The art of living in fine Italian shoes
Shoe designer, Annalisa Lippis’ passion and elegance illuminates as she welcomes me with a big smile. She asks my daughter, who has accompanied me, how she is and immediately complements her on her cherry red winter boots.
Dressed in black with a perfect pair of her self-designed “presentosa black” moccasins gracing her feet she begins by ordering a coffee and telling me her story… I am instantly contained by her vibrant energy and passion for her craft.
Australian born Annalisa studied Industrial Design at UNISA, Adelaide and then worked internationally. Mexico, China and India to name a few of the fascinating countries she subsisted in. However, her appetite for fashion and creating shoes overwhelmed her and in 2010 Annalisa moved to Milan, Italy to master the skill at the prestigious school of footwear design, Ars Sutoria. This is where she learnt and enhanced her technical artistry and recognized her potential. It is also where she met, worked and collaborated with some of the most influential designers and her network was cultivated.
Annalisa’s roots are in Abruzzo and speaking with her it is evident that her roots are at the forefront of her designs. Her inspiration and intriguing logo is derived from the presentosa. A symbol she had been drawn to as a young girl after seeing her grandmother wear the beautiful design around her neck. Now Annalisa wears her grandmother’s necklace, and I see the sentimentality as she tells me of her memories of her grandmother.
It is the Italian in Annalisa that permeates her thoughts and drives her vision to ensure that the craft is sustained in Italy. Her shoes are 100% made in Italy and she is there at every step of the way to make certain of this. For it is her brand and style that she believes is for “versatile women who change the world”. Her shoes or as I like to call it – ‘footwear of elegance and seduction for the empowered woman’ – are exquisite, luxurious and timeless.
Annalisa’s faith in the craft that resides in Italy is undeniable as she describes, “There’s something about the Italian hand”. All her leather for her shoes are sourced in Italy, “It’s hand cut, it is cut by someone’s hand” she exclaims, “I have a connection and I do not want the craft to die, I do not want to lose the art”! She delves further into the relationship she has with her craftsman, “It’s like family and we discuss all the little things”, then in a moment of redemption, she proclaims, “you can’t really understand unless you love shoes, unless you’re Italian”!!! I did understand – I love shoes! However, I am not an Italian, but am married to one so I did comprehend, the culture, the passion, and the art of – living, in fine Italian shoes!
Annalisa dreams of one day owning her own studio, designing for her-self and having different lines, including sneakers and bridal shoes. To create the design it-self is a short time she reveals, however it is the technical aspects that take time. To be a designer she admits “is the technical knowing, knowing the line and form, shape and height of the heel. It is about being thoughtful and comfortable! Comfortable can be beautiful!” Her latest collection was inspired by Scanno a town in the Abruzzo region, in which she elucidates about the way the people move and dance around the village. It is based upon traditional farmer footwear, with the exciting lace up design. I ask about fashion and how does she know not to push it too far. “Following trends are intuitive”, divulges Annalisa and it is in that moment that it is clear to me that she absolutely was born to create.
Her current market is women between the age of 30 to 50 still working and looking to bestow upon their feet graceful and comfortable shoes for any day of the week. The versatility in style is evident in her clients who sought after her shoes, from brides to celebrity rock’ n ’roll musicians.
Her shoes are stocked at stores in Adelaide and while Annalisa continues to try to make her mark in Melbourne and nationally they may be purchased online at www.annalisalippis.com.