"Addio, Maestro," writes Gianvito Rossi on his Instagram post, referring to his father and mentor, world-renowned shoe designer Sergio Rossi, who has died due to COVID-19 complications at age 84.
The Italian designer is best known for impeccable footwear and is a go-to of many for his slinky strappy sandals with curved soles. His pairs of sharp-toed, high-heeled pumps and platforms are also beloved pieces from the brand.
In his 50-year career, he has collaborated with numerous designers like Azzedine Alaïa, Gianni Versace, and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who used Sergio's designs in their own collections. Sergio is also a favorite among celebrities like Rihanna, Paris Hilton, and Ariana Grande who often paired her oversized sweaters and hoodies with Sergio's thigh-high boots.
Sergio learned the art of shoemaking from his own father and began his business ventures 1966 in Bologna, Italy. He then grew it into his namesake brand in 1968. He helmed the Sergio Rossi brand until 2004, when the Gucci Group, now Kering Group, bought the company.
"Today everyone at Sergio Rossi joins me in remembering our dear Sergio, the inspiring founder of our dream," said Riccardo Sciutto, CEO Sergio Rossi Group. "Sergio Rossi was a master, and it is my great honor to have met him and gotten to present him the archive earlier this year. His vision and approach will remain our guide in the growth of the brand and the business.He loved women and was able to capture a woman’s femininity in a unique way, creating the perfect extension of a woman’s leg through his shoes. Our long and glorious history started from his incredible vision and we’ll remember his creativity forever."
"There are those who have had the good fortune to transform their art into a work and those who have the extraordinary talent of transforming their work into a work of art. Sergio Rossi was this man," his family said in a statement obtained by WWD.