Italian shoe guru Fabrizio Viti, who unveiled his first collection last July, took his newest shoes on the road for a pair of trunk shows with Barneys New York in San Francisco and Beverly Hills this week.
While Viti is based in Paris (his "day job" as style director of women's shoes at Louis Vuitton keeps him in the City of Light), he said that his favorite place to shop is Barneys.
"I never think about the business part; I design the collection, you know? But when it was time to be [in a store] somewhere, my first wish was Barneys because that's where I would go in New York in the Nineties, so I've always aspired to be here," he said.
Looking around the multibrand shoe department, he said, "It's funny, I've probably designed many of the shoes that have been here over the years," referring to his past stints working with Tom Ford at Gucci, Miuccia Prada and also Marc Jacobs during his tenure at Vuitton.
Viti's trunk show was preceded by a lunch at Freds hosted by Katherine Ross and Alexia Niedzielski that drew Gaia Repossi, Jaclyn Smith, Tara Subkoff, Alice Eve, Rochelle Gores Fredston, Joséphine de La Baume, Rebecca de Ravenel, Rebecca Dayan, Karyn Lovegrove, Bettina Korek, Jane Buckingham, Wendy Stark Morrissey, Angelique Soave and Wendy Goldberg, among others.
As a surprise, Viti got a Barbie birthday cake for dessert. "She was my first model," he said. "I design my collection with Barbie there." While his own line is full of vintage references and whimsical daisies set on classic and simple silhouettes, he said he loves switching gears for Vuitton, which will present its women's runway show on March 6.
"I love to work with Nicolas. Here, I do everything I imagine; there, I try to get into his brain as well, which is something I really like because I need a sort of space for my fantasy," he said. Viti also works on Vuitton's commercial line, so the range of customers and products keeps him inspired.
For his own line, he noted, "I try to keep a certain kind of reality in the design because I don't like to experiment when somebody else has to pay the price - women have to walk in them."