Leading Footwear Designer René Caovilla Discusses His Fall Collection

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Think sparkly, decadent heels and think René Caovilla. Established in the 1930s by Edoardo Caovilla, the brand shot to fame in the '60 courtesy of the Cleo sandal; complete with its spiraling ankle strap design, it was the shoe to have, and as such, it’s become a collection staple ever since. At this point, Edoardo’s son, René, was at the brand's helm; building on the Maison's foundations, he grew the company with further lines and points of sale, including multi-brand stores, its brick-and-mortar boutiques and its ecommerce site.

Nowadays, when it comes to brand aesthetic, René draws inspiration from its rich heritage, expect the Cleo, of course, crystals and ornate detailing that nod to the past, but he very much has a foot in the future, evolving with our times.

“Sensual and sparkling, the AW collection elevates the house codes with newness and inventiveness, reflecting the changing times and trends while preserving its forever appeal.” René Caovilla

The barely-there shoe

I design for a self-confident and self-aware woman who is at once strong and elegant, independent and sensual, proud and stylish.

Women and their femininity represent the ultimate source of inspiration for my creations. And each shoe should enhance her silhouette, just like the barely-there Irina mule that makes a quiet impact. In emerald green and beige, plus pink for the sandal version, it is characterized by tonal crystals encrusted by hand on the signature rounded straps.

Cleo from the ‘60s

One of my favorite creations is the Cleo sandal I designed in 1969.

Inspired by a Roman bracelet from the Ist century BC, this timeless icon embodies the two defining traits of the house’s aesthetic: the snake motif and lavish crystal embellishments. A genuine cult item and a celebrity favorite, it was displayed at the MoMa in New York in 1975, an achievement that turned it into a modern art icon.

Constantly refreshed with new colorways, it is the ultimate 24/7 style ally, and the new season reveals two awe-inspiring iterations, a round toe silhouette sprinkled with degraded rainbow blue crystals and a brighter burgundy version with a square toe.

The new Aspen lug boot

New to our collection is the Aspen lug boot that draws inspiration from the hiking world, reinterpreting a mountain lodge classic with high-glam desirability.

Rendered in shearling-lined nylon and leather or shearling and leather, it features micro-crystal encrusted laces and welt, a constant trademark of the brand. This style is a perfect encounter of aesthetics and functionality. The secret ingredients are unique heritage, artisanship, technical expertise, and excellent quality.

The chandelier style and its Venetian inspiration

True to its name, the Chandelier shines with a light of its own, this season rendered in crystal-encrusted pink leather, countered by a cascade of rhinestone droplets for an eye-catching effect. Reminiscent of Venetian chandeliers, the Chandelier sandal merges seduction and class, artistry and virtuosity with plenty of sparkle.

Morgana and symbolism

A longtime distinctive symbol of the house, the snake slithers sinuously throughout the new collection, appearing on several Morgana styles for day and night. Here, the crystal-encrusted serpent shows its most refined side, sinuously around the heel or across the upper for the first time. Effortlessly it forms small curves across diverse styles: from sling-backs and sandals that become new icons to a bootie and loafer, a simple shape introduced this season.

See the full collection on renecaovilla.com.

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