A Black and Paper exclusive interview with shoe designer Walter De Silva.
When a man has a love of feminine elegance matched with a skill of design of course he becomes a shoe designer.
A background in car design, how did you move into shoe design?
Honestly, I consider myself a designer, not a fashion designer. I am a car designer, industrial designer. My approach is to design the heel, design the line, the proportions.I like cars and shoes.
I do not follow fashion, I follow my passion, my dream.
Why did you decide to design women’s shoes?
Two reasons: One, historicalreason, my grandfather had a shoe factory in Milan between the wars. In my family everyone spoke about shoes. Secondly, I like night shoes. They have sex appeal on women who wear them.
Should a woman wear a all everyday?
NO! NO! As I said, my shoes are for the night, after 7, starting with a cocktail, then dinner, a drink before going to a disco.
What is your shoe philosophy?
Elegance! Proportion! Sex Appeal! From the elegance and proportion side, I design shoes for them to look like one element from heel to toe, seamless. From the sex appeal side, A woman needs a strong personality to wear my shoes because she is sending out a message.
Is there one famous woman who you would like to wear your shoes?
Why Sharon Stone?
As I said, Personality! Her biography is one of a lady with a lot of experience. Super elegant! Cool! Honest Eyes! I do not know her but she is the type of person for my shoes.
You do not follow fashion, can you explain?
I like fashion. I admire many fashion designers. I cannot say I am a fashion designer. I have a different background. I am a product designer stimulated by different interests.
Are you one of those designers who like to perpetuallycreate?
Creating is is the soul and heart. There is a lot of preparation involved in designing. You have to know where you come from if you want to have a visual reference. Today design is about aestheticas well as problem solving. Once I had a client who wanted to have lights for a certain type of ambient. This project not only involvedtechnologybut transforming it into something special for everyone.The company head was very proud of the final work.
What is the design process?
I think about what would a lady like to wear. My approach is from an architecture point of view. Design is a discipline, architecture is one part. Shoe design is a micro discipline.Functionality is very important.
When was the label founded?
I started Walter De Silva Shoes 2015, presenting one collection per year. My shoes are Created and Made in Italy. Even the boxes are Italian. This means a lot. I have to say “Thank You” to Barney’s New York for launching me in the States. Step by Step more retailers have come onboard from all over the world.
What are the brand’s future plans?
This is our, his wife, is a part of the company, Emmanuelle, is cofounder and CEO, last kid! We have 5. (Laughing) I always introduce new designs in Milan and Paris during Fashion Weeks.
I will maintain 15 styles a year with changes in colors and materials, always for the evening. Perhaps I will add ankle boots in the future.
Check out the video: http://www.blackandpaper.com/2018/06/25/desilva-elegance/