Take us through a typical day in your life as Creative Director of Rene Caovilla.
I am very proud to have taken on the role of Creative Director. I’m the third generation and the youngest CEO in the industry, which has given the brand great success. A typical day as Creative Director involves me travelling – I travel a lot, because I need to understand how people wear and interpret my designs. It is also important to learn about and understand other cultures. When I fly back home I put everything together and I create a plan. I think about the design, the materials and the finishings. My most beautiful creations were envisioned when I was in a state between sleep and being awake in the morning. One of the targets of my company is to create the dreams of my customers.
You are named after your grandfather who started the brand in the early sixties, and you named your son after your father. Do you hope to carry the Caovilla brand through to the next generation?
Rene Caovilla is the first shoe company that has three generations of creative directors – it could be something in the blood! So yes, absolutely, I do wish to pass on the legacy to my children. I have two daughters and one son. All of my kids are more than welcome to carry on the company – it would be a tough experience. Generations have a background history. There are many brands based in Venice but we are the only truly Venetian brand.
How would you describe the Rene Caovilla woman?
The original concept back in the fifties and sixties was about a woman who did not do anything in the morning and went out in the evening. Today's Rene Caovilla woman is now a woman who is active in the day and requests luxury with sport. Most of our customers are aged between 25 and 40. We really love them; they give us really good feedback.
Did your father teach you the shoemaking craft?
It has been a very mutual process. I saw my grandfather when I was a young boy making shoes and I also saw my father at work. It was a mutual pleasure to be taught and to understand and acquire the knowledge needed to manufacture a shoe.
What are some of the unique fabrics and finishings used on Rene Caovilla shoes?
We are recognized as being the best brand for working with Swarovski crystals. Our sparkly soles are our signature born by an idea that our customers can walk on the stars.
What direction do you see the shoe industry going?
I come from a finance and economics background. Fashion is driven by the world economy. There are many parts of the world where new markets are emerging, like China, and other parts that are not doing as well in terms of financial stability. You need to understand which markets are going forward. You need to understand customers and new media. Customers are getting younger and younger. New media is the future of the shoe industry and I like it, because I am quite young in this market.
What do you think of Middle Eastern women's taste when it comes to shoes?
Our Middle Eastern customers are for me our best customers for two reasons: first, they wear the black abayas and then very sparkly shoes and bags which reflects their personalities, and Rene Caovilla itself is a sparkly brand. Second, they are fashion forward ladies. They really embrace fashion. Here in the Middle East there is no fear of luxury; the ladies wear luxury in an appropriate way. In the Middle East such as Doha, a lot of my customers have also become friends. It has been a pleasure and I enjoy it. It really feels like a vacation when I come here.
What do you think of The Pearl-Qatar and its Italian Riviera theme?
I have a huge admiration for the Arabian culture and I am very well attracted by other cultures. It is a pleasure to see how The Pearl-Qatar has been inspired by the Italian culture, and to see our culture remodeled in other parts of the world. Honestly, I am happy to see our culture appreciated. It is such a compliment.
What should a woman bear in mind when shopping for a Caovilla shoe?
The idea they should bear in mind is that they want to be on the edge between being feminine and elegant, and aggressive. That is what I have in mind when I create our collections. It is not an easy concept.
Finally, what are your hobbies?
I love sport and my eldest daughter is at an age where I can share my hobbies with her. I am a water polo player and I am also a good cook.