Fashion

For Casadei, a Family Business Goes Global

From simple sandals for tourists to styling Beyoncé, the Italian company has come a long way in 60 years.
IMAGE DON PENNY/STUDIO D
Comments

In Italy a shoe is not just a shoe. A stiletto is drama, fireworks, an aria of sex appeal and design. Shoemakers talk about their creations as if the higher the heel, the closer to heaven. Arianna Casadei is not a designer, but shoes are her birthright—she is the granddaughter of the Casadei brand’s founders—and she preaches the gospel of fine footwear as smoothly as anyone. A good pair of heels, she says, knocks the wind out of you, “un pugno allo stomaco.

“It’s the accessory that, better than anything else, can lift your mood, embrace your personality, make you feel…” She pauses, searching for the word in English. “Complete.”


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Arianna Casadei is the daughter of the Casadei brand founders.

Based on that premise, the Casadeis cultivated a business that turns 60 this year, riding what began as a mom-and-pop operation selling sandals for tourists on the Italian Riviera into annual revenues of nearly $40 million.

We are focused on our past, but not in nostalgia. —Arianna Casadei

When Beyoncé announced the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour at the Super Bowl in 2013, she did it in a pair of over-the-knee red boots by Casadei’s father Cesare, the label’s creative director, whose designs are ubiquitous on Hollywood red carpets.

At 30, Casadei is the third generation in the family trade, and she’s writing its next chapter as global marketing and communications director, pushing it to expand its e-commerce firepower and adapt beyond evening classics to the changing needs of working women.

Do you feel like shoes are the most important element of an outfit?

Yes, they're the finishing touch!

No, I think it's more about the clothes.

SUBMIT MY ANSWER

A new anniversary capsule collection, for instance, shows off the label’s famous stainless steel “blade” heel enveloped in a plexiglass structure, but reduced to a more versatile, and comfortable, two-inch slingback.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

“Modern women want shoes they can wear from day to night. It’s totally different from the ’80s. They don’t have to wear stiletto pumps to the office anymore,” Casadei says. She, for one, does not. At the factory in San Mauro Pascoli, she cut a dramatic figure gliding through the workshop in a pink paisley Dries Van Noten suit and sensible one-inch booties—in a leopard print, no less.

This story appears in the September 2018 issue of Town & Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

Comments
About The Author
Erik Maza
View Other Articles From Erik Maza
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
One of his fondest projects for a celebrity client took 3,000 hours to complete.
 
Share
April babies get the most coveted gem of all for their birthstone.
 
Share
"We thought this is perfectly normal, everyone must do it."
 
Share
Before the couple arrived in the country on Sunday, no member of the British royal family had visited the country since it came under communist rule.
 
Share
A dozen of the people charged in the massive nationwide fraud are set to appear in court today, but what about the students who benefited from the bribes and fake test scores?
 
Share
Every family is different in how they display their wealth.
 
Share
These classic pieces are some of the most coveted from the brand.
 
Share
There’s far more to "Angels in America" than its tackling of gay and AIDS-related issues.
 
Share
Now you can add the Hermes level of luxury to your beauty routine.
 
Share
There's still some time to catch the musical that features songs by the Apo Hiking Society.
 
Share
The most exotic and family-friendly destinations, both near and far.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US