Sculptures or shoes? Meet shoe designer Alejandra Simonetta
Argentinian footwear designer Alejandra Simonetta describes her shoe designs as "sculptural handmade designs", and this they definitely are. Going through her shoes, you wonder whether they should be in a museum or worn by Lady Gaga. Although Alejandra also designs bespoke ready-to-wear shoes for her customers, it is her innovative and conceptual shoe designs that really grasped the attention of our editorial team. Eager to find out more about the designer, our team spoke with Alejandra Simonetta.
Your pieces are often inspired by architecture. Why do you choose to combine architecture and fashion in your shoes?
What I like about architecture and footwear, is that they share a common structure and their main functions is support. As shoes support our full body, there are a lot of architectural elements at play. The balance of both form and design is inherent in both architecture and footwear. I also love how contemporary architectures, such as Santiago Calatrava, push the boundaries of design in such a simple and innovative way.
You design a mix of both conceptual and more ready-to-wear pieces, which one do you prefer more?
I love doing both, but prefer creating conceptual pieces. Conceptual design allows me to express myself the most as there are no limits to the design process. You really have the ability to explore your creative abilities. Plus, conceptual design is 100% me whereas when I'm creating bespoke shoes, I have to meet the requirements of the client.
Which of your conceptual work was the most difficult to create?
External bones was so much hard work. I was working 12 hours a day for weeks on end. There were so many different materials and manufacturing processes involved.
What is your favourite piece from your own designs?
Depends on the day. But now I would choose this one (see below), they're my babies!
How did you get into fashion?
My grandma was a seamstress. So when I was young she was always making clothes and I so I learned from how to make clothes. When I was 13, I was already making my own clothes for when I went out. Then when I was 18 and getting ready to start university, I actually did not go into fashion right away. I first tried to start studying product design. But, I changed my mind and chose fashion design. But then when I did fashion design, I missed product design, and so I chose to study footwear!
Who is your favourite shoe designer?
I have many designers that I admire. However, Tea Petrovic is my favorite.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I hope to launch my own brand next year. It will consist of a mix of shoes and accessories.
Will the brand be under your own name?
I can't say the name yet. My conceptual work will still be under my own brand, but my new brand will be under a different name, I'm keeping them separate.