Fiorentini + Baker may be based in Bologna, Italy and co-designed by a Brit (Deborah Baker is from England), but that didn’t keep the luxury shoe brand from choosing its Venice Beach store as the location for its debut of the spring/summer 2015 collection. As guests sipped on wine, enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, and shopped to benefit the Children Action Network charity, I asked Baker, who collaborates on Fiorentini + Baker with interior designer Paolo Fiorentini, about the line, the Mediterranean summer-inspired collection, and her decision to show it in Los Angeles.
What made you want to design shoes?
I had to go to this posh private school where I wore the same shoes every day, and it was something about those shoes—I became obsessed. That, and I remember my grandmother had a collection of various bright colored shoes and I was always fascinated by them. I guess I’ve just always had a thing for shoes.
From where do you most often draw inspiration?
It could be anything, from a picture to an interesting old lady on the street with cool-looking shoes, to a film. It really is just everywhere, and sometimes I don’t even know where I got inspired. It’s just this feeling, and it clicks in your brain.
What is the theme for this collection?
Well, I wouldn’t say I ever really have a conscious theme, but the colors are very much inspired by this strange, dark Mediterranean summer with dark blue skies and abstract shapes.
Which is your favorite piece from the collection?
The Pitt boots in Ottanio. It’s a classic boot in the new color of the season.
What three words would you use to describe your overall aesthetic?
Authentic, comfortable, and sassy.
What makes your brand unique?
The way [our shoes] are made in little artisan factories is what makes them unique. Also, it’s not directed by what’s trendy. You can wear [our shoes] now or five, ten, fifteen years from now.
Why did you pick Abbot Kinney as the location for your only store in Los Angeles?
We kept looking at different areas and for whatever reason we kept coming back here. I love the vibe of this street. There are cute shops with authentic goods and everyone is so nice. It just seemed right.
Jacqueline Valle is a fashion and lifestyle blogger. She enjoys weekend brunches, finding and trying new restaurants around the city, reading about astrology, and spotting the latest street style trends.