In Her Shoes: A Chat With Shoe Designer Anita Flavin

Anita Flavin  - H 2015
Courtesy of Ennio Mecozzi

The designer behind Italian label Ennio Mecozzi counts Amal Clooney — arguably one of the most stylish influencers in the world — among her fans.

Amal Clooney has been setting the style world afire, quickly becoming a major influencer and setting trends since the day she set foot on her then-fiance's yacht the day before her wedding, in a cream Stella McCartney pantsuit with navy trim and matching wide brimmed hat.

Now the world watches what she's wearing with avid attention, making her one of the few who are as globally influential as Kate Middleton when it comes to what she wears from head to toe. When it comes to shoes, Clooney favors classic shapes — pointy toe stilettos that tie back to her ensembles in subtle color coordination.

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Italian shoe label Ennio Mecozzi is among one of her go-to's, especially for high-profile professional moments. While Mecozzi has been producing shoes in the legendary Marche region of Italy for three generations, with Clooney now donning these pumps for the world stage, it's a name you'll most definitely hear more often. Here, we chatted with creative director Anita Flavin to learn more about the brand.

Pret-a-Reporter: What is your inspiration when designing shoes?

Anita Flavin: When designing a collection, the woman I have in mind is a woman of substance, passion and power. I connect with how she wishes to feel when she slips on our shoes. I ensure the silhouettes are most flattering to the feet and legs, and appealing to her playfulness. I try to touch her senses through fun, alluring and sophisticated combinations of colors, leathers and textures. And, going forward our shoes will sport a distinguished royal blue sole!

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I carry a journal with me constantly, devising a wish list for each season of designs, patterns, colors and textures that inspire me; places I visit or movies I watch. Then I source ideas on my wish list by visiting the tanneries, heel and accessory houses in Italy and visualize who the woman is, how she will feel when she puts the shoes on her feet, what occasion she will wear her shoes to and how she will style her look.

How did Clooney discover the brand?

Amal visited our website last June and placed orders from our classic collection, which is for both formal and professional occasions. Amal chose the style "Amal," which is a combination of nude and black leather offering an alternative to the classic pump with flattering crisscross straps that secure the feet, enabling her to walk with confidence and sophistication. She ordered "Daphne" in royal blue suede, which is loved for its simple, chic and timeless silhouette and also ordered the "Alexa," which is crafted from a tactile variety of leathers and suedes combined with neutral hues and embellishment. Ennio delivered Amal's orders personally to her and George's Italian residence.    

What is your favorite Ennio Mecozzi shoe Amal has worn so far?

I believe a woman decides on the shoes she will wear as a reflection of how she wishes to interpret herself to the world. Amal Clooney stepped out in Ennio Mecozzi at an international high profile court case in Egypt. When designing these shoes I had Amal in mind and I had visualized them with a similarly chic look that Amal chose to wear them with — a satin trimmed crepe beige Gucci suit with a single-breasted jacket and flared trousers.

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How do you work together?

Initially Amal's stylist corresponded with my team, however since our relationship has developed I liaise directly with her PA at present. We were delighted when Amal ordered more shoes and is currently reviewing our party range.

What other celebrities have worn Ennio Mecozzi shoes?

Each shoe I design is named after the woman of celebrity status I had in mind to wear them. I was deeply honored when Poppy Delevingne ordered shoes and matching bag called Poppy — she did not realize that I had designed them especially for her! I always welcome feedback and love to hear from women that I have designed and named the shoes for. To me, Angelina Jolie is an excellent example of the Ennio Mecozzi woman I design for. We have four shoes in our collection named after Angelina. So it is intriguing to see how this will transpire!