Paris Fashion Week: Tod's Fetes its Tattooed Footwear

Olivier Borde/Tods
Lily Donaldson

"I think that there are a few designers with a very good sense of fashion and many new PR guys that 'design,'" said brand CEO Diego Della Valle of fashion's current crop.

Italian luxe loafer brand Tod's has gone rogue with its edgy new tattoo collection.

The latest footwear line was celebrated at Paris Fashion Week with a fete that drew models Joan Smalls and Lily Donaldson, style icon Ines de la Fressange, French actress Virginie Ledoyen, and American editors Glenda Bailey and Cindi Levie.

Company chairman Diego Della Valle held court amongst guests at the rue Saint Honore Tod's boutique — and held forth on the current state of the industry.

“Where is fashion anymore? I think that there are a few designers with a very good sense of fashion and many new PR guys that 'design,'" Della Valle told Pret-a-Reporter.

Presumably he’s trying to hire one of those designers to anchor Tod’s, which presented a team-designed collection in Milan following the departure of creative director Alessandra Facchinetti in May 2016.

In the interim, the brand has been working with tattoo artist Saira Hunjan to create a limited range of inked-up messenger bags, and now men’s and women’s footwear, including slip-on sneakers and classic Gommino loafers, as well as limited-edition biker jackets.

Hunjan created a mythical lion-dragon hybrid creature as the symbol of the collection. "Its a symbol of power, but it’s very romantic as well. It’s very much the style I work with inspired by my Indian heritage but also has a really intense, ornate quality to it," she said.

"It's a good way to give our handmade tradition a very, very modern message. People with tattoos are having a free moment," added Della Valle.

Freedom for the feet is maybe the most welcome trend of fashion week. Both Smalls and Donaldson were sporting the brand's sneaks instead of stilettos.