On Thursday, April 2, master Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi, passed away at age 84 due to COVID-19 complications. According to WWD, Sergio had “contracted the coronavirus and had been hospitalized for days in the intensive care unit of the Bufalini hospital in Cesena,” a region in northern Italy that has particularly been hard hit by the virus.
In an official statement, Sergio Rossi Group CEO Riccardo Sciutto, said, “Today, everyone at Sergio Rossi joins me in remembering our dear Sergio, the inspiring founder of our dream. Sergio Rossi was a master, and it is my great honor to have met him and gotten to present him the archive earlier this year.”
He added, “His vision and approach will remain our guide in the growth of the brand and the business. He loved women and was able to capture a woman’s femininity in a unique way, creating the perfect extension of a woman’s leg through his shoes. Our long and glorious history started from his incredible vision and we’ll remember his creativity forever.”
In keeping with Sergio’s pioneering spirit, the brand launched the ‘Shoes Make a Difference’ campaign last month, joining the fight against COVID-19. The initiative extends support to the hospital ASST Fatebenefratelli – Sacco in Milan with a donation of €100,000 and by launching a challenge to all women who have loved wearing Sergio Rossi collections over the years. All proceeds collected from online sales between 14 and 20 March were also donated for this cause.
Sergio was deeply revered the world over for his ground-breaking designs and was beloved by Rihanna, Adriana Lima, Olivia Palermo and Priyanka Chopra, among other A-listers. Following the news of his death, condolences poured in on social media, with celebrities recalling their most memorable moments with the designer.
Born in San Mauro Pascoli in 1935, Sergio followed in the footsteps of his father and began producing footwear in the early 1950s with his brother, Franco. He launched his company in 1968 and was since a guiding light for the global fashion industry. And for his invaluable services, we say, grazie, Sergio.