Renzo Rossetti, together with his brothers, took his first steps in the footwear industry at the end of World War II, although the company was not officially founded until 1953.
The postwar years saw a renewed passion for sport, and Renzo began making extremely soft and lightweight cycling shoes.
Production was also extended to footwear for professional soccer players, skating, ice hockey and boxing in buffalo leather, an unprecedented innovation in traditional footwear.
Renzo Rossetti branded these first models as “Rossetti Yankee” and laid the foundation for a great future.
Renzo Rossetti made ever greater demands of himself and, determined to achieve excellence, he studied the work of master shoemakers, establishing excellent relationships with the best craftsmen of the day, specializing in ‘made-to-measure’.
At the same time, he realized that, despite the breathtaking pace of change all around, footwear remained rooted in old models.
In the 1960s, he opened the new headquarters in Parabiago, and Renzo Rossetti, working with molds and leathers, began his revolution. This period saw the launch of the iconic Brera loafer and the Yacht sockless shoe.
The 1970s was the decade of collaborations: Renzo Rossetti worked alongside big names that shaped the history of fashion, including Armani, Valentino, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, Mila Schön, Gucci, Ferragamo, Karl Lagerfeld, and Dumas Hèrmes, while firmly maintaining the brand’s identity.
1971 saw the first production of women’s footwear: it was the period of the unisex trend, in which women’s fashion was influenced by men’s fashion, and vice versa. This momentous change in costume history marked the birth of what we now call ‘mannish’ style.
In a similar vein, Renzo experimented with heels: while in the early days of his business men’s shoes measured 33 mm high, in the 1970s they reached the ‘dizzying’ height of 75 mm.
In the same year the historic boutique in Via Montenapoleone was opened, and towards the end of the decade international boutiques in New York, London and Paris were also opened. 1975 saw the birth of one of the icons, the Magenta boot.
Fratelli Rossetti played a leading role in the communication world, bringing about major changes in the industry. Indeed, the brand identity was established during these years.
Designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli created the new logo, which also corresponded to a name change: from ‘Rossetti’ to ‘Fratelli Rossetti’, emphasizing the company’s family nature and generational continuity.
Luca removed all indecision relating to the change when, as a child, he surprised his father by remarking: “We sons are brothers too.”
In the 1980s, fashion became more flamboyant and women’s shoe designs dared to use distinctive colors and shapes.
The 1990s marked a turning point for Fratelli Rossetti in the field of communication, marking the start of a partnership with Giovanni Gastel, the photographer who has portrayed the brand with his iconic shots for years.
In the same period, renowned U.S. architect Peter Marino was approached to renovate the New York boutique on Madison Avenue, and the new concept was extended to all boutiques.
This was also the period of ‘Fratelli Rossetti engineering’, that is, careful design aimed at combining light trekking comfort with timeless elegance. Following careful anatomical studies of materials and a new aesthetic design, the Flexa appeared, a model capable of adapting to any eventuality thanks to its technical nature without losing the allure of a handcrafted shoe.
Thanks to its ability to combine contemporary design and manual techniques, Fratelli Rossetti is an international ambassador for Made in Italy and Italian style.
To celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, a commemorative postage stamp from the Italian Postal Service was issued in 2003 and, three years later, the book ‘A Certain World Walks Rossetti’ was published, in which Renzo recounts the process of becoming an iconic Italian footwear brand.
A major event was also dedicated to this important milestone at the Palazzo dei Tessuti in Milan, hosted by Piero Chiambretti & Co, with a live concert by Patty Pravo.
The 2000s were marked by the brand’s development in the Middle East and Asia, thanks to the opening of the first franchise stores.
In the second decade of the new millennium, the digital era began for Fratelli Rossetti. In 2010 the brand opened its first social media channel on Facebook, while in 2013 it launched its e-commerce site and Instagram profile.
The involvement of Italian and international influencers became increasingly important: numerous collaborations to create new storytelling around the brand.
2011 saw the launch of the iconic Hobo, and four years later the ‘New Artisan’ format was unveiled: the Milan-based company acted as a patron to young artisans, a format exported worldwide.
In the meantime, the Brera model celebrated half a century, and two special projects dedicated to icons were launched: Brera Cult and Magenta Codes.
February 2011 The Fall/Winter 2011-12 collection featured a collaboration with Rebecca Moses, an artist and designer, American by origin and Italian by adoption, who, inspired by the cities of the world where there is a Fratelli Rossetti flagship store, used her illustrations to tell the story of different types of women through a shoe with precise identity codes
2023 is the 70th anniversary year: under the leadership of the Rossetti brothers, the company has prospered over the years, while preserving its artisan approach and family legacy. Today, it continues its mission, combining a long tradition of craftsmanship with extensive research into innovation, while preserving the brand’s distinctive elegance.
Recent openings in Dubai and Doha mark the company’s development in the Middle East and Asia. The new boutiques, all furnished according to the new concept developed by architecture firm Architude, also include those in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Malpensa and Linate airports, Florence, and the restyling of the Via del Babuino boutique in Rome.
September 2021 For Fuorisalone, Fratelli Rossetti presented the limited edition signed by Belgian designer Alain Gilles: a lace-up with a round heel and neat, geometric graphic patterns. Gilles was asked to give his own interpretation of the most classic of classics: he worked on the Oxford shoe, for both men and women, offering a new architectural and graphic vision of the classic leather shoe
June 2022 For Fuorisialone, Fratelli Rossetti presented the genderless sandal designed by architects Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, who gave their own interpretation of it, combining a minimal geometric design with a strong, rigorous mood
Fratelli Rossetti, for the Spring/Summer 2022 season, presented a capsule in collaboration with international style icon Johannes Huebl. This partnership resulted in an original reinterpretation of the ‘Estate’ line of ankle boots, the perfect compromise between Fratelli Rossetti craftsmanship and the elegance that has always distinguished Johannes. The collection consisted of five shoes in different original and contemporary colors. The leather sole was also engraved with Johannes’ signature, an indelible and identifying symbol of the limited edition
2023 Restyling of the Rome boutique in Via del Babuino
Our story is made up of small and large revolutions, always ingenious and never ostentatious, true to our way of being and acting.
From generation to generation, we have created amazing, iconic products, interweaving art, creativity and technology.
The world that Rossetti walks is a world of people who prefer to be rather than to appear, people who are aware of the impact and importance of their choices, for themselves and others.
It is a world that loves to discover and learn, that chooses outstanding craftsmanship, care and attention to detail, that believes in an elegance that transcends time and fashion.
It is a gentle, elegant and smiling world, where style and restraint coexist with grit and character. And sometimes a little irony.
It is a world capable of escaping stereotypes, mixing male and female, and innovating styles and languages.
We began this story 70 years ago.
And we continue, with passion and determination, to believe in it and carry it forward.
Since 1953, a certain world walks Rossetti