10 mINUTes wItH sEbASTiaN mILAnO

The cult Milanese shoe label you need to know

Words by Koibird Fashion Team

In operation since the 1970s, Sebastian Milano is well-known for quality and craftsmanship. Plus, who can say no to shoes with braids and puffy straps? Here, Angelica Fagioli, its creative director, and Paola Michel Piza, its designer, reveal all you need to know about the brand.

What fact will surprise consumers about your brand?

Angelica: That our team is 90% women! We really believe in girl power and in the beautiful phrase ‘empowered women empower women’ – and we implement it.

What is Sebastian Milano’s icon style piece?

Angelica: Our braided puff [available at KOIBIRD, of course]!

How should you style it?

Paola: With all the details and bold colours, I guess the shoes speak for themselves. So, I would probably wear them with cargo pants and a crop top or a simple white t-shirt. Or maybe some sweatpants with a hoodie. Or I’d wrap the laces over straight leg jeans.

“OuR TEam iS 90% wOMEn.”

Which leading character would wear Sebastian Milano?

Paola: In terms of older examples, I would say Elle Woods from Legally Blond, Romy and Michele from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in The City. As for newer ones, it would be Renata from Big Little Lies, Maddy from Euphoria, and Ruby Matthews from Sex Education.

What is the essence of Milanese style to you?

Angelica: I see Milanese style as belonging to the soul of the Sebastian Milano woman. It means refined elegance – nothing too elaborate, but always fresh, feminine, and modern.

What, or who, inspires your shoe design?

Paola: I am often asked this question, and I can never give a precise answer. There are moments where I just start putting together everything I like with everything I’ve researched and mix it up. The first few ideas don’t always work, so it takes a lot of experimentation. Like how to close a shoe, for example. Should it be with laces? A buckle? An elastic? There are so many options that you realise there are no limits to creativity. The hardest part for me is when I have a deadline and I’m ‘forced’ to stop, but I guess if it wasn’t for this I would never finish a collection!

“tHERe aRE sO mANy OpTiOns THat yOU REaLisE tHERe aRe nO LImiTs tO cReaTIViTy.”

Be honest, how many pairs of shoes do you own?

Angelica: I'm a size 37. The samples and prototypes are made in 37. So, let's imagine!

With names like ‘Puff’, does comfort play a large part in the design of your shoes?

Paola: Yes. The sole is also puffy! This means that under what you see there is a small cushion-like structure built by our artisans that gives it more comfort. Plus our heels being a bit wider gives you more stability.

What does the future of fashion look like?

Paola: I see it with a lot of fluidity and diversity: androgynous looks, fun prints, lots of rhinestones, psychedelic colours and streetwear style.

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