Giuseppe Zanotti Unveils Collaboration with Rita Ora

Ora’s dedication to the Zanotti collection encouraged an old-school approach to crafting a couture shoe collection that includes her signature bright red lip and affinity for comfort and the Cuban Chain Link design.

Off the heels of Giuseppe’s Zanotti’s spring stiletto launch – pun intended- consisting of classic black and a rosy nude color scheme, with effeminate floral, charms and rhinestones, he’s pulled a Beyoncé with a surprise release for a new collection with Rita Ora.

The collaboration, scheduled to release January 24 at Zanotti ateliers, Newman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue, is focused on Ora’s favoring of block heels, and her penchant for the tightly linked Cuban link chain made popular by the hip hop, urban chic legends. The chain will only come in gold, a detail that Zanotti emphasized when gushing about the golden girl herself, whose music he has fallen head over heels for.

Though Zanotti has worked with Zayn Malik and Jennifer Lopez prior, he appreciates Ora for her penchant to multitask, a quality that he considers an “efficient” means of doing what both designers and musicians do on the daily: “research everything, everywhere.” True to couture, Ora’s hands, or rather feet were all in when it came to the design process. She met with Zanotti in person, enabling him to design the chain-heeled shoes in an antiquated “artisanal” manner.

via Giuseppe Zanotti

The press-shoot captured sketches Zanotti drew up with Ora, and looking thoroughly enraptured. Ora sent him photos of her favorite shows – as per request – to ignite the creative process. Zanotti then began crafting by hand the initial shoe models.

The collection runs the gamut from mules to stilettos despite Ora’s preference for comfort in chunky block heels. “If I was going to do a heel, it would be a boot-fit heel and very steady, so I don’t fall over,” she said. The collection reads as a job description: stage-wear that requires both comfort and stage presence.

She specifically requested that slide-on sandals in PVC be included because of a personal memory of having made it. “I’ve always loved his slides, so I knew we had to do a pair; it was a shoe that I remember always wanting, then saving money for, and buying.” The Ora-Zanotti Collection is valued with a starting rate of $795 to $2,495.

For both designer and singer, co-designing footwear isn’t foreign territory. In 2016, Ora teamed up with Adidas, confessing that she has “always been a sneakers kind of girl” and “would definitely wear an athletic-looking shoe on the red carpet.” Speaking of which, her go-to bright red lipstick was included in the line just as it is in the Zanotti capsule collection with a forgiving black and Zanotti-included fuchsia color scheme.

And while the designer’s work-break includes dancing to Ora’s “For You” and “Girls,” arguably still working in progress, Ora’s quote unquote break consists of posting a photo of her and the designer- she draped in golden Cuban chain links, arms folded in lady boss resting state and Zanotti with a fist perched under his chin, uncannily similar to “The Thinker” sculpture.

According to Zanotti, Rita Ora’s aesthetic, particularly the Cuban link chain, is on trend twofold, both in the return of grunge, thanks in part to Marc Jacobs, and the season: “There’s a hard rock and grunge feel to it and I think the chain is a very aggressive element — but in a good way. Chains are also a timeless accessory and I think it’s the perfect seasonal accessory for spring and summer, perfect for the clubs.”

Saks Beverly Hills is chartered for the launch party on the 24th.


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