Sole Purpose: Franco Sarto Interview You Must Read
The designer behind famous women's sandals and hand bags.
When glancing through the wardrobe of fashion-forward women, one designer is sure to frequent their souls; Franco Sarto. Known for his master talent at combining comfort and design – two skills essential to shoe design, yet the hardest to master at the same time, the Italian born designer fully embodies the mantra of making women happy - not only through boots, wedges, heels and casual wear, but with handbags and purses as well.
Beginning his career in shoe fashion in his early teens, Sarto learned the importance of exceptional quality footwear; while working in a shoe factory, his task was to sit on a stool and hand-last shoes with a hammer and nails. Following his passion to the ‘shoe capital’ of Italy, Stra, he later opened a studio selling prototypes to visiting wholesalers and retailers from around the world.
It is Sarto’s respect and admiration for a quality product that propel his philosophy of a great shoe design. According to the designer, “to do something beautiful that doesn’t come out good, I do not enjoy.” And while Sarto’s footwear is made with quality and comfort first, his talent as a fashion designer never takes a back seat.
FINE Magazine: What was the inspiration behind this collection?
Franco Sarto: Essentially, my Spring designs are centered around two major directions: easy elegance and urban vintage.
FINE: What color represents the essence of the season best in your current collection?
Sarto: Natural colors like sand and taupe.
FINE: What feeling do you want to evoke in those that purchase your footwear?
Sarto: That it is comfortable, that it is fashionable, and that it has a value - a value they can pay for, not an exaggerated value.
FINE: What were you feeling when designing this collection?
Sarto: When I start the collections I always like to do research. When I designed this one I thought about something more practical. I thought about [footwear] you can wear with shorts, you can wear with a jacket; you can add some accessories with a scarf so it could be a little bit more fashionable but at the same time it can be casual and sophisticated. That’s how I started the philosophy of this collection.
FINE: Starting out, did you ever dream of achieving this level of success?
Sarto: No I did not. As a professional I think about the product first and whatever comes after, is a plus. When you have success, it stimulates you to work even better, to be an even better professional; but I always still focus on the product.
FINE: What is your favorite part in the process of creating your shoes?
Sarto: When I find new material; when you have an idea that you know a lot of people will enjoy; doing something that makes me very happy. Each collection that I start, the most important part is when I decide to do the collection. If you ask me when I decide to do the collection what is more important about my collection when I start it or when I finish it? I will tell you when I start it. When I’m done it is not important anymore. The creation is in the beginning and it is the most difficult part. When you decide what to do that is the most important emotion, that you know, you can start with something. That’s what the emotion is.
FINE: Can you describe your Summer Collection?
Sarto: There are three different styles: platform, lower heel, and espadrille; something everyone can wear.