Founded in 1953 in Parabiago, Italy by brothers Renzo and Renato Rossetti, the company specializes in beautifully made dress and casual footwear with special attention focused on comfort. For instance, Renzo Rossetti had a brilliant idea in the late 1960s while attending the menswear collections at San Remo, Italy’s fashion capital prior to Milan. Watching models on the runway in casual shirts worn without T-shirts, he wondered why shoes should require hosiery and proceeded to create a pliable leather loafer with a soft terry-cloth lining. That concept is the genesis of the company’s casual Flexa and Rossetti One lines, which include easy-fitting loafers and sneakers, many with technically advanced rubber soles and anatomical insoles that, while cushioning and stabilizing the foot, helps reduce pressure on the spine. For spring 2010, Rossetti expanded further on that idea with the introduction of its new Glove loafer, a malleable slip-on made of deerskin or calfskin featuring a superior flexible bottom. In dress footwear, the brand specializes in Blake-fitted soles, meaning that the sole and insole are sewn to the upper at the same time, which greatly increases the shoe’s lightness and flexibility.
In the 1960s owner Renzo Rossetti introduced the idea of the tassel to the traditional penny loafer, a small adornment that seemed shocking to conservative Italian gentlemen at the time. This year Rossetti launches the “Icone” Project, a program whereby the storied Italian shoemaker will release one updated version of an iconic footwear style from its extensive archives each season. The first in the series is a tasseled loafer the company calls Brera, after the historic artistic district of Milan, which is scheduled for release in fall 2010.