Giuseppe Zanotti and Swae Lee

Giuseppe Zanotti on working with JLo and creating the perfect gender neutral shoe

The Italian designer teamed up with Swae Lee for a new floral-infused collaboration

World-renowned shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti is known for his dazzling designs that are worn on star-studded red carpets all around the globe. However, he’s also become famous for his colorful collaborations with artists, who he calls his “muses.” In the past, he’s worked with Jennifer Lopez, Rita Ora and Zayn. Now, he’s teaming up with rapper Swae Lee for a collab that’s breaking gender norms in the fashion world. “I think the idea is to create something for both genders,” the Italian designer told HOLA! USA at the launch of the new shoe collection at Saks Brickell in Miami, Florida.

Giuseppe Zanotti and Swae Lee©courtesy of World Red Eye for Saks Fifth Avenue
Giuseppe Zanotti and Sawe Lee unveiled their new shoe collection in Miami

Ranging from $995 to $1,695, the shoe line features “Blabber” sneakers, suede loafers and canvas boots all decorated with the rapper’s favorite color—pink— and with plenty of floral motifs because after all, florals work for both men and women when it comes to fashion. Keep reading to learn more about how this creative duo came together, why they chose to include floral and whether Giuseppe will work with Shakira in the future…

HOLA! USA: How did the collaboration come about?
Giuseppe Zanotti: “Swae Lee is an artist and young. Our collaboration is not street wear, it’s elegance. It’s couture for a guy. It’s very unusual to see an artist in this type of design. I saw him in videos and his style was very cool, very simple. I’m an old generational designer, but crazy. And when people are crazy, they are timeless.”

How do you find the inspiration to create amazing and innovative shoes each season?
“I think the idea is to not believe in either male or female but to create something for both genders. That’s why the flowers are there—they are feminine, but this shoe is for both. I don’t want to be a slave to the system because I want to feel free and decide what to design. That’s why I take the time to follow art.”

How did you guys meet?
Giuseppe: “We met in Paris first, but before we talked in cyberspace.”

Swae: “I had an old song I made before I met him that referenced him, so I’ve always been a fan even before he knew me. But it was crazy because I was in Paris for fashion week and Mr. Giuseppe came into the hotel and I was getting ready for a show and my people come in saying, ‘Mr. Giuseppe is downstairs, and I’m like ‘huh?!’ So I came down and we finally met in person and we constantly clicked. The vibe was there, so we created the shoe.”

Giuseppe Zanotti©Giuseppe Zanotti
The design features florals and Swae’s favorite color: pink

Why floral?
“Flowers are not only for girls; flowers are for everybody. I think flowers are a message that we want to be close to the natural. Flowers are around us. And why not? It’s cool for girls. Shoes are not created for specific genders anymore. Sneakers, combat boots, jeans. There are no limitations. I feel very comfortable in

changing the meaning of couture.”

What are your thoughts on working with JLo and Shakira?
“Jennifer is like an atomic bomb. I used to work with JLo, and she was so nice to me. She invited me into her bedroom and I was excited because she showed me all the clothes and the bag and the shoes. Shakira, she is very cool. She don’t want to tell, but I might be designing shoes for her.”

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