The designer René Caovilla made his way to the most luxurious markets over the past decades with only one goal; to create shoes that are described as the perfect combination of eclectic, romantic, magical, and alive. We sure are witnesses to the splendid selection of the finest shoes the brand has made over the years and the magnificent link with art present in each pair. And like all great geniuses, his voyage started a while ago with a blend of talent and hard work.
René Caovilla’s story goes way back to 1923, when Edoardo Caovilla, established a high-end shoe business in Fiesso d’Artico on the Brenta Riviera. René Fernando, his son, converted the laboratory into a high-end brand that pays more attention to consumer trends after terminating his studies in fashion design in London and Paris. And just like that, The René Caovilla brand was established in 1934. As time passed, the brand slowly started to get bigger and bigger and have more presence in the market as well. René combined goldsmithing, craftsmanship, and art in the 1950s by adding priceless inserts to the footwear. The business started to transition towards high fashion in the 1960s. Caovilla and another genius, Valentino Garavani started working together in 1975, and during the next 25 years, they produced the first line of catwalk models’ shoes.
Getting a little deep into the brand’s link with art we can tell you that at the end of the 1960s, a mutual respect and appreciation between the designer and the American collector led to the beginning of the partnership between René Fernando Caovilla and Peggy Guggenheim Collection. As a result, Caovilla developed a desire to support the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in 2014, joining the Guggenheim Intrapresa and contributing to significant international exhibitions like the now-running Surrealism and magic, on exhibit. The Caovilla woman, strong and feminine, is portrayed as a true modern goddess while sporting the brand’s newest Margot model sandals and the most recent iteration of the Cleo sandals, all in keeping with the idea of the dream becoming reality.
The company manufactured 200 pairs of shoes a day in the 1990s while employing about 70 people, many of whom were graduates of the neighboring regional pattern-making school in Sitra. Production ceased during the high fashion shows, and all focus was placed on the design and manufacturing of a selected few items, which were made in conjunction with the stylists who relied on Caovilla for the footwear in their collection. Along with Valentino, John Galliano, Christian Dior, and Chanel are discussed.
Since the beginning of 2000, the company has been concentrating on building its brand. 2004 saw the opening of Milan’s first mono-brand store, followed by Rome. The company then established boutiques in Tokyo, London, Paris, and Venice. Around 20 boutiques exist worldwide, mostly in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. On-demand, the lab also creates footwear that is worn and promoted by famous people. René Caovilla made a special pair of sandals with two priceless stones for the Sultan of Brunei and among other successes that took place during the same time, it is safe to mention the company doubled its turnover by making significant investments in e-commerce in recent years.
Knowing that good shoes take you to good places, the brand has made sure they have the finest craftsmanship to ensure clients’ exclusiveness and uniqueness. The meeting of the best artisans, the most cutting-edge methods, and the most priceless materials result in Rene Caovilla’s creations. Since the company’s founding in 1934, Edoardo has evolved his clairvoyant intuitions into priceless works of art that have turned each of his shoes into a valuable possession that can be passed down. Rene’s intention while working on the brand, was to let customers with this silver sole, truly feel like princesses and lights in the sky when they tread upon the stars.
In Fiesso d’Artico, innovation and new technologies become the pillars of the ongoing evolution of Caovilla craftsmanship. To achieve the ideal symbiosis of beauty and comfort for each piece of footwear, the most cutting-edge machinery coexists with embroidered art. Each craftsperson sends their finished product for quality control after finishing it, which is crucial for upholding the fashion house’s high standards since its footwear consistently straddles the line between fine art and high craftsmanship. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lopez are just a few of the famous people who stomp on these sparkly silver soles. The collection is offered at La Rinascente, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and other specialized stores worldwide.
Among iconic pieces made by this outstanding genius, we can find the CLEO sandals as a definite protagonist. The unusual ankle strap, created by René in 1969, was modeled after coiled Roman snake bracelets from the first century AD. The shoe was also displayed in 1975 at the MoMA in New York. Particularly for the Cleo model, each sandal requires two days of labor and is checked with at least 20 steps. The metal alloy used to make the snake coil goes around the leg like a gentle hug without restricting blood flow or obstructing it. It continues to be one of the most cherished models of the company, despite the fact that it has since created other popular shoes as well.
Interesting past collaborations of the shoe brand include one with Yasmin Al Mulla in 2021, which saw the Emirati designer create a special window display to honor the Ramadan capsule collection. Along with the nine pairs in the capsule collection, Al Mulla also created a stunning dust bag for the company. The co-branded dust bags, made of opulent white organza fabric, pay homage to the brand’s translucent red counterparts while reflecting the designer’s simple style.
Edoardo Caovilla, the third generation to head the business, took over in 2013 and is the grandson of René Caovilla. The principle Edoardo lives by is to always look ahead. They combine craftsmanship with technology and innovation with tradition in art. As the youngest Creative Director and COO of the oldest company in the sector, they are still able to produce modern and distinctive shoes that follow seasonal trends thanks to this strategy, which strongly signals future potential.
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