When fashion crosses the boundaries of art it shouldn’t just be cool, wearable, smart or glamorous : It should be inspiring. And this is precisely what the Italian shoe designer Gioia Maini aims at with her latest collection, Supernova.
A Supernova is a star explosion, extraordinarily energetic, which causes the star itself to appear a thousand times more luminous. Gioia’s Supernovas are actually Superhroines: Women who opened the doors for future generations in art, politics, science, music, cinema ad media.Women who stand up for empowerment, causing riots and leading the way through the paths of feminism and self-consciousness without ever losing their irony and knowing that a good sense of humour is often the best weapon.
Gioia explored their worlds, faced Italy’s contemporary society and its dramatically poor recognition of women in general, and decided that the least she could do as a designer was to pay a tribute to these incredible ladies by creating an inspiring, revolutionary, shoe collection: So stepping into the Supernovas is literally stepping into a Superheroin’s shoes.
As in her previous collections, Gioia Maini’s shoes are definitely statement shoes. They stand for freedom of expression, can be adapted to any style and worn in any occasion. Manufactured in Italy, with local leather and first class accessories, they are expressively studied to guarantee maximum comfort and a perfect balance between quality and smartness.
The Supernovas are ageless, because freedom has no age, genderless, because any man who feels confident enough to walk in a SuperWoman’s shoes is welcome to wear them and, most of all, they are far from pre constructed schemes.
The collection features a mixture of, flats, boots and platforms. Shapes are inspired by Gae Aulenti’s architecture and the palette – bold colors like shocking pink and purple mixed with grey and black – recreates Nan Goldin’s photographic atmospheres with a strong shade of red taken from Gina Pane’s body art.
The boots can be worn open or tied up with cords, with a fuzzy reference to bondage. The platforms feature female and anarchic signs , revisiting the traditional Geisha and turning her into a modern warrior. The ankle boots come both with and without heels, in order to satisfy the needs of any kind of Superheroin, and the flats ironically wink to the boy’s wardrobe.
All shoes, more or less discretely, sport sexual elements: whether it’s the open boot, dark outside and voluptuously pink inside, or the wide open-toe of an ankle boot, or more simply the symbol of a vagina scribbled on a platform. Points are shiny varnished and heels and platforms come in black or in their natural wooden color.
The Supernovas are: Rita Levi Montalcini, Guerrilla Girls, Gae Aulenti, Grace Jones, Gina Pane, Shonda Rhimes, Malala Yousafzai, Claude Cahun, Peaches, Nan Goldin, Tina Fey, Ebony Bones.