Ilio Smeraldo presents its second collection this year in collaboration with a powerful team of creators, fashion insiders and influencers
Haute couture is nourished both by the experience of the great maisons who have established themselves over time as the dominant elite thanks to their ideas and their more or less variable iconic identity, and by the creative talents who cyclically renew the fashion market through the introduction of new brands with new stimuli and new ideas ready to reinvigorate global style and trends. Michele Franzese Moda has always been engaged on the one hand in the essential link with luxury and high fashion brands on the other hand in carefully following the new brands ready to become trendy. One of these new brands that has recently entered the orbit of Michele Franzese Moda is Ilio Smeraldo. The Ilio Smeraldo brand was born just 2 years ago in November 2020 and was founded by Barbara Borghini, former founder and creative director of Gia Borghini. All the footwear models created are strictly handmade in Tuscany by local artisans with Italian leathers and zero-km materials and are distinguished by a fake emerald set in the sole, hence the choice of the reference in the name to the splendid green precious stone. With a global mindset and an exquisite aesthetic, Ilio Smeraldo presents its second collection this year in collaboration with a powerful team of creators, fashion insiders and influencers. From an idea of the entrepreneur and designer Barbara Borghini, a group has thus been created that thrives on diversity, giving voice to creators with different backgrounds, styles and stories, all oriented towards female empowerment. An official note reads with reference to this great dynamic team of creatives that “Ilio Smeraldo is proud to collaborate with strong personalities who live up to the values that inspire and guide the brand. Each creator is a spokesperson for those values and a valuable addition to the group of fashion professionals, artists, influencers and advocates we have built with so much passion.” Craftsmanship is the key point of the brand: “Our shoes are made in Tuscany by local artisans, every single piece is handcrafted with care using Italian leather and locally sourced materials. We are proud to carry on the ancient Florentine tradition, guaranteeing quality and uniqueness.” The creative team involved is truly remarkable, let’s find out together. The famous very young Italian influencer Giulia De Lellis on this new collaboration of hers which sees her co-creator of some iconic scrunchy boots says: “This collaboration stems from two important values that we share: family and Women Empowerment. Guarding identity of a brand that supports women is a concept I was excited to collaborate with and for which I fight.The name Ilio Smeraldo derives from the name of the founder’s father and it is a detail that immediately made me feel part of the whole project. With the team we have created shoes that can be perfect and worn for any occasion, comfort is essential and together with design we have brought together styles that are sexy, elegant and wearable by any woman by highlighting her confidence, the most seductive feature in each of us .” Hannah Strafford-Taylor, a prominent influencer and content creator predominantly in the fields of luxury fashion, beauty and travel, says: “I’ve been friends with Barbara for many years and I love her philosophy for empowering women other women. I was so happy when she asked me to design a boot for her amazing new adventure Ilio Smeraldo”. Laura Bailey, model, writer, photographer and British Vogue editorial contributor in the same vein explains that “It is an honor to collaborate with Ilio Smeraldo, a company whose passions and ethics align with mine. I wanted to create the perfect ankle boot that I will wear this autumn/winter and beyond. So London, so 70s, but versatile and chic with my favorite denim or tailoring or a vintage dress. Pattie Boyd and Grace Jones on my mood board, olive platform ankle boot is my shoe of the season. A percentage of the profits will go to support the work of the Fiorenzo Fratini Foundation – an organization dedicated to improving the emotional and economic lives of the most vulnerable women and girls.” Géraldine Boublil, alumna of Givenchy and Dior says: “For this autumn-winter season I decided to carry on last year’s boots by adding the elegant cream suede. We had a great response to that style, which is completely timeless and classic. I wanted to create the perfect pointed toe boots with a medium toe high heel, that women can wear all day long, from commute to work to evening drinks. They look great with jeans paired with a blazer, dress, or leggings with a long piece, for example.” And finally Justine Lee, a Hong Kong-based fashion stylist and consultant with over a decade of experience in styling, publishing and marketing and former fashion director of Hong Kong Tatler, concludes: “It has been incredibly inspiring to work with the Ilio Smeraldo team – they have been so supportive every season and it is crazy to think that we have been working together for 2 years and have not yet met face to face. I was living in my soft boots from FW21, so for this season I wanted to keep the shape and style but introduce them in suede and new color combinations.” In short, great ideas but also great quality and sensitivity, this is the fashion we like.