ANJA RUBIK has designed a capsule footwear line for Giuseppe Zanotti. The collections of five styles are inspired by two of the model’s music heroes – Debbie Harry and David Bowie – and will launch in stores and online in early March. Prices range between €550 (£480) and €1,400 (£1,200).
“It’s a bit glam-punk,” Rubik told us. “I love that period in music. I’m a huge Bowie fan. People have said I look like him, which is honestly the biggest compliment. I think it’s the high cheekbones. His style was so bold and brave and his music so honest. The whole collection is very personal to me, there is a real story behind it.”
Zanotti and Rubik met when the Polish beauty was 16 through mutual friends. The model appeared in one of his campaigns, but they didn’t meet again for another six years when they worked together for a second time. She has since starred in numerous adverts for the Italian brand.
“We’re very good friends,” she said. “We’ll always have lunch together when I’m in Milan and I’ll always tell him what I like and don’t like about his shoes. One day I said to him: ‘Maybe you should do something a bit more punk.’ And he said, ‘Why don’t you design it for me?’ It happened very organically.”
Rubik travelled down to the designer’s Italian factory to make sure she was fully involved in the whole process – although she wasn’t prepared for the cultural differences between Italy and her hometown, New York.
“That Italian way of working – it took a while to get used to,” she said. “I’d arrive and everyone would say, ‘come on we’re going out for lunch.’ Then we’d return a few hours later. There was a lot of wine and food. It was how life should be – the perfect balance of work and play.”
That’s not to say that the road to design success was an easy one: “I was trying to show the factory-workers what I was going for and I found this piece of old suede on the floor and started cutting shapes in it to give them a better idea,” she recalled. “Then Giuseppe walked in and asked: ‘Has anyone seeing my favourite glasses cloth?’ I was so embarrassed.”
Rubik isn’t ruling out a possible second collaboration, having enjoyed her first design project so much.
“I’m just going to take it slowly,” she said. “If I did it again, I might create a collection at more accessible price points. I tried my best with this though and I’m happy with the results. I just hope that everyone else does too.”
text by vogue.co.uk