On Friday morning, it was reported that the famed Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi died in Cesena, Italy at the age of 84. The cause of death was the coronavirus.
Italy is one of the nations hit hardest by the pandemic. At the end of February, Milan Fashion Week came to a screeching halt as the virus took hold of the country’s northern region. A little over a month later, Italy has a reported 115,242 cases and 13,915 deaths.
“Today, everyone at Sergio Rossi joins me in remembering our dear Sergio, the inspiring founder of our dream,” Sergio Rossi Group chief executive Riccardo Sciutto wrote in a statement. “Sergio Rossi was a master, and it is my great honour to have met him and gotten to present him the archive earlier this year. His vision and approach will remain our guide in the growth of the brand and the business.”
Mr. Rossi founded his namesake brand in 1951 and went on to become one of the most renowned accessory designers in Italy — a country known for handcrafted accessories — collaborating with everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Gianni Versace. It was a family business: Rossi’s father was a shoemaker, and his son, Gianvito Rossi, went on to start his own successful accessories brand.
Gianvito said that his father put up a noble fight against the coronavirus, adding that he was hospitalized for a few days before his death. “He has always stood out for his class and his strong, charismatic, generous, courageous character: a natural leader, loved and respected at the same time by his collaborators, with whom, in the long journey of his life, he created one big family,” he wrote.
“The family offers, with love, their last goodbye: ‘With the unquenchable fire of your passion, you taught us that there are no limits for those who love what they do,’” Gianvito added. “Goodbye, maestro.’”