This story is kindly sponsored by NR Rapisardi
When you think of Italian heritage fashion, what pops into your mind? Expensive fabrics, exquisite designs…and vegan fashion? Not really. Usually, Italian design rooted in tradition is as far from vegan fashion as you can get. Many fur and leather houses have their origins in Italy, especially Florence, home to many high-end labels that focus on animal-derived clothing. But not so for NR Rapisardi, a family-run heritage brand whose ancestors have been creating shoes since the early 1900s (beginning of last century, no less!) and who today creates the most beautiful, high-end footwear – that’s all vegan.
The history of NR Rapisardi is tied to straw accessories, as straw is a typically occurring product in the areas surrounding Florence. Back in the late 1950s when the brand was founded, genuine leather was still used for the insoles of the shoes. This has gradually been phased out to make space for more innovative and compassionate vegan materials.
So what materials exactly are we talking about? The NR Rapisardi team tells us that their new insoles are partially crafted from seeds and cereals that come from so-called non-food crops, which exist to produce renewable energy, chemicals or other non-food related goods and resources. The designs are all 100% made in Italy by expert hand-craftspeople.
NR Rapisardi also do their part for animals beyond their choice of materials: the brand is part of Italian animal rights charity LAV’s Animal-Free Fashion project, which promotes brands that use vegan materials and offers information on animals used in clothing. One of the brand’s key people, CEO Barbara Anzillotti Rapisardi, took part in LAV’s 40-year anniversary celebration event in Rome last year, as a moderator and speaker. A testament to the brand’s dedication to being outspokenly against cruelty to animals in fashion.
For the summer collection created by Barbara Anzillotti Rapisardi (the collection we shot in this story), the brand is offering a variety of heeled sandals, flatforms and wedges. We can see hints of pewter and bronze metallics, like in the Agnese flat sandal that we shot, alongside the heeled Patrizia sandal. Elasticated materials are also a key element in the collection, as we see in the Agnese as well as the Novella heeled sandal we shot.
A heritage label that beautifully fuses artisan tradition with conscious innovation, NR Rapisardi is creating a collection that is contemporary, chic and cruelty-free – shoes with a history, re-invented for the new millennium.
Find out more about NR Rapisardi on their website.
All photos by David Camilli