By Robert Cordero
ALIVESHOES is part store, part philosophical community. The company produces Italian-made, environmentally sound shoes, while mastermind Luca Botticelli also seeks to create an online network comprised of people who are interested in interactive art, philanthropy and statement-making footwear. Self-titled “the world’s first shoe-gaming community,” the website is now complemented by a pop up store in Amsterdam, with more locations to follow. JC Report caught up with Botticelli to discuss eco-minded fashion, artistic collaborations and what he means by “fashion 2.0.”
JC Report: What are your main ideas behind being ecologically friendly?
Luca Botticelli: Eco-friendly means that you research new process and materials in order to pollute less, and to make more intelligent products and services. Less is more is a big guide into this.
JCR: The inside tab of the limited edition shoes are designed by contemporary artists. How do you choose who you want to collaborate with?
LB: I gave [New York artist Steven Siegel] 500 pairs of shoes and told him to just create what he wanted. He made Blocks. The inside tabs reflect the installations [artists] make with shoes. It’s their sketches. We collaborate with curators to choose artists. We look for artists that have an open minded approach and are passionate about breaking the rules of art itself (i.e. going away from the museums).
JCR: Where do you see the future of shoes and shoe valley in Italy?
LB: I see the future of the shoe valley in the internet in www.aliveshoes.com. That means that the shoe business must convert to the digital world and must become eco. We are providing IT instruments for that, and research for sustainability to the valley. We are building a big headquarters open to the public in the middle of the valley to stimulate awareness from the core. “Made in Italy” must shift its awareness from total tradition to half tradition/half research and future. We are there for that.
JCR: What is the idea behind fashion 2.0?
LB: Fashion 2.0 goes away from aesthetic, and welcomes games and social interactions. Fashion 2.0 puts an end to the era of designers and stylists, and starts the era of gaming. Fashion 2.0 uses the internet as the medium and doesn’t relate to print press. Fashion 2.0 creates containers that leave space for people to express, and it uses pull communication and interactivity to make people active and entertained.