The American designer launches a range of bags and shoes for men and women.
[On cover: Dee Ocleppo ed her husband Tommy Hilfiger]
Designer, businesswoman and wife of Tommy Hilfiger, Dee Ocleppo has a real passion for shoes, so much that, after launching her bags in 2012, she has created a range of men’s and women’s shoes made entirely in Italy, by Campania-based companies. Mrs. Hilfiger chose MICAM Milano as an international stage to present – together with her husband and mentor – her new Spring/Summer 2019 collection, which will be distributed by the partner In Moda, a company directed by Matteo Armillotta, based in Santhià. The designer explained to us that Italy is a place where creativity and luxury can be united at a moderate price, without ever underestimating the product’s quality.
Did you create the collection as a designer or shoe lover?
As a shoe addict, without a doubt. And I reckon I share this passion with many other women out there. Being a shoe addict – and I consider myself a serious addict – sure helps design them. I think that accessories generally allow you to dress to reflect your mood and shoes can completely revamp your style. For example, you can change your look by wearing shoes with a dash of colour to pair with a simple outfit. Shoes and bags allow me to fully express myself, so I like to have heaps of them in my wardrobe.
What is the collection’s mood?
An American perspective with Italian taste. Women’s shoes feature a pink sole and range from pumps to ankle boots and from boots to sneakers. For men, I focused on the classic styles, made also in valuable materials such as crocodile, on loafers and sneakers.
In what way did your husband help you?
In every way. He’s the first person I turn to for advice. He’s a genius on the design and business front, as proven by his results in recent years. I’m lucky to have him about the house – I don’t even have to pay him!
Mr. Hilfiger, how much of your passion for music and rock can be found in this collection?
A lot. However, it’s not just music itself that influences us both, but our culture. My wife loves uniqueness and originality.
Why did you choose to manufacture in Italy?
Because the quality and materials are fantastic and Italians understand the meaning of design better than anyone else in the world. They have an innate taste that sets them apart in the realm of fashion.
For the tradition, passion and attention to detail that Italian shoemakers have in their DNA. And these are the characteristics I found in the companies in Campania, where I produce my collection. I lived in Italy, and this country inspired me and taught me about quality, especially when it comes to accessories.