Valentina Curzi is the brand’s new creative director
Valentina Curzi’s commences her creative career in the family business with the presentation of her Spring/Summer collection at Pitti Uomo. Her attention is focused on the oXs brand, to which she intends to bring a new contemporary vision while maintaining the values embodied up to now. In fact, each letter of the name has a precise meaning: O is the symbol of creativity, X stands for the multiplication of energy, while the S represents the conjugation of energies. Starting from this mix of elements, Valentina talks to italianshoes about the evolution of a brand that keeps its roots firmly in the Marche region of Italy.
How has the brand evolved, from the Frank boot to the present day?
The Frank has been a staple model ever since 1994 (the year the iconic boot first came out), an evergreen that keeps on reinventing itself without ever losing its intrinsic character. But the world of oXs has also produced a number of other projects as well: Amtrac, the evolution of the Frank combat boot, Woobie, the easy-to-wear hybrid line, the Humvee contemporary sports shoe, and the Airborne and Airdrop ‘unconventional’ running shoes, with their special design and innovative technology.
The keywords are evolution without depersonalisation.
Will the oXs brand change radically under your creative direction?
No, it won’t change radically, but it will have a fresher and more contemporary look. I have simply looked at the past through the eyes of the present, while thinking of the future. Very often a ‘new broom’ causes a certain amount of disruption within a brand, but in my opinion this is not always a good thing, particularly in brands that have an authentic, recognisable history behind them. In fact: “Creativity is uniting existing elements with new, hopefully useful connections”. (Henri Poincaré) My motto is: transformation without disruption.
What’s the new mood going be?
oXs starts from its roots, creating a collection of unique items and reinterpreting its heritage through the lens of the XXI century, while leaving intact a DNA that was formed and developed in 1991. Claims such as “Radical Lovers”, “Est.1991” will pervade the collection, with full-grain, detachable leather straps. The collection offers an original mix of technical materials, elastic ankle socks, PVC, braiding, city utility and formal concepts, reinterpreted using unlined materials, mesh and stretch-knit, with the added plus of an ultra-light design based on the XL EXTRALIGHT® sole. The SS18 collection initiates a new creative flow in which past, present and future merge.
So which brand values will stay the same?
Our grunge soul, urban utility, military inspired, workwear: these values will remain unchanged.
Will your products continue to be made in Italy?
Yes, we have always believed that the fact that our products are made in Italy – or rather, made in Marche – was one of our strengths, and will continue to do so.
Today the target everyone’s talking about is the millennials. What do you intend doing to intercept this public?
I myself am a daughter of the Millennial Generation, and as such am part of the public to be intercepted. The Millennials, or Gen Y, are global consumers with a passion for the local; they play an active role in purchasing, and for them internet is an indispensable window on the world; they are brand-loyal, despite the broad market spectrum, provided the brand demonstrates authenticity in its content marketing. What I’d like to do is to break down the institutional barriers, starting with the social networks: we need more interaction. It’s not enough to have an account, you have to initiate a dialogue and maintain customer loyalty.
Today, the young are bombarded with millions of messages, but they have learned to ignore them, so it’s important to create content that is appealing, personalised, pithy, concise and inspiring in order to create an emotional vortex with the public. It’s essential to intercept the Millennials at the right moment (and obviously with the right product): tastes change rapidly, as do the social sharing platforms.
A must? Keeping up.