Simona Vanth is a feminine shoe brand that places absolute emphasis on creative design and quality craftsmanship. With each Simona Vanth shoe I want to push at the sculptural design limits of the object, using experimental techniques,materials and forms to express my personality, with the end goal of offering women the greatest kind of pleasure possible through fashion.
The first collection I ever designed under the Simona Vanth name in 2011, Primitive Plastique, was some kind of imaginary pre-history of the world, but in plastic.
My second collection, The Fourth Dimensional Nightmare, I designed in the back of a book of Ballard short stories I was reading as I was traveling a lot for work at the time and was about Ballard’s universe but probably also about being disconnected from one’s own emotional state when you are in your 20s.
After that I designed Tourist Limbo, which was a kind of tourist horror story homage to my hometown of Amalfi, a place which has always been essential to my sense of colour and light.
The fourth Simona Vanth collection was inspired by the paintings of the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini, his use of blue and the very strong and dynamic, but also fragile, women he portrayed. For a while I then took a break from designing seasonal collections for Simona Vanth and concentrated on special one-offs and collaborations like Aphrodite, the shoe I designed with the Italian “legend of custom”, Lorenzo Dox Dossena
The shoe was made of a single piece of fiberglass, coated in aluminium decorated using Dox’s proprietary acid etching technique. I never put the shoes into production, instead I asked a friend to shoot a lookbook for them featuring myself naked except the shoes and a pair of sunglasses in my small apartment in Porta Romana, and sold the book at an event in my studio. Later in 2018, while I was pregnant with my daughter I decided to relaunch seasonal collections for the brand and designed The New Arabian nights, a collection inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s book of the same title as well as the original Arabian Nights tales and in general a child-like sense of magic and dreaming and being an innocent traveller off on exotic adventures in the world.
Simona Citarella, Grand Tour Studio, Milano