Loop. Knot. Tighten.
Italian-based brand Volta are a merry gang of footwear folk with a whole lot of sole! With their winning formula of classic + contemporary they aim to step away from trend rules and instead establish themeselves as initiators of ‘instant classics.’ With the quartet of founders all bringing different backgrounds to the Volta playground the result is a multi-faceted one with their forray into footwear just the first step into a varied fashion future.
But for now, with one eye firmly on their footed family, Volta have invited close affiliates of the brand to hit the road in their Vs, documenting their globetrotting as they go for their online home. A delightful mash-up of multimedia content, voltafootwear.it is the perfect venue for footwear fanatics to pop-by, kick off their shoes and get to know the lie of the Volta land. As they intoduce the ‘strada’ x-gallery to the site, i-D online grabs two ticks with Mauro Simionato to chat lacing, Luggers and sock-loving.
What five words would you use to describe Volta? Contemporary footwear for like-minded people.
Can you tell us a bit about when the Volta idea was first-hatched… I met my partners who were also working in Milano, some in fashion, and some in art-direction. We had similar views about many things, including style and business. Even more, we had the urge to work on something new, some bigger projects to give us the chance of working worldwide in a new direction. So we said, “Why don’t we start a collective business and launch our own brand alongside it?” We founded sales and distribution agency Twentyfourseven in Fall 2007 and we all loved footwear… We created Volta’s first designs based on our wishes and needs, and soon started the whole product development.
Besides your Volta kicks, what’s the finest piece of footwear you have in your collection? Clark’s Wallabees ’Lugger’ in tan suede. I own some samples, with no side-marks and a slightly different para-sole. I got them as a present from the Clark’s men’s designer. We met in Vegas few seasons ago during a show, he came to me and gave me compliments for Volta concept and design – what a moment. I wear them a lot, I think they are a masterpiece, and they give me good feelings.
How would you define your style? Eclectic, functional.
It’s a business brunch what are you eating? Living in Italy, we do more lunches than brunches, and I haven’t gotten tired of basic American recipes yet. So I’d go for the classic eggs Benedict. If we go for lunch instead, I’m Italian – how much space do you have?
You’re heading across town to catch-up with friends, what are you listening to? Some 50s R’n'B tunes, like Darrow Fletcher. It’s quite an upper for me. Or I’ve been listening to an English band lately, Archie Bronson Outfit. To promote some Italian music, Piero Umiliani or Lucio Battisti are iPod musts.
It’s a romantic night in, what movie are you watching? Something boring with a lively soundtrack, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
You’re hitting the town for a night on the tiles, what are you wearing head-to-toe? Considering I have to be comfortable, sitting around pubs and clubs for hours, I would wear a t-shirt and a soft jacket over, with no annoying elastic bands on the waist; maybe a deconstructed blazer. Then baggy pants, I like rolled-up classic trousers; some fun socks and comfortable shoes. Socks are cool I think.
What’s next? Today, Exclusively for i-D we’re releasing today the latest addition to our Strada x-travelling gallery, where some of our favourite creatives shoot their Strada footwear in different corners of the globe. The latest episode was shot in Shanghai, by our Melbourne-based, San-Franciso born friend, Domingo Robledo. After that, the next stop will be Istanbul and Bangkok, respectively from video-maker Davide Calafa and World-Press winning photographer Giulio Di Sturco. And many more to come from here to Summer 2012 (including the involvement of some fascinating novelists and illustrators). Also, in October we’ll launch our 247 web-store, featuring all the 247showroom brands…
Text: Sean Baker
Photography: Domingo Robledo (exc. shoe still-lifes)