European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

Meeting Fashion Heritage: Museo della Calzatura di Villa Foscarini Rossi

fashion exhibitionfashion museumItalian fashionshoe museum

Another journey into the world of institutions preserving and celebrating fashion heritage: here is Museo della Calzatura di Villa Foscarini Rossi, home of iconic shoes in the heart of the manufacturing district in the North-East of Italy.

Founded in 1995 by Italian entrepreneur Luigino Rossi, the Museo della Calzatura di Villa Foscarini Rossi is housed in Villa Foscarini Rossi, a beautiful 17th century building complex designed by architect Vincenzo Scamozzi as a luxurious country house for Venetian nobleman Jacopo Foscarini. Alongside the museum, the complex also accommodates a congress center and various spaces for recreation, such as concerts and special events.

The museum presents a collection of over 1,500 women’s shoes, sandals, and boots made since 1947 by the Rossimoda footwear factory for many of the world’s most prominent haute couture fashion brands, as well as a collection of historical Venetian footwear dating back to the 18th century.

The permanent exhibition of the Museum is divided into sections focused on the various brands and designers for which the shoes were made, including Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Richard Tyler, Porsche design, Kenzo, Christian Lacroix, Fendi, Ungaro, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Emilio Pucci, and Yves Saint-Laurent, among others.

Along with footwear, the exhibition features some tools, drawings, documents and photographs which help contextualizing the pieces on view, with a special focus on the influence of footwear on the history of costume from the 1940s to the present day; for example, by showing shoe models worn in famous movies by film stars such as Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour (1967), and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2 (2006).

The program of activities of the Museum also includes shoe design and making workshops for schools and children, guided tours, music concerts, and special events, such as exhibition in collaboration with other institution, as the exhibition “I’m not Cinderella, I just love shoes”, a journey in the most recent history of women’s footwear design, held between 2018 and 2019 at T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS in Venice.