Italian shoe designer Alfredo Piferi is expanding his groundbreaking line of luxury vegan shoes in America.
First launched in 2020, Piferi’s namesake brand is renowned for creating stylish women’s shoes using exclusively vegan materials, reports Footwear News. Piferi – a former head designer for Jimmy Choo and Burberry – says his animal-free materials actually outperform traditional leather by not creasing or stretching easily, while the ultrathin rubber soles are less slippery and more durable than leather soles.
Piferi’s first collection debuted in Milan in early 2020, and despite the worldwide pandemic, successfully took hold in multiple high-end markets. In the US, Piferi’s line can be found in Neiman Marcus’ retail and online stores, as well as on Bergdorf Goodman’s website. The designer says the city of Atlanta is one of his top markets, with Miami being the next site for his Neiman Marcus expansion.
To craft his luxury sandals, boots and stilettos, Piferi primarily works with upcycled or bio-based materials such as recycled synthetics, recycled polyester and recycled Lurex. The brand’s faux suede is sourced from reclaimed plastic bottles, while shoe linings are made from corn oil.
His notable design features include the “Dali” heel – a sleek, curved heel that resembles the stem of a flower, and is used throughout the brand’s collections. According to Piferi, the architecture and visual appeal of the shoes, which typically sell between $675 and $850, is a critical part of their commercial success.
“For vegan product, a lot of people don’t trust the quality, so you have to go see why it’s a luxury pricepoint,” he stated. “It’s a product you buy after you see it.”
Growing into more stores
In addition to Neiman Marcus, Piferi also states he hopes to launch into Bergdorf Goodman’s exclusive New York City retail location.
“I started Pīferi with the idea of creating a product with a purpose. It’s not just about shoes, but more about what they stand for,” Piferi said. “All my shoes are leather free, and for me this is a challenge. I think it’s really what the future holds for us.”