Changing the fashion landscape with his ethical, yet utterly luxurious, vegan shoes, Alfredo Piferi is a man on an incredibly stylish mission. MOJEH sits down with the man himself in honour of World Vegan Month this November
What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been shooting the new campaign for our AW22 collection in London, which took a little more time so is a bit late! I’m following new productions too — we are still a small business so I wear many different hats.
Where do you call home?
London. I’ve been here for the last 13 years. The brand is London-based and it’s a British company, even though I was born and grew up in Rome.
How would you describe your brand in three words?
Surreal, sensual and divine. The latter for me is a word that is so much more than glamorous, and defines the beautiful and glossy finish we have all around Piferi and our products.
What makes your footwear stand out from the crowd?
When I started Piferi, I noticed that no- one was designing vegan shoes that were beautiful and sexy. Yet there were many women who wanted to wear stylish shoes that matched their values. We have definitely succeeded in this — and not just within the vegan market. Recently, in the Middle East, I saw a woman wearing my shoes with a crocodile bag, so we really are for everyone.
Flats or heels?
I think it’s a concept of style — I don’t actually have a preference. Of course, as a designer, I find heels fascinating and attractive, but at the same time I like to design function. I put the same level of attention and detail into both my heels and flats.
How important is sustainability to Piferi?
When I started the brand, it was to prove that you could make vegan shoes with a high level of detail, an air of luxury and, of course, style. But I can’t promise full sustainability to the customer as it would be an over-promise — just like any other luxury brand. But what we can promise is responsibility. We make informed choices through our materials and craft.
How would you describe your own personal style to us?
A copy and paste of Piferi — surreal, sensual and divine!
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout your career?
That you need to keep your target market very open. A lot of people ask me who is the Piferi woman — first of all, it’s not always a woman, and secondly there isn’t one distinct woman. Everybody can be a Piferi customer.
What is the secret to designing an amazing pair of shoes?
Make sure they look beautiful, make sure they fit, and make sure they are comfortable to wear — or as comfortable as you can be in a 100mm heel! The moment you make someone feel beautiful and comfortable, you have a customer for life. Shop the collection
- Interview by Naomi Chadderton