Designing like an “anthropologist”–Frank Zambrelli

“Stop taking offense! It’s o.k. not to take things personally and to design for others.  Design can be approached as an art, or a science.  I liken it to an anthropologist. Both are valuable,” FIT grad and shoe designer (Banfi Zambrelli), Frank Zambrelli told students of Faces & Places class yesterday.

Banfi Zambrelli

Not surprisingly, Zambrelli, according to his published bio, planned on a medical career until a trip to the Milan fashion shows put him fashion-bound. After graduating FIT, Zambrelli landed a job at Chanel as a make-up artist, which led to his learning from the great Chanel shoe designer, Massaro.  This led to a design job at Cole Haan and then Coach, where he developed their first shoe line. After a stint at Reebok, Frank joined forces with shoe designer Silvano Banfi to create Banfi Zambrelli, a shoe design studio in New York, based on the European model.  Their eponymous line became an instant success and they continue to do private label for top American designers including Calvin Klein Collection, Derek Lam, Marchesa and Judith Leiber.

photo:  Joshua Williams


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