Pamela Quinzi – New York’s Cinderella
By Amy McGranahan
From one of the world’s haute couture epicenters, Italian-born designer Pamela Quinzi shares her insights on shoe and dress design, and her recent transition from Milan to NYC. Pamela has loved design since childhood, and while she cultivated her craft designing uniquely fun and glamorous shoes, dresses are a new addition to her repertoire. Playful and graceful in her designs and in her personality, Pamela’s work is “chic, elegant, sexy, magic, unique” …in a phrase, “Pop Princess”. Pamela Quinzi shoes were showcased in the September 2011 Astonish Magazine Launch & Phuong My Show in NYC.
ASTONISH: How many years have you been a designer? What sorts of personal interest and training have contributed to your growth as a designer?
PAMELA: I’ve been a designer since I was born! Ah, when I was four years old, I started to design dresses and shoes and my mom collected all my drawings in an album. For years and years, I was drawing and dreaming of the fashion world, ‘til the age of 14 when I chose a fashion high school in Rome. Then at 19, I moved to Milan to study at the Istituto Marangoni. I graduated in 2005 as Fashion Designer and I started immediately to work in the fashion industry there.
ASTONISH: A true raison d’être! I read that you recently moved to New York from your home in Italy – have you found new sources of inspiration since moving to NYC from Milan?
PAMELA: I found in New York a new Me, a new Pamela – New York changed my life! When I was in Milan, the last days before coming to America, I made my first pair of shoes embroidery, I didn’t know exactly why I made the shoes (hah!) but I decided to bring them with me in my luggage for this new adventure. When I arrived in Times Square, all the energy of this incredible city was around me, and I felt inside so much inspiration and so much energy and I started my Collection of shoes and dresses.
ASTONISH: Wonderfully inspiring! And you’ve already had success presenting your items in NY shows, too. You feature some beautiful shoes in the Astonish Magazine launch show – how did you choose which shoes you wanted to feature?
PAMELA: The Astonish Magazine launch show with Phuong My in September during NYFW Spring/Summer 2012 has been an amazing experience for me. Phuong My and I had a meeting before the fashion show, and her colors were very natural so I decided that the best thing was to work with some pumps with very light embroidery colors, silk chiffon applications and crystals. The shoes were perfect for her collection and the result was beautiful. I was very happy to be part it.
ASTONISH: Every shoe you featured was so feminine and distinctive – would you say you had a favorite item from the show?
PAMELA: I don’t really have a favorite one …all my shoes are made with love and passion, it’s hard to choose!
ASTONISH: The passion is clear, in your shoe and Collection designs! How would you say your design process differs for clothing and for shoes? Do you prefer one design process?
PAMELA: I started with shoes and then I decided to try designing dresses. The process is more or less the same: I customize, embroider, add applications, and play with materials. Sometimes I like to make shoes that match a dress …same color …same embroidery!
ASTONISH: What is the most strange or unusual place/source where you found design inspiration?
PAMELA: Everywhere I can find inspiration…especially in New York. But my inspiration can come from a lot of different things, a beautiful song, an art exhibition, a movie…really everything, everything that give me an emotion!
ASTONISH: There is definitely a lot of emotion and variety of influences in your designs! You play with such a variety of materials throughout your shoes, accessories and clothing, what are your favorite materials to design with?
PAMELA: I love to use Swarovski crystals and silk applications.
ASTONISH: “Pop princess” captures your design style. Can you tell us more about your style? What attracts you to this look?
PAMELA: I like to call my girls “Pop Princesses.” Pop because everything is about energy, pop, colors. Princess because I really want that all my girls to feel like they are Princesses, with a beautiful dress and an incredible pair of shoes…magic, unique!
ASTONISH: What kind of woman do you picture when creating your designs?
PAMELA: Chic, Elegant, Sexy!
ASTONISH: How would you describe your own personal style?
ASTONISH: What do you hope to be working on over the next 5 years?
PAMELA: …you have to follow me! It’s a secret!
ASTONISH: Keeping your fellow fashionistas in suspense! If you could give advice to aspiring designers, what would you tell them?
PAMELA: Follow your dreams and your passion even if it’s hard and not easy!
ASTONISH: Great advice. And what do you miss most about Milan?
PAMELA: The food! Hahaha!
ASTONISH: Oh, of course! Where can we find your shoes, accessories and clothing?
PAMELA: Check my web site www.pamelaquinzidesign.com and contact me directly, or check my shoes on www.ustrendy.com. For all the girls in New York, my shoes are at the Limelight Market on 6th Avenue, at the boutique Modalistas.
ASTONISH: And, finally, please share with us what the word Astonish means to you!
PAMELA: Astonish is…Pamela Quinzi Design!!!