Interview with Stefano Cavalleri, founder of the QuisQuis brand, the epitome of ‘Made in Italy’ quality and luxury

The “QuisQuis by Stefano Cavalleri” brand made its debut at Pitti Bimbo on the 17th January 2013. His foray into children’s fashion began when he left his job as a Creative Director at I Pinco Pallino – a brand he co-founded with Imelde Bronzieri. Each design is a culmination of the memory of places, things and people, where real-life experiences and the ideas of tomorrow merge with artisanal skill and the desire to create something truly beautiful.

How did you get involved in the world of children’s fashion?

«I got involved in children’s fashion after working as a women’s fashion designer; then I founded I Pinco Pallino and embarked on my adventure into kid’s fashion and I haven’t looked back since…». What is the one thing that enthuses you the most today and what do you find the hardest? «I’m enthused by the love of my job; the joy I get by creating. Giving and giving myself dreams. The hardest part is battling with the economy, which all too often clashes with these dreams. I would be much happier if I didn’t always have to struggle with prices, costs, timeframes and the need to trasform everything in business»

Sometimes children’s fashion seems to transform toddlers into miniature adults. What’s your view on this?

«Miniature adults? Never! I have never been able to stand seeing children dressed like adults. For me, children must always remain children!»

In your opinion, what is the ideal distribution channel for quality children’s wear?

«In my opinion, it should only be sold through specialist stores with highly qualified and passionate staff, obviously in a wonderful setting – even distribution needs a touch of poetry». Which countries are investing the most in children’s fashion today? «Our best clients are the ones that love beautiful things and quality. The countries that invest the most are the United Arab Emirates and Eastern Europe». When creating child’s shoe, what is most important factor: dreams, comfort or functionality? «Dreams, comfort and functionality must all be part of the same project. A dream shoe not only has to be beautiful, it also has to comfortable and functional. All three of these elements must come together, while putting the child’s needs first. They must never have to wear an uncomfortable pair of shoes»

What are the fundamental elements to focus on when designing children’s footwear?

«The soles must never be rigid; the toe must never be pointed; the closures must never be complicated, and they must make little girls dream; they must feel like ballerinas and princesses, and the boys must imagine themselves as champions and intrepid explorers»

What is the end client looking for in an item of children’s clothing or footwear today?

«First and foremost, I think the end footwear client is looking for originality, quality and a special shoe that is different from the vast array of proposals out there, which are often all the same… QuisQuis has a devoted clientele that adores the footwear I design and that Andrea Montelpare creates with great skill and professionalism»