THIERRY RABOTIN/PARABIAGO COLLEZIONI

The nice folks at THIERRY RABOTIN let us peek into their world, and we liked what we saw.


2007 | Thierry Rabotin - cover
Published by Parabiago Collezioni


Thierry Rabotin (1950 - 2017) was a fashion designer who decided to work exclusively in the footwear field starting from 1978. Among others, he designed for Robert Clergerie.

He made frequent trips to Italy, and back in 1982 he met Giovanna Ceolini at a shoe factory in Parabiago: the two developed a solid friendship that led to start their own brand in 1987. Later they were joined by Austrian Karlheinz Schlecht, then a footwear buyer director.



L to r | Thierry Rabotin, Karl Schlecht, Giovanna Ceolini
Photograph: Enrico Suà Ummarino
Source: Thierry Rabotin


They all "agreed upon the idea that the most important thing in a shoe must be its comfort and that any innovation, any technical support, any fashion trend must never overlook this axiom." (*)

In 1999 they bought the former Ugo Rossetti shoe factory and founded Parabiago Collezioni under which the brand Thierry Rabotin is operated. Since then, Thierry Rabotin stands for fashion conscious AND comfortable luxury shoes.



Thierry Rabotin
Photograph: Marco Lanza
Source: Thierry Rabotin


Parabiago Collezioni is a family business, a medium size enterprise (75-80 employees) that makes everything in-house, save for a few types of soles and heels. They work with suppliers from the Parabiago district and they don't stray from the formula "100% made in Italy" which means authentic made in Italy, not European-law-made-in-Italy (ie FAKE).

We've been escorted by Karl Schlecht to visit the factory: a clean and modern environment from the offices right down to the packing department. Karl didn't spare information about construction methods, care for details, choice of materials and Parabiago district gossip (just kidding about the last one).



Workers at Parabiago Collezioni | Parabiago, Milan
Photograph: Claudio Mazzoni
Source: Thierry Rabotin

Workers at Parabiago Collezioni | Parabiago, Milan
Photograph: Claudio Mazzoni
Source: Thierry Rabotin


Parabiago Collezioni recently joined effort with other shoe factories and Legnano's Isis Bernocchi School to create a course for footwear technicians. Parabiago Collezioni then hired youngsters who attended the training course and Karl seemed particularly proud about it: 

"They made the footwear program works, at last! We gave our contribution hosting students for on-site training. We don't need no more designers, but very high-skilled shoemakers. "



THIERRY RABOTIN


After the blow of Thierry Rabotin passing, Massimo Balbini - Thierry's assistant - took the role of creative director and recently both Thomas and Andreas Schlecht (Karl and Giovanna's sons) joined the ranks of the company assisting their parents at their best (we know, we saw it).



THIERRY RABOTIN
OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THIERRY RABOTIN
OFFICIAL US WEBSITE

THIERRY RABOTIN
ON INSTAGRAM


FOOTNOTE

Thanks to shoe designer Nancy Osborne who suggested first, then set up the meeting. Nancy started working with Parabiago Collezioni for a sophisticated couture collection.

Huge thanks to Karl Schlecht for his kindness and hospitality: we discovered he is always this kind (Don't miss THIS). 

All the best to everybody at Thierry Rabotin/Parabiago Collezioni, they deserve it.

(*) Text from the book "Thierry Rabotin", published by Parabiago Collezioni, 2007. Time to do another one to celebrate the first twenty years.



Thierry Rabotin
Photograph: Marco Lanza
Source: Thierry Rabotin

Thierry Rabotin/Parabiago Collezioni
Parabiago, Milan


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