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July 30 2014

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Ruffian Turns to Gondoliers and Beachy Debauchery

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Ruffian Shoe Collaboration

Even though Labor Day traditionally marks the end of of summer fun, Ruffian‘s Brian Wolk and Claude Morais aren’t ready to jet home quite yet. For their Spring ’14 show on Saturday, the designers are set to introduce a collection rooted in Côte d’Azur debauchery, veiled in a layer of Italian heritage thanks to a collaboration with Giulia Campeol’s Venice-based footwear label, Allagiulia.

“Giulia’s family made Friulana slippers, which are the shoes that gondoliers wear,” Wolk told Style.com. “The soles are traditionally made out of discarded bike tires so that they don’t slip on the boats. She brought them to the next level, using more fabrics and textiles.” Added Morais, “And we’ve adapted that signature.”

The result—a leather-fringed, polka-dotted, tire-rubber-sole flat (which debuts exclusively above) —smartly conveys the evolution from the canal to the catwalk. “Giulia came to our studio, and we looked at all of our reference images for the lineup—fifties Saint-Tropez,” said Wolk, adding that the author Françoise Sagan, a literary enfant terrible of sorts, also served as a Spring muse.

It’s Sagan’s breathlessly paced life that informs the rest of the collection, which is dubbed Ingenue. “She was very much a Ruffian. She drove race cars, she was always in trouble, and she actually had to go to rehab in the south of France,” said Wolk. “At Ruffian there’s always a good girl who has gone a little bit bad.”

Photo: Courtesy of Ruffian

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