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Jerome C Rousseau’s Got Next — A Footwear Designer With Plenty of Promise







Who doesn’t love a fresh new perspective? Every realm of art and culture relies on both the old and new guards, on the gatekeepers and the gatecrashers, the seasoned and the raw, the old and the new. In the realm of footwear, masters like Manolo Blahnik and Brian Atwood keep serving us top-notch, toe-loving treats, while younger, lesser known designers with innovative design approaches stir up a sense of excitement and intrigue. Every master was once an apprentice, and so there’s a captivating sense of promise surrounding a new designer, that sweet taste of potential fulfilling its destiny. But, of course, these new designers often need a push to receive the type of exposure and financial backing necessary to fulfill their visions — which is why Yoox.com collaborated with Alataroma and Vogue Italia on their “Who Is On Next?” competition, aimed at scouting new fashion design talent.

This year, once the competitors had been narrowed to a pool of finalists, Yoox.com selected the winner: footwear designer Jerome C. Rousseau. The Quebec-born designer spent a decade in London and New York, honing his design skills under the tutelage of such greats as Matthew Williamson, Isabella Fiore, and John Rocha before finally launching his eponymous footwear line in Fall 2008.

Now, as the winner of the “Who Is On Next?” competition, Rousseau is presenting designs from his Spring/Summer 2011 collection on Yoox.com. The crowning jewels of the collection are the “Antinea” booties (pictured first and second above), which are available in Poison, a metallic emerald green hue, and Purple. These Italian leather peep toes feature a 4.7-inch heel and sculptural, fin-like details grooved along the sides and popping up along the arch of the foot. My favorite detail is the curved groove along the back of the ankle, which reminds me of an upturned robe collar or an Elizabethean ruff.

The “Zauber” style, a caged high-heeled sandal, also stands out thanks to the interesting patterns created by the strips of black patent leather. If you examine the front of the shoe, you’ll notice a rounded, spiderweb-like motif but as your gaze moves upwards you’ll notice the orientation of the strips start to change, moving from one side of the shoe to the other in a half-moon arc. The shoe itself, then, is a visual cage in that you can’t seem to escape its intriguing design.

To shop these styles and more, head over to Yoox.com!

Jerome C. Rousseau Antinea booties in Poison and Purple, $795 each; Jerome C. Rousseau Zauber sandals, $695; and Jerome C. Rousseau Aizza pumps, $495. Available at Yoox.com

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