Conversations: Ada Kokosar On Her Insane Paciotti By Midnight Collection
Cinderella, Marie Antoinette and a whole lot of plastic. The super chic Italian stylist tells us how the most anything-proof shoes we've ever seen were born.| October 23, 2017
What do Cinderella and Marie Antoinette have in common? Elaborate gowns, balls that run past midnight, beautiful shoes – though one has significantly more pairs than the other – and most recently, Ada Kokosar. A stylist by trade with a repertoire that includes Public School, Diane von Furstenberg and Tome and the power to send hordes of street style photographers into a frenzy, the Slovenian-Italian Kokosar was roped in to breathe new life into Italian shoemaker Cesare Paciotti. Thus, Paciotti By Midnight was born.
This isn’t just any capsule shoe collection. Inspired by Cinderella’s glass slipper and Marie Antoinette’s taste for the opulent, Kokosar conceived what is perhaps the most anything-proof shoes we’ve ever seen: all her shoes are swaddled in PVC. No fears about getting these babies soaked in champagne, baby. They’ll withstand dirt, rain, spills, fallen bits of canapés – anything. Do you hear what I’m saying? THESE ARE SATIN SHOES THAT YOU CAN WEAR IN THE RAIN. Straight from her home in New York, Kokosar tells us how her insane shoes were created, her ideal fairy tale heroine and her secret to surviving in heels.
Hello Ada! How’s your day been? What have you been up to?
CIAO! Already super efficient even if it’s only noon! I woke up very early to have my cardio yoga class, which spins my energy all along the day. I’m working on some upcoming shoots and new concepts for the next Paciotti by Midnight capsule collection.
Let’s get down the business, and by that I mean those insane shoes you created together with Cesare Paciotti. How did the idea of wrapping shoes in plastic even begin?
I’ve been hired by Marco Calcinaro, CEO of Paciotti to revamp the brand and I thought that the best way was to come up with a new and original idea of a shoe never seen yet. I asked myself, what is the most iconic and utopian shoe in history? The Cinderella shoe. With this in mind I wanted to recreate a shoe that resembled the glass slipper, that felt old-fashioned but new, bold yet romantic, precious but effortless and fragile while also imperishable.
The shoes are possibly the most anything-proof shoes we’ve ever seen. Was this element something you wanted from the beginning or something that just happened along the way?
I wanted to create for Paciotti a shoe with a legacy, imperishable and neverlasting. All the rest came up as a wonderful surprise.
It is obvious that these shoes come with a lot of thought. I mean, you have plastic, satin and crystals. Were there technical challenges in bringing your design to life?
I made the first prototype by myself in my studio. I took a pump shoe and I started wrapping it with silk, than I added a pair of my crystal earrings on top, and then I felt I had to cover this precious shoe and I started to wrap and drape a PVC sheet over it.
The shoes were inspired by Cinderella and Marie Antoinette. If you could create a fairy tale for a heroine who wears these shoes, what would it be?
An ultra-feminine, independent, determined, free from constraints princess, vulnerable and strong, sweet and bold.
What are the essential shoes that every woman needs?
Shoes with wings.
What’s your secret to surviving in heels the whole day?
Just think how the heels make you feel instead of how painful they are.
You’re a stylist by trade. How did it all begin for you and how does one get to where you are today?
Lots of experience, dedication, determination and luck.
What has been inspiring you of late?
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from being in the industry?
That you can never make it only by yourself; partnership, gathering, sharing are the quintessentials.
Do you ever feel the need to check out from the chaos of it all from time to time?
You’re an Italian in New York. What is it about the city that attracts you?
The idea of you can do it and the diversity.
What are some of your favourite haunts?
What to Read Next: Conversations: Josep Font Breaks Down Delpozo’s Spring 2018 Collection, A Guide To All The Sickest Shoes From Fashion Month and It Doesn’t Get Easier Than The Pantsuit | Cover Image: Nabile Quenum via The Cut, Story Images: Instagram (@adakokosar, @cesarepaciotti)