Global Young Designer Spotlight: Vibi Venezia

Global Young Designer Spotlight: Vibi Venezia

We sat down with Viola and Vera to get the lowdown on the shoe which has become one of our packing essentials for everything from a sun to city break.

is the “floating city”, a place of architectural riches,
enduring luxury, winding canals and glittering palazzos. Sisters
and design duo Viola and Vera Arrivabene are no strangers to this
enchanting land, having grown up calling Venice’s 16th-century
Palazzo Papadopoli home.

The creative pair – who hail from the Savoia dynasty – are the
founders of Vibi Venezia, a line of luxury shoes based on the
traditional Venetian Furlane slipper. The shoe is an artefact of
Venice’s rich history which transcends both generation and gender,
having been worn by everyone from aristocrats to gondoliers, who
favoured them for their luxurious associations and practicality.
Begged by friends to fill their suitcases with the chic footwear,
the sisters decided to set up a line which combined the key
elements of Venetian tradition with contemporary textiles inspired
by their travels.

We sat down with Viola and Vera to get the lowdown on the shoe
which has become one of our
packing essentials
for everything from a sun to city break.


Vibi Venezia


Viola and Vera Arrivabene




Between Venice and London

Type of brand:


Tell us a little about the history behind the
traditional velvet Furlane slipper which inspired Vibi

The Furlane sums up the heart of Venice. Other than being the
attire of gondoliers it was a staple in the wardrobes of our
ancestors – perfect for sneaking around their chambers in silence!
The gondoliers later adopted these plush velvet slippers with their
robust rubber soles (traditionally made from old bicycle tires) so
as not to ruin the paint on their boats.

How do you think the Furlane reflects the lifestyle and
culture in Venice?

You need a pair of stylish but comfortable flat shoes to explore
Venice. We design for someone who needs to run from a meeting to an
exhibition opening, and then out to dinner with friends.

Who is the Vibi Venezia customer?

Definitely someone who loves travelling and Italian heritage.
When we design our shoes, we always think about our own personal
style and, of course, our friends. In fact, every pair of shoes is
named after a friend or member of our family, or someone who
reminds us of that exact pair of Vibis.

How important is craftsmanship and artisan involvement
in Vibi Venezia production?

Very. Our shoes are all handmade in a little town in
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, just a two-hour drive from Venice. Our
craftspeople are all specialists in the artisan techniques involved
in making the typical Furlane.

Having founded the Vibi Venezia brand together, what do
you bring to the brand as individuals?

Vera and I are very similar but at the same time quite different
– we make the perfect match! I’m [Viola] more creative, whereas
Vera’s more involved on the business side of things.

Who would you most like to collaborate

The ultimate dream would be to do something with Maria Grazia
Chiuri. We are madly in love with the new Dior collections.

What’s in your SUITCASE for a weekend in

A short Dior dress, white GAP T-shirt, a pair of jeans, Osanna
Madina Visconti earrings, LGR sunglasses and Sisley sun face

Where would you recommend for a magical evening in

Antica Trattoria Alle Carampane is our absolute
favourite place! But Harrys Dolci on the Giudecca Island for a sunset
dinner looking over the lagoon is not to be missed either.

Do you think travel is important for creative

100%. We are always inspired by our travels and learning about
different cultures around the world.

Where can we find ViBi Venezia in London?

Alex Eagle
Concept Store on Lexington Street,

Where do you go in London to be inspired?

Museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in South
Kensington and the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. Also walking around
the vibrant Brick Lane in
East London
and vintage hunting on Portobello Road in Notting

What do you think the future holds for Vibi Venezia?
Where would you like to see the brand in five years

We really want to share Venetian heritage through our shoes all
around the world!

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