how this student designer got beyoncé to wear his shoes

Francesco Murano created the geometric heels seen in the 'Spirit' video for his graduate collection.

by Benedetta Pini
12 August 2019, 4:06pm

Images courtesy of Francesco Murano

It seems dreams really can come true, even the most absurd ones. This is something that Francesco Murano knows a bit about. Within a month he has gone from Milan's Moda Graduate show to having his creations worn by Beyoncé.

It's thanks to the graduate show, in fact, that his Ossimoro Plastico collection landed in the hands of Beyoncé’s stylist. In the video for "Spirit," in which Queen Bey is mostly barefoot in the California and Arizona deserts, there's only one scene in which she wears shoes. The shoes are Francesco's Pedestal Shoes.

How would you feel if one of your creations ended up in a Beyoncé video? i-D asked Francesco to tell us all about it.

How did Beyoncé end up wearing your shoes in the "Spirit" video?
It was all possible thanks to the Milano Moda Graduate show on of June 14, a fashion show organized by IED (European Design Institute), in collaboration with the National Chamber of Fashion, to foster young emerging talents. Within a matter of four days, if I remember correctly, I received an unexpected phone call: it was the press office of Beyoncé’s stylist, Zerina Akers. She was impressed by the pictures of my show that were on the Instagram profile of Sara Maino, a member of the panel.

They were looking for an outfit for Beyoncé's new video, "Spirit," and initially they also seemed interested in clothes, then they only chose shoes. For a long time I had no news and it was not very clear whether they would really use them or not. I didn't even know when the video would be released. Then when it came out on July 16 — in Italy it was about 6am — I woke up with a message from the press office with shots from the video. Beyoncé was wearing my shoes!

Is this the first time a celebrity has worn something you’ve created?
Yes, it had never happened before. The thing that scares me, or maybe that makes me happy — I don't know yet, because it all happened too fast really — is the fact that it was Beyoncé, who is an icon for me, an idol. I've been a fan of her's for years, I've been to her concerts, I'm basically obsessed with her. So that’s why I'm particularly in shock. Of course, it would have been exciting for me even if it had been another celebrity, but the fact that it was Beyoncé is madness. It's almost surreal.

How do you think this opportunity will change the course of your career?
In reality, and it’s strange to say, it won't have much influence on the course of things because dressing Beyoncé was really my greatest aspiration in life, it was my maximum goal. I absolutely didn't think of reaching that now, so early. Surely something will change, but I still can't say how exactly. This is the first time even for IED, it had never happened to a student, especially who hasn’t even graduated yet — I actually only finished my studies a week ago. For now I hope that this opportunity will open up other opportunities and, above all, to collaborate with her again.

You studied at IED and soon thereafter won the Milan Fashion Graduate. How did these experiences help you in your career?
My experience at IED laid out an extremely important path. It is one of the few schools that provides you with a real 360° preparation: after leaving IED, you are able to work in any environment related to fashion, from concept ideation to the completed product. It goes without saying that afterwards each student delves into the specific field more suited to one’s own talent. But as a young student you develop a series of skills you can't take for granted. It did make me grow both from an artistic and moral point of view; it’s a very intense course which expects a certain level of discipline, organization and sense of responsibility.

And also in terms of visibility and contacts within the industry?
Definitely, visibility is extremely important. There is plenty of creative people out there without the adequate means to exhibit their work. Milan Moda Graduate is one of the most important fashion platforms in the world for the discovery of new talents. In all honesty I didn’t believe I could actually make it, especially considering the atmosphere they created between me and the other seven selected candidates. They didn't tell us what the prize would have been, in an attempt to encourage a sense of team spirit between us, limiting the risk of fierce competition taking over. In fact, nobody was interested in winning: it was beautiful enough to be there!

And now, what are your plans?
I'm working on some projects I can't talk about yet, partly because of superstition, and partly due to professional reasons. Let's say that after the video was released, several opportunitie were unlocked and I'm re-evaluating all the ideas I had set out for myself. Before, I thought I wanted to continue my studies with a master's degree, but now I am no longer so convinced. Right now I just want to enjoy this beautiful moment to the fullest.

This article originally appeared on i-D Italy.

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