Gaga Over Gigi & Zaza

Pelham resident Tiziana Indelicato always felt that her daughter deserved to be shod in something more stylish than cheaply made footwear sporting cartoon characters. So when she couldn’t find the classic, finely crafted styles she was looking for locally—without dipping into her daughter’s college fund, that is—she began purchasing her shoes on visits back to her native Italy.

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With an MBA from the University of Rome, Indelicato recognized an untapped business niche. She joined forces with Los Angeles-based creative director Gina Rizzo and London- and Milan-based media consultant Alfonso Marone and together the trio founded GIGI & ZAZA, an online boutique that imports European children’s shoes.

“Our shoes are stylish but comfortable,” Indelicato says. The debut collection includes a mix of exclusives, like sweet vintage-inspired baby booties ($64) and Mary Janes ($69) made of hand-sewn, glue-free, vegetable- dyed leather. Crafted by artisans in small, family-owned factories the group discovered in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, the footwear features such high-end detailing as Portuguese leather, Venetian velvet uppers, 100-percent-cotton linings, and felt-cushioned foot beds.

The collection’s signature item is its darling Venetian velvet leisure shoe, a traditional design popular with Italian adults, which the company modified for children. Available in a slip-on style for boys ($54) and a Mary Jane for girls ($59), it is hand-stitched and features a flexible outer sole of the same rubber used in Venetian bicycle tires. Prices range from $44 to $80, in sizes from newborn to European 34 (American 1 or 2). To order: gigiandzaza.com.

Tiziana Indelicato (left) and Gina Rizzo

Photo by Alix Martinez

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