The designer reportedly passed away due to complications from coronavirus. 

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Sergio Rossi Obituary
Credit: DONATELLO BROGIONI/CONTRASTO/Redux

Legendary Italian footwear designer Sergio Rossi has died from complications related to coronavirus (COVID-19). He was 84.

The luxury shoemaker was admitted into the hospital in the Italian city of Cesena just days before succumbing to illness. The city, based in Emilia-Romagna, was reportedly one of the most heavily impacted by the spread of the virus.

"He was a master, it was a great pleasure to have met him. He was our spiritual guide and he is today more than ever," brand executive Riccardo Sciutto told WWD on Friday morning (April 3).

Rossi's footwear creations were favorites of a wide range of celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Ariana Grande, and Lupita Nyong'o. Sciutto noted that Rossi "loved women" and could "capture a woman’s femininity in a unique way."

"He was never over-the-top, always in good taste," Sciutto continued. "The shoes were always wearable and he was never satisfied until they were perfect. They were not accessories for him. He told me once that he wanted to create the perfect extension of a woman’s leg."

Rossi is succeeded by his son Gianvito, who created his own shoe brand in 2007 thanks to gaining experience watching his father create "the most amazing shoes." He worked closely with Sergio all the way through the label's original sale to Gucci Group (Kering) in 1999 before the label was sold to Investindustrial in 2015 ad relaunched a year after that.

"The main job was to bring back the right DNA, the right products and the spirit of the Sergio Rossi woman. Heritage is crucial,” said Sciutto of the relaunch.

Rossi's life had already been colored by the spread of coronavirus long before it claimed his life. In March, Rossi donated €100,000 to Milan's Sacco hospital to help in the fight against coronavirus. It's unclear at this time how long the designer wrestled with the illness ahead of his passing.

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