The iconic footwear designer Sergio Rossi, founder of the eponymous firm, died on April 2. He had been admitted to the intensive care unit of the Bufalini hospital in Cesena, Italy, after contracting the novel coronavirus, which has heavily affected the country. The son of a shoemaker, Rossi was born in 1935 in San Mauro Pascoli, in the Emilia Romagna region where, in 1951, he would found his business after training in Milan and in Bologna. In the winter of his 14th year, with his brother Franco, Rossi started producing footwear that he sold during the summer along the Adriatic Riviera. He launched his namesake brand in 1968. Gucci, a unit of the French fashion group Kering, bought a 70 percent stake in Sergio Rossi in 1999 and acquired the remaining 30 percent in 2005. In 2015, Kering sold the company to the Italian investment fund Investindustrial, managed by the businessman Andrea Bonomi. Riccardo Sciutto, chief executive of Sergio Rossi, said in an interview with Footwear News that he plans to create a museum to honor the company’s founder. Late last year, Rossi’s designs were displayed in San Mauro Pascoli. His most remarkable designs include the Opanca sandal and the Godiva high-heel pump. Rossi also collaborated with the fashion designers Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Azzadine Alaïa. The company’s archive includes some 6,000 items. It also contains Rossi’s personal collection of shoes dating from the ’30s and ’40s. In the interview with FN, Sciutto said that he had shown the archive “to friends of the brand” but now plans to “invest a lot so I can show it to everybody else.” In 2017, the company launched an SR1 collection inspired by the archive. “It is now our bestseller,” Sciutto said.