Italian shoe designer Sergio Rossi, 84, dies from coronavirus

Sergio Rossi, one of the most famous Italian shoe designers, has died of the coronavirus disease, an Italian official said on Friday.

Several Italian media reported that Rossi, who was born in 1935, died on Thursday in a hospital in Cesena in the northern Emilia-Romagna region.

Luciana Garbuglia, the Mayor of San Mauro Pascoli, confirmed the death and its link to the novel COVID-19 to dpa.

San Mauro Pascoli is Rossi’s birthplace in Emilia-Romagna.

The Sergio Rossi Company was founded in 1951 and gained fame in the 1960s.

Its shoes featured in the Italian film classic “La Dolce Vita”, as worn by lead actress, Anita Ekberg.

The company was sold to Gucci in 1999 and later became part of the French PPR-Kering luxury group, and returned under Italian hands in 2015 with the Invest-industrial private equity fund.

Italy has recorded more deaths from COVID-19 than any other country in the world, with 13,915 fatalities with the elderly particularly hard hit.

And only last month Rossi donated €100,000 (£88k) to Milan’s Sacco hospital to help the fight against the virus before he was himself struck down by the killer bug.

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