Silvia Avanzi

The woman behind the sculptural Gray Matters shoes






Hello Silvia, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?


Italian by birth, I lived in 5 cities and 3 countries before moving to New York almost 10 years ago. I love Italy for holiday and New York for the creative energy and ambition of people.


Shoes are my passion! No plan to extend to bags or other accessories (in case you were wondering…)








How would you describe your personal style?

Casually elegant with subtle details

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From your shoewear collection, which pieces are more for nightwear and which are daywear?

All Gray Matters styles are “all day every day”. We design versatile shoes to help women avoid getting changed twice a day!




While creating, what are your major inspirations?


I have multiple sources but here below a few references that recently attracted my attention


- The sculptures of Fernando Gonzalez for form and texture

- Max Lamb extravagant furniture

- Guy Bourdin and the more recent Alex Prager photography for the quirky mood and cinematic color palette

- the sculptural still life compositions of Omar Sosa and Nacho Alegre, editors of Apartamento magazine




How has your Italian roots effected your story?

Among the country's rich heritage,  Italy stands for quality, craftsmanship and product design. I grew up surrounded by the three of them. While developing Gray Matters’s aesthetics, I couldn’t help but applying those influences to each step of the process. 





What would be your 3 favorite pieces from our store?

Vereveto belt bags, I love Mr Mittens scarves, Another Feather jewelry


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If you could create a gang with 3 woman you admire, who would they be?

Tilda Swinton for her natural elegance

Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni

the textile artist Sheila Hicks who recently had an exhibition at Pompidou



What’s your top 3 places in NYC?


Marlow & Sons for breakfast, the bookshop Mc Nally Jackson for research, the Noguchi museum for its peaceful mood and beautiful art



What’s your best memory from Paris? 

Many! Sitting outside at a brasserie all year round is priceless. Visiting the Margiela exibition at Palais Galliera. Eating croquettes at every bakery:)









How did you discover Gang of Earlybirds?

It’s one of the best stores in Le Marais! And it carries a lot of my favorite brands...


Are you an earlybird?

UNFORTUNATELY NOT! I have to wake up early to connect with our Italian team every morning, but I definitely have more energy in the evening. I could work, dance or work out till late every night. 

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