We love men who love women. Aquazzura’s founding designer, Edgardo Osorio, undoubtedly falls in that camp. He creates shoes that are as comfortable as they are sexy—which is to say, very.
It was only two years ago that Osorio established Aquazzura, but he can already claim a number of ‘it’ shoes. And from the looks of his latest collection, there are countless more in his future. (Hello, Bond!)
We’ve been smitten with Osorio since day one, so it’s with great excitement that we announce that Aquazzura is now available at Barneys New York. To celebrate the launch, we caught up with the designer to hear more about his story.
What encouraged you to create your own brand?
After over 10 years working for many different luxury brands, I wanted to create my own line following a very specific aesthetic and sensibility. The market is saturated with chunky, heavy, over-designed shoes. I think after all the craziness that we’ve seen in the past few years in shoes, women want to get back to wearing something more elegant but in a new way. With Aquazzura, I wanted to create a line of beautiful shoes that were sophisticated, beautifully made and that felt fresh and feminine. For me, it’s not about creating sculptures or architecture—it’s about making women feel beautiful.
Aquazzura comes from the Italian acqua azzura, which means blue water. I’ve always been in love with the sea and the sun. I wanted a name that evoked my love of Italy, especially Capri and and all the sunny places by the water. I love the idea of a modern dolce vita and a year-round vacation lifestyle. My aesthetic reflects the beauty and sophistication of a certain kind of Italian style that is never over-designed or overdone. It’s about small, luxurious details that make something great, like everything else in life.
And why shoes specifically?
I can’t explain it! I’ve always been drawn to shoes ever since I was a little boy playing in my mother’s shoe closet. There is something very emotional about them that really intrigues me. Designing shoes come to me naturally, like talking or breathing.
What qualities does a perfect pair of heels posses?
I started making shoes that were not only sexy, but also incredibly comfortable. This was the biggest part of the success. Once a woman tries any of my second-skin shoes , which feel like slipping your foot into a glove, it’s hard to walk in other heels. I also design for the woman, doing everything possible to make her more beautiful, her legs look longer, to give her a perfect silhouette.
You were born in Colombia, schooled in London and now live in Florence. What drew you to Italy? And why is Florence a good backdrop for making shoes?
I was living in London and got offered a job at Ferragamo. I was only 19, so I took the chance and moved to beautiful Tuscany. I make my shoes only in this region, which is where the biggest concentration of the best craftsmen for luxury accessories are in the world. Best decision I ever made!
What’s inspiring you right now? Have you watched any good films, seen any great art exhibits or travelled to any exciting places lately?
My greatest inspiration is women. I grew up surrounded by women, and I’m still very much a ladies man. I’m constantly feeding off the needs and wants of all my girlfriends from around the world. I try to give women what I think they want. I want them to feel and look like amazing whenever they wear my shoes.
Every season I make moodboards with the things that are inspiring me at the time and every season there are different girls that I’m thinking of, like Carine Roitfeld or Lauren Santo Domingo, among others. But the two people who are always in my moodboards are Kate Moss and Giovanna Battaglia. They both represent the sort of sensuality, easy elegance and cool I love.
In the past three months I’ve been to Dallas, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, London and Dubai. I feel like my next fall collection took a little bit of inspiration from each of these cities.
I’m also starting to read Anjelica Huston’s biography A Story Lately Told. I’ve always found her incredibly stylish and beautiful.
Photographs of showroom by Nicole Rogers.