Edgardo Osorio first cut his teeth at luxury houses the likes of Salvatore Ferragamo and René Caovilla before branching off to launch his own brand, Aquazzura. The name is a portmanteau of the Italian words 'acqua' and 'azzurra' which translates to 'blue water', which is apt, because the designer's way to a woman's heart is crystal clear.
Our case in point? The brand's lace-up Christy flats that sold out at brick-and-mortar boutiques and online e-tailers quicker than we could whip out our plastics to snag a pair. It's not often one comes across flats that ramp up the edge, and turn on the sophistication, all while retaining its cool pared-down vibe; but Osorio manages to tick all these boxes with his elegant designs.
In an interview with Buro 24/7 Singapore, the designer spills the beans on upcoming collaborations, his vision and inspirations, and also, the go-to dining and shopping spots to hit up when in London and Miami.
It's not about creating something sculptural or architectural, it's about making women beautiful.
Why the name 'Aquazzura'?
I've always been in love with the sun and the sea. I wanted a name that expressed my love for Italy, especially Capri and its sunny places by the water. The name evokes the idea of a modern dolce vita and a carefree lifestyle, something like a year-round vacation.
And before this, you've had experience at other luxury shoe brands. What made you decide to launch your own label?
After over 10 years working for many different luxury brands, I wanted to create something that followed a very specific aesthetic and sensibility. The market was saturated with chunky, heavy and over-designed shoes at that time, and I think women wanted to go back to simple yet elegant designs, but in a new way. I wanted to create shoes that were sophisticated and beautifully made, and that felt fresh and feminine. It's not about creating something sculptural or architectural, it's about making women beautiful.
What was your inspiration for FW15?
I was inspired by the girls on my Instagram feed. I follow a lot of my clients online as I am intrigued to see how they wear my shoes, where they go in them, and how they dress as well. I realized that the Aquazzura girl travels all the time. From Coachella to the Oscars, and even the mountains. They needed daytime flats as well as sexy evening shoes. This season, I decided to expand my collection by adding biker boots, studded heels and even snow boots, as well as more intricate handcrafted feather, shearling and velvet pieces.
How would you like a woman to feel when wearing a pair of Aquazzura shoes?
I started making shoes that were not only sexy and elegant, but also incredibly comfortable. That's how I'd like women to feel. When you put on any of my second skin shoes, it feels like you're slipping your foot into a glove. I do everything possible to make the Aquazzura woman more beautiful; her legs look longer and she gets a perfect and sophisticated silhouette.
The response to your Christy flat has been phenomenal. Congratulations on the huge hit. What were your thoughts when designing that particular model?
Yes, this is so very exciting. Flats were on the runway and popular amongst the style set everywhere for the past year; it has become fashionable to be in flats. Yet as a footwear designer, when women approach me while wearing flats, they often apologize for not being in heels. I wanted to create a pair that could be as chic as a pair of heels. It is very elegant and modern to wear flats with a cocktail or evening dress. It adds an edge to your outfit.
Is collaborating with an artist or someone from another creative field something that you're open to?
Absolutely. I had a capsule collection with Olivia Palermo last year, and coming up soon, Salvatore Ferragamo. It's a meeting of creative minds to come up with something absolutely beautiful and rich in personality. I also have an exciting collaboration with an It-girl launching very soon, and, next year, we also have the launch of a capsule collection with an iconic artist.
Who is the one person (dead or alive) that you'd love to collaborate with?
As a shoe designer, what are your favourite styles of shoes for women and why?
I love designing all different styles of shoes and most importantly, those that make women feel feminine and confident. I do love strappy lace-ups though.
And for yourself, which types of footwear do you gravitate towards?
Slippers and loafers in bright colours and prints.
Do you have any tips for the gents looking to start a shoe collection from scratch?
Definitely to have a pair in all classic styles. You need a good collection that can cater to all your needs for various occassions, but with a twist to show off your personality.
And lastly, what are your favourite shopping spots or dining locations in London and Miami?
In Miami, my all-time favourite dinner place is Joe's Stone Crab for great seafood, and Cecconi's and Casa Tua for the best ambiance in town. The design district is a great area to discover art galleries and cool design shops. If you are there, drop by Milos, it's a very cool Greek/Mediterranean restaurant packed with locals. As for London, I usually go to The Ivy Chealsea Garden, Scott's or Loulou's for dinner, and lunch at Cecconi's or Colbert. My absolute favourite shop there is, of course, the new Aquazzura boutique in Mayfair.
Click here to shop Aquazzura on LaPrendo.