Summer nights (on Bond Street or the Amalfi Coast) beckon for Aquazzura’s scintillating bags and heels. Harriet Quick tunes into the good vibes as Mayfair sees the opening of an opulent store
Summer nights (on the Thames Riviera or the Amalfi Coast) beckon for Aquazzura’s scintillating bags and heels. Harriet Quick tunes into the good vibes as Bond Street sees the opening of an opulent store.
Edgardo Osorio believes in the power of smiles – his own has helped grow a global shoe business from scratch – and in the symbolism of pineapples. The motif adorns the leather soles of Aquazzura heels and was traditionally placed as a tile or a carving outside Italian villas to attract hospitality and luck. The Colombian born designer likes to generate good vibes and since launching his brand in 2012 that frequency has been resonating to the tune of annual revenues estimated at 70m euros.
This June, Osorio, now 37, opens a new three storey flagship on Bond Street decorated in his trademark Capri blue (a major upgrade on the current Albemarle Street location) that will showcase his evolving accessories turned lifestyle brand that now encompasses jewellery, handbags and tableware.
His upbringing in Barranquilla, Colombia (Shakira’s hometown) surrounded by women, helped shape his fascination with footwear, dancing and the language of glamour. “As a child, I saw shoes everywhere, and learned to understand the feminine point of view,” he says referring to the psychology of women and heels. Osorio moved to London and trained at London College of Fashion before relocating to the European heart of luxury accessories – Florence – the city that nurtured Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Rene Caovilla. Back then, the footwear landscape was smaller, propelled by street style at one end and bedazzling diva glamour at the other and he saw a space for something sexier and light-hearted.
After learning the craft, and applying that smile on risk averse factories, Osorio launched his own label dedicated to highly engineered heels that were made for dancing and moving not just posturing. “I start with the anatomy,” says Osorio of his approach that saw him partnering with skilled last makers to create the foot contouring silhouettes. A little River Arno boutique followed (just a skip away from the Ponte Vecchio) and soon Osorio was anointed the cobbler in ascendant attracting fans including Giovanni Battaglia, Olivia Palermo, Sabine Getty, Alex Riviere, Rihanna and Nicole Kidman. Osorio’s skilful manoeuvring into Hollywood, mirroring Ferragamo’s trajectory in the 1950s, provided the turning point.
No man is an island and Osorio’s partner and right-hand man, Ricardo D’Almeidaproves a brilliant dynamo to building the business. The impeccably dressed duo (bespoke tailoring, cravats, cufflinks) conjure up the debonair Cary Grant / Marcello Mastroianni sartorial school and they entertain from their 17th century Florentine Palazzo that once belonged to the wife of Marquis Filippo Corsini.They share the building with Corsini’s descendants with the marble floors, stucco, frescoes, bronze sculptures and balconies all adding to the allure that is sprinkled with 70s decadence, Italian fantasia and Latinx soul.
Highlights include the Tessa Sandal 105 with its lace bowed ankle strap and stencilled straps; the Tequila 105 Sandal embellished with crystal spheres and the Zsa Zsa Mule crafted with sculpted PVC florals. The new logo free handbag line is equally juicy with metallic leather clutches with a Twist handbar; a Downtown shoulder strap flap bag with chainmail hardware and the irresistible lip shaped crystal embellished Kiss Me Minaudiere. With Osorio’s smooth touch, a men’s collection is up next. In the meantime, Summer nights are calling…