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Thursday, April 4th 2013

Inside Aquazzura: Exclusive Interview with Edgardo Osorio

If you’re interested in knowing what’s next in luxury footwear, you should be interested in knowing Edgardo Osorio, creative director and founder of Aquazzura. Business of Fashion rightly placed Osorio “at the vanguard of luxury footwear” with five other designers, and two minutes in his covetable shoes makes it easy to see why. A perfect blend of style and comfort with a dash of sex appeal, Aquazzura shoes have earned fans throughout the fashion industry (and in the Shopbop offices). We spoke with Osorio about his collection and what makes the perfect shoe.

SHOPBOP: What inspired you to launch Aquazzura?
EDGARDO OSORIO: After over ten years working for many different luxury brands, I wanted to create my own line following a very specific aesthetic and sensibility. 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 felt fresh and feminine. For me, it’s not about creating sculptures or architecture, it’s about making women beautiful.

SB: Tell us about the spring collection.
EO: This summer is all about Mexico and cocktails! It all started in Isabel Goldsmith’s hotel, Las Alamandas, in Careyes, Mexico. I loved the design because it’s quite minimal, but done in beautiful colors that remind me of cocktails. I love to have a fun aspect in my shoes. Fashion should be fun.

SB: You were born in Colombia, raised in Miami and London, and your brand is based in Florence. How do these varied geographies influence your aesthetic?
EO: I feel very lucky to have been able to live in such different places. It gives me a very different perspective on style. My aesthetic is like me—a mix. I was born in Cartagena, raised between Miami and London, and have been living in Florence for the past nine years. Aquazzura mixes all of these different influences. It’s Italian style with Latin flair and American ease. Also, as a Latin man, I like to make a woman sexy and beautiful, but I never want her to be vulgar.

Top: Aquazzura Creative Director Edgardo Osorio. Above: the perforated Sexy Thing bootie.

SB: How would you describe the Aquazzura customer? Who is wearing your shoes?
EO: I don’t like to think I design for a specific kind of woman. I like to think that my shoes are trans-generational. I think all women, no matter what age they are, want to look young and beautiful. I try to address this need. I think my customer loves to travel, has a taste for beautiful things, and wants to enjoy life.

She’s also a modern woman who probably has a hectic and active life, and she wants to look beautiful any time of the day, which is where the comfort factor comes in. I want women to be able to walk in my shoes all day and feel great.

SB: The Sexy Thing bootie has fans across the globe (including several people in the Shopbop offices). What do you think it is about this style that makes it appeal to so many women?
EO: The Sexy Thing bootie perfectly embodies the Aquazzura style: it’s sexy, modern, and yet incredibly comfortable and easy to wear. It’s a shoe you can wear from day to night, for twelve hours straight without getting eleven new blisters. Sexy Thing is probably the most comfortable high heel on the market. I like to make sexy shoes woman can walk in all day and dance in all night!

SB: In your opinion, what is the single most important characteristic every pair of shoes should have?
EO: Any shoe you buy and wear should always make you look great and feel great! With shoes, it’s a love affair—you must fall in love to buy it. It’s a completely emotional experience.

SB: And finally, we have to know: what's the significance of the pineapple in your logo?
EO: The pineapple is one part of the Aquazzura signature. It’s a symbol of good fortune and my Colombian touch. The other part is the color of my boxes and dust bags, which is Yves Klein blue, which happens to be my favorite color.

Shop Aquazzura shoes.

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