In the celebration of his new SS16 collection, I had the opportunity to sit down with Creative Director of Aquazzura, Edgardo Osorio. At the age of 30, he has designed for brands including Roberto Cavalli and Salvatore Ferragamo, and launched his own luxury footwear brand, Aquazzura. Ready to take the luxury shoe market by storm, he has been creating some the biggest footwear trends in fashion. As we chatted about his inspiration, design process, and how he handles imitators I could not help but feel inspirited.
Being in the leather industry myself, I was curious on how he achieves the softness of his leathers. Osorio explained in detail about how his team does extensive research in all the materials they use in the construction to ensure comfort. Another interesting point he made was with Aquazzura heels, they have changed the location of the pitch of the shoe. This subtle change distributes the weight placed on the foot, so that all the weight won’t be placed in one location and cause discomfort.
Osorio has developed their own leathers such as butter nubuck and cashmere suede. He compared his shoes as “slipping your hand into a glove” and really wanting them to feel as if they were a part of your body. Because his shoes are gaining so much popularity all over the globe, he explained they are expanding their size range for the next SS17 collection. This will accommodate women with sizes as small as 34 and as large as 43 and 44.
He drew inspiration for this collection from travel. Osorio said that he was browsing Instagram one day and saw a picture of a suitcase from an Australian blogger. The way she mixed clothes and jewelry while layered accessories were so delicately, which really stuck with him through out the whole design process. The SS16 collection represents “collecting and mixing” all the different elements of heels that come from different parts of the world. Being so inspired by travel he wanted to find a way to take all those textures and put them together. A rich and full collection of pom poms sparked by Mexican folk, beautiful prints from Greece, and jewelry elements from Santa Fe.
I asked him what inspired him, or what knowledge he took from working with other designers helped him the most in creating his own collection. And, his answer was really intriguing! Osorio said that he noticed a missing link in the shoe market. There are many young designers, just spreading their wings and designing footwear that is really out there, and on the flip side you have designer that have been in the industry for over 10 years. He really thought it was his duty to have a young designer, like himself, find a middle ground. Creating shoes that are sexy, simple and feminine!
He went on to say that the summer he decided to launch his SS16 collection, he attended ten weddings. Being an avid dancer, he noticed that within 15 minutes guests were complaining of discomfort, switching their shoes, or removing their shoes completely. Osorio said he was tired of hearing women complain, so he set out to create a shoe that is feminine and comfortable. Doing this, is what ultimately helped him achieve such growth of his brand in such a short amount of time.
Finally, we discussed what he thought of all the knock offs – he sees inspiration as flattery. He think its lovely, but a blatant copy challenges the integrity of the brand. Aquazzura takes so much time in developing their shoes and practices in which they work, and that is what upsets him the most. They only use certified leathers, eco friendly facilities and materials that are nickel free and anti-allergic. Also the employees are all paid a living wage and treated with decency. Osorio wants to make the customer conscious of all the ethics in his brand and in the fashion world as a whole.
To see if full collection be sure to visit Barneys New York located at 15 East Oak Street in Chicago.