FLORENCE, Italy — This month, the BoF Spotlight shines on Aquazzura, a women's footwear label designed by Colombian-born, Florence-based Edgardo Osorio who creates sexy, high quality shoes at refreshingly reasonable price points under $1000.
After attending Central Saint Martins and the London College of Fashion, Osorio spent over ten years designing footwear for luxury brands including Salvatore Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli. But when he decided to set out on his own, Osorio spotted an underserved gap in the market and deftly positioned Aquazzura, his ode to a high glam Mediterranean lifestyle, at an entry-level luxury price point.
Manufactured in both Italy and Asia, with the finest Italian materials, including baby calf and cashmere suede, Aquazzura offers a creative twist on classic styles in a wide range of colours, from Yves Klein blue, tangerine and magenta to red, saddle and black. Most of the brand’s styles are in the $465-to-$695 price range, with made in Italy footwear ranging from $650 to $995.
“This used to be the price of designer shoes ten years ago,” said Osorio. “We only use the best tanneries in Italy for all our leather,” he continued. “But due to my past experiences, I can minimise expenses because I know how to develop a collection in a more efficient and cost effective way.”
Osorio’s shoes are surprisingly wearable and comfortable, as well. “I’m addressing a woman who loves to travel, has a taste for beautiful things and wants to enjoy herself, but also has a hectic and active life,” he said.
Now in it’s second season, Aquazzura has caught on with chic women like Giovanna Battaglia, editor of L’Uomo Vogue, who favours the brand’s “Sexy Thing” suede booties, and is stocked at Harvey Nichols in Turkey, Estnation in Japan, Published in South Korea and Five-Story in the US.
Aquazzura has also struck a chord with e-tailers Moda Operandi, who featured the brand in their online magazine. “Aquazzura shoes are incredibly intricate as well as playful,” said Aslaug Magnusdottir, co-founder and CEO of Moda Operandi. “They are perfect for the modern woman who appreciates craftsmanship but also values comfort.”
For this month’s Spotlight, Osorio created a custom BoF logo featuring a stunning red shoe from his Fall-Winter 2012 collection.
Looking to the future, Osorio has big plans for his young label. Starting with new products lines, including bags, small leather goods and jewellery, he aims to turn Aquazzura into nothing less than a full-fledged lifestyle brand. “Aquazzura is meant to grow as a lifestyle brand that represents a modern Italian aesthetic, with Latin flavour and American ease.”
Research for this piece was conducted by Corbin Chamberlin.