The meaning behind international footwear brand Aquazzura is “blue ocean,” an apt name thought up by co-founder and creative director Edgardo Osorio. “Any city by the ocean is a city that I love,” says the 34-year-old Colombian-born designer who was raised between Miami and London. He studied at the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins before moving to Florence, Italy, where he found work at fashion powerhouses Salvatore Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli.
He later launched his flagship store in the famed Renaissance city at Palazzo Corsini, churning out luxury footwear that’s elegant yet practical and adorned by celebrities such as Meghan Markle. We sat down with the design extraordinaire at Saks Fifth Avenue at Town Center at Boca Raton to talk about his first Aquazzura shoe, his creative process and the latest launch.
What made you want to begin designing shoes?
Within a week of working for a ready-to-wear designer, I realized what I was interested in was accessories and, specifically, shoes. It kind of found me. I always loved shoes and it was always very present in my life. My mother had many sisters, and they were obviously about shoes and for me, my mother always told me, “The most important thing is the shoes and everything else is whatever.” I like how emotional shoes are, how much they tell you about a person, especially about a woman—how she’s feeling, what she wants to communicate and how that can change her body, her look; how they can maybe define a moment.
Describe the first pair of Aquazzura shoes you created.
It’s called “Sexy Thing,” and it was a suede, unlined, open-toed booty with cutouts. It was one of our bestsellers and one of our most iconic shoes. I remember I was in Portugal on holiday in the wine region, and I was just sketching away. I wanted the idea of a shoe that felt like a glove and had cutouts almost like a mask.
Where do you find inspiration?
Women are my biggest inspiration. Whenever I travel I see what people are wearing, and I talk to women and they tell me and not tell me what they’re looking for. Whenever I’m in a country I like to go and see local artisans, markets, flea markets, fairs. I’m also very into arts and contemporary art, so I visit a lot of museums and exhibitions, and I see auctions and shows. As a designer, you’re a sponge to everything you see and look. Luckily I travel a lot, so I see a lot.
Tell us about your Resort 2020 collection.
I worked more on silhouettes and textures and decorations and different elements. There’s a lot of multicolor and rainbow; there’s also a lot of evening, but also a new kind of evening—it’s an evening shoe but it can also be a glamour day shoe because it’s in a mid-heel and it’s kind of ’90s, “Sex and the City.” There’s a return to the platform. I’ve been doing platforms for a while, and it’s been quite successful. There’s a whole kind of ’70s vibe going on in fashion. That’s something that I think is going to be strong, especially for all of these wide-leg pants and jeans that are going around.
What’s important when designing shoes for women?
Making something beautiful, making something that enhances a woman’s beauty—that makes her legs look longer, that makes her feel good. My favorite shoes are the ones that make you smile, make you want to have a good time. And I think of comfort; if you’re comfortable, you’ll really have a good time.
How do you define your style?
Classic Italian. I wear lots of navy. I love white jeans and white pants and loafers. Loafers are my sneakers and slippers as well. I’m not very brand-oriented.