By Tali Minor
Aquazzura is a favorite among discerning women (and thanks to their new children’s line, women in the making). This month welcomed the beloved shoe brand’s second capsule collection with the iconic fabric and wall covering company, de Gournay, and the release of a Spring collection heavily influenced by Indian culture and design. On the heels of a private luncheon held in his honor at Bal Harbour Shops, Aquazzura Creative Director Edgardo Osorio gave us the inside scoop on his latest offerings, and shared some of his travel habits and hangouts.
I absolutely love the second collection you’ve designed with de Gournay. Can you tell us how this collection relates to the first?
The first collaboration was an incredible success and many clients were still asking for it. While the original pink was inspired by the exquisite color of one of the rooms of Palazzo Corsini that houses the AQUAZZURA office in Florence, for our second collaboration we decided to make a new edition of the Chinoiserie based on the color of the de Gournay wallpaper I have in my apartment. I find this shade of blue very calming and chic, and it still pairs beautifully with the ‘Amazonia’ motif and its lush foliage. The capsule, that I find so fresh, fun and feminine, includes six styles for women ranging from high heels to flats and, for the first time, three styles for baby girls, so that also the little ones will be able to wear the the same precious shoes that their mum wears—but with an extra dose of fun!
How did the relationship with de Gournay begin?
As it often happens, it was all by chance! I have always been obsessed with de Gournay’s wallpapers and fabrics, and choose one of their beautiful, hand-painted wallpapers to adorn the entrance of my apartment in Florence, which I wanted to look like a little winter garden. After photos of the house were published, they got to know about it and soon after we met. When we decided to collaborate on a project together it was just a dream come true. Interior design is my other big passion, and I was deeply fascinated by the idea that women could wear some luxurious shoes reflecting the same beauty that de Gournay displays through its interiors.
De Gournay references motifs and traditions from the 19th century. Do you find inspiration in history, referencing art and interiors from other periods?
Collaborating with de Gournay provided an amazing opportunity to work with design, which I’m passionate about. While starting our work together, we were looking at 18th century illustrations by Albertus Seba and the work of Spanish artist Juan Gatti, with a final result of a rich pattern of lush foliage and blooming florals, with tropical animals like Toucans, Parrots and Macaws.
Art and design are very much part of my life: It’s all part of the creative process that I experience with my work and things that I just love. I am always going to design fairs, or visiting antique shops and auctions—which are all amazing sources of inspiration as well as places where I can find pieces for my house and my office. I live in Florence which is such an amazing city, and I can’t even describe how it feels to be surrounded by such history and beauty. It’s really a constant source of inspiration.
Can you share an example of how inspiration sparks and transpires in a shoe design?
The Spring/Summer 18 is such a colorful and precious collection. During a trip I did over the New Year to Rajasthan, I just fell in love with the precious embroideries, the textures and the vivid colours of the country’s traditional Saris. Those vibrant shades, with a focus on pink and yellow that you can see across various styles of the collection, are reminiscent of the fascinating street festivals, while precious details—like the small embroidered mirrors, so apparent in the Indian style—enrich shoes like the Jaipur Pump and Sandal. Indian jewelry also inspired me very much, with many styles—such as Rendez Vous and the Gem Palace Mule and Sandal—inspired by the popular gold bangles and the opulent gems of the Maharanis of Rajasthan respectively. Also, the native flowers of the Indian palace gardens that I visited inspired floral patterns, and have been re-interpreted through linen fabrics with suede in styles like the Lily of The Valley Sandal, while delicate silk has been used in the hand-woven pom-poms of the Lotus Blossom Mule and Sandal 105.
When you travel, what are a few things you always have packed in your carry-on?
A cashmere blanket, an SK hydrating facial treatment mask, a good book (now I’m reading a biography of Andy Warhol written by Bob Colacello), dark chocolate and my Master & Dynamic headphones.
Are you strictly digital or does paper still have a place in your life?
We live in a digital world and I grew up in an Instagram generation. Both for pleasure and for my work I use the app a lot, but books and magazines are definitely still part of my life. I love reading, and have a passion for biographies that I especially enjoy while on holiday. I think there’s nothing more relaxing than going through the pages of a good book while soaking the sun at the beach! I also collect fashion, art, design and interior photo books. They not only are some beautiful objects to have, but they also inspire my work. Both my apartment and office are filled with them!
Which destinations are on your travel list this spring and summer?
I haven’t decided yet but, as I am traveling for work most of the year, when it comes to summer holidays all I need is to spend my days relaxing by the sea, with my feet on the hot sand, soaking up the sun. There’s nothing better for me to recharge my body and my mind! I usually go to Capri and the Amalfi coast every year as well as in Greece, where I love to spend time in Patmos and Spetses.
What’s the last book you read? What’s next on your list?
The last book I read was “Lord of the Isle: The Extravagant Life and Times of Colin Tennant.” I usually have two to three books I try to read in the same period.
When visiting Bal Harbour Shops, what else is on your Miami agenda?
In Miami, I like to be by the beach. I love the new Four Seasons Surf Club. I come often, usually for work and Art Basel. My favorite place to shop is by far Bal Harbour—where I also like to come and have lunch or dinner at Makoto with friends. One of my favorite places for food is Joe’s Stone Crab. I’m obsessed with anything with crab! I like to go for drinks at Soho House or the Faena hotel which is always fun.
Click here for highlights from the Bal Harbour Shops Aquazzura & de Gournay luncheon.