Fancy footwork: Meet Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura

The last few seasons have seen a departure from the paradigm of the “higher is better” platform heavy, over-adorned shoes that dominated all subsets of fashion for years. There’s been a shift towards simplicity, that goes beyond a penchant for the monochromatic or interest in Normcore; it’s a desire to get back to the basics.

An emphasis on classic, well made shoes rather than statement pieces is what today’s luxury customer is after, and it’s what a brand like women’s shoe line Aquazzura is offering.

The line created by Edgardo Osorio, has seen a tremendous growth in just three years. His shoes are well thought out, carefully researched and made to endure. Edgardo uses a soft, supple cashmere leather, which has been patented for Aquazzura. He focuses on clean lines and shapes, which flatter women of all ages. His design aesthetic revolves around the notion of a shoe which is sexy and sophisticated at the same time.

For Edgardo, it’s all about pleasing the women he dresses. He’s had a global upbringing, born in Colombia, with time spent in Miami, school in London and now living and working in Florence. His shoes are a reflection of the universal needs of all women: reliable shoes that look great and are bearable for more than just a dinner party.

Although only 28, Edgardo’s already had a lengthy tutelage under Italian accessory designers. He’s designed for Salvatore Ferragamo, René Caovilla and was the head of accessories for Roberto Cavalli. His own line, while very different from the aforementioned, has picked up the right cues from his previous mentors – good materials solely produced in Italy and a real sense of artisan, all signs of longevity.

We visited Edgardo at Holt Renfrew and viewed his F/W 14 collection, a mashup of classic shapes and colorful hues (crimson was our favorite). We watched him sketch for a while, and asked him to share with us how the freedom of his own line has opened him up creatively and he spoke to us about his lifelong love of shoes and why comfort is not a dirty word.

Aquazzura brings sophistication to comfort

Aquazzura is all about sensual sensibility.

The women’s shoe line was launched by Edgardo Osorio in 2011 and has already garnered a reputation for its sleek design and comfortable leathers.

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Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura

Giambattista Valli once said that the hardest thing in fashion is not to be known for a logo, but known for a silhouette. For Edgardo, his signature lays in the ergonomic factor of his shoes. He chooses to work with a special cashmere suede (specifically patented for Aquazzura). He’s studied how balance is split between the ball, sole and arch of the foot. Edgardo is more concerned with the feel and look of the shoe on the woman, versus having the shoe be a flashy, uncomfortable accoutrement.

Thunder Bootie

Thunder Bootie

His passion for both design and the comfort of his customer are telltale signs of the longevity for Aquazzura. The brand’s underlying philosophy seems to be suave but wearable.

We spent some time with Edgardo (and his shoes) when he visited Holt Renfrew and he summed it up best by telling us, “If you’re not comfortable, you’re not sexy.”

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Follow Me Bootie

Follow Me Bootie

Follow Me Bootie

Next we’ll be sharing with you our video interview, stay tuned.

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Sexy Fringe Bootie

 

 

The Kingdom of Vashtie

Vashtie Kola is the personification of the American Dream.

Born to an immigrant Trinidadian family, she left her parents home for the flawed utopia that is New York City.  She enrolled in the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and supported herself through working at the Stussy Store in SoHo.

Fast forward nearly a decade later and she’s collaborated with Stussy (and many other brands) as she’s turned her passion for film, music and design into an empire of cool.

Vashtie has redefined what it means to be a creative. She’s shattered glass ceilings in design (she was the first woman to design a pair of Air Jordan’s) and in the male dominated arena of music video directing. Her role as a cultural savant has bred from her ability to recognize and shape trends, something which has made her highly sought after by brands and fans alike.

Her moniker “Downtown’s sweetheart” is fitting, as she is so closely identified with the informally trendy street wear style that has trickled through all subsets of fashion in the last few years. Her own tomboyish style, slouchy tee’s and NY jerseys mixed in with high end accessories is true to her downtown beginnings, the place where Vashtie says she was reborn. She’s created a clothing line Violette, which mirrors her much coveted casually luxe style.

The most invigorating thing about Vashtie is that she has created her kingdom on her own, while being herself. It’s a soft spoken triumph for feminism, that she has been so successful without having to comprise herself or her sexuality. She emanates an introspective confidence that doesn’t rely on the risqué to drum up buzz.

We caught up with her before her DJ set (filled with 00’ throwbacks which made us long for Busta Rhymes) and asked her about her innate desire to create, her love for NY and how she selects which brands she collaborates with.

Check out more of 88:88’s music here 

Holt Renfrew welcomes Christopher Bates S/S 14 collection

Christopher Bates has ascended through the ranks of Canadian menswear, an impressive conquest – considering he once didn’t realize a career in design was even possible.

His decision to leave his corporate job for school in Milan was a risky one, as Canadian markets were primarily focused on street wear and outdoor wear, especially in his hometown of Vancouver. The gamble proved successful as he enrolled in the Istituto Marangoni, which counts Dominco Dolce and Moschino as alumni.

It’s always interesting to unearth where a designer studied (or if they studied), as certain schools seem to nurture familial thought patterns for designers. Most notable is the Antwerp Six whose time at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts embedded in them a progressive sort of design not naturally associated with Belgium.

Christopher’s designs are very telling of his time in Milan. His focus on merino wool, and focus on fitted, tailored pieces is what the Italians are best at, and what his audience is looking for.

Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew recently added his collection to their stores, and his line has been well received by the new Vancouver market, young men with disposable incomes and a keen interest in high end pieces.

We met with him at the launch of his S/S 14 collection, at Holt Renfrew, to discuss his beginning in fashion, the influences for his collection and becoming and having his line carried by Holts.