Take a stroll down Elizabeth Street in London’s chic Belgravia neighborhood, and you’ll find Bionda Castana’s recently-opened boutique, which is fast becoming a local favorite.
On Monday, we caught up with Natalia Barbieri — one half of the duo behind the British brand — to go behind the scenes at the shop, which opened in June. It’s been a major learning experience for the designer and executive to find out what her customers crave — a well-merchandised collection with a variety of styles.
The social-media savvy entrepreneur sounded off on celebrity hits and her favorite people to follow on Instagram. Read on for the scoop.
Any major sightings in the store so far?
NB: Pippa Middleton came quite early on. David Gandy was a good one. He hung out for about three hours.
Who have been your biggest celebrity supporters of late?
NB: Christina Hendricks wore our shoes to the Emmy’s, and even though you couldn’t see them that got us a lot of traction. I think she had been wearing the same shoe for a while. Alexa Chung, of course, has been a huge supporter of ours. We always wanted a British ambassador because that’s who we are. Caroline Issa wore them during New York Fashion Week. We actually get more traction [when the] fashion girls are wearing them.
You’re very active on social media. Who are your favorite people to follow on Instagram?
NB: I like Alexa Chung’s because I find her quite amusing. She’s a celebrity, but more of a fashion icon. Zoe Buckman is an artist friend of ours and she’s very vocal [on social media]. I like Caroline Issa’s Instagram — she travels a lot, and it’s never just fashion or food. It’s quite architectural. I like following her steps because she goes everywhere.