Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman, co-founders of the 7-year-old Bionda Castana label, marked an important milestone today when they opened their first retail store in the brand’s hometown of London. An event to celebrate the launch drew fans and friends, including actress Amber Atherton, model Zara Martin and TV host Olivia Cox.
The luxury women’s footwear brand has been building toward this moment for months. In April, Barbieri told Footwear News a little about the space. “The store is small, yet in the perfect location,” she said. “The address is 73 Elizabeth St., a very well-loved street in Belgravia. It will also house our custom-made service, as it is an ever-growing side of the business.”
Future retail ventures could be in the works elsewhere. The co-founders have said they’d like to have branded locations in Hong Kong and Dubai.
Bionda Castana has been steadily raising its profile in the past year with strategic moves, including launching an artful spring ad campaign shot by Dima Hohlov and styled by Natalie Brewster. And the brand, which has been seen on the feet of celebs such as Kerry Washington, Kiera Knightly and Alexa Chung, brought in a former Versace exec as CEO last year, though he has since left the team.
Additionally, the label has introduced pre-collections to expand its product offering. Check out the June 8 issue of Footwear News for a peek at the direction of the label’s resort ’16 season.