Edgardo Osorio, the man behind the Aquazzura luxury-footwear brand, is celebrating a year filled with buzzy store openings in New York and one to come in Miami, as well as the launch of two powerful collaborations.
After a whirlwind ride since founding Aquazzura just five years ago, Osorio is being recognized this week with the Designer of the Year award at the QVC Presents “FFANY Shoes on Sale” gala in New York. Here, the designer shares with Footwear News his connection to the cause, his current inspirations and a few hints about his pre-fall collection.
On being honored by FFANY: “It’s wonderful and extremely exciting to be receiving this award. We’ve been on such an incredible journey. With our store opening on Madison Avenue [in New York in May], we’ve had incredible growth and an incredible year.”
On his personal connections to the cause: “I just lost a family member [to breast cancer], so it’s a cause that’s quite dear to my heart. We are very lucky to be doing what we’re doing, and we’re in an industry that is obviously going through a hard time, like other industries. We’re very blessed in what we do, and to give back needs to be part of the job.”
On the biggest highlights of the year: “The resort ’15 collaboration with Poppy Delevingne was amazing. Launching the collection was an incredible success; she’s such a wonderful and cool girl. Working on this together was fun. I’m lucky to have worked with incredible women in my life who inspire me and help me. As a male designer, you need to surround yourself with women, because what I do is for them. In the case of [my fall ’16 collaboration with] Naty Abascal, she’s been a fashion icon for five decades. She’s somebody who knows fashion and has lived through incredible eras. She’s helped young designers.”
On how a party inspired his spring ’17 line: “The collection was about celebrating life and was like a trip around the world. It started with the inspiration behind my 30th-birthday party — a bohemian trip around the world, to the Amazon rainforest, to Papua, New Guinea. We presented the collection [during Paris Fashion Week] and had an amazing reaction. We are lucky to have retail partners that are very interested in growing with us. We have more shoe offerings than ever.”
On preparing for the next seasons: “I like shoes that make you smile and make you want to drink or party or go on holiday. My brand started on a holiday; it’s very much in the DNA of the brand. I’m very happy that there was a strong reaction to this collection.”
On building the brand in the States: “We want to continue growing in the U.S. [Although I was born in Colombia], I feel very much American because I spent a lot of time in the U.S. growing up, and it’s been wonderful to see that the brand has become a leader here. In such a difficult market, the shoes are performing well.”