The English are coming. Last night, two distinctly different British shoe brands hoped the pond to fete a new collaboration. L.K. Bennett and Bionda Castana both are known for their updated spins on retro femininity, so it made good sense they would partner on a 20-style collection, debuting in stores and online next month. Prices range from $475 – $595 for the range of heels and flat sandals. Guests included Harley Viera Newton, Atlanta de Cadenet and Jennifer Creel.
“We felt like we could add something unique to their sensibility and they were incredibly open to our ideas,” said Bionda Castana co-founder Natalia Barbieri, from the Rose Bar rooftop of the Gramercy Park Hotel. “They immediately got how important the specific proportions and details of our shoes are to us,” added her design partner Jennifer Portman. Indeed, even the checkered flooring complemented the signature Castana check pattern, which was worked into their L.K. Bennett styles as well. Both women were turned out in the Jerry style, a laced stiletto in cerise and beige with micro-scalloped detailing, which featured throughout the collection.
As L.K. Bennett’s president Robert Bensoussan toasted the partnership over champagne, he noted the uniqueness of the mashup. “We like to work with interesting new people, but this is the first time we’ve worked with another brand.”
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Another first: it was Portman’s intro to New York City, as she’s usually on factory duty in Italy. “I want to do all the touristy stuff, and am dragging Natalia with me of course,” she laughed. “But first, I’m taking her to all the department floor shoe floors,” chimed in Barbieri. Empire State of Mind indeed.
Click through to see the full collection and who’s who from the dinner.