Find shoe phenom Edgardo Osorio, founder and designer of Aquazurra, and you’ll discover the best party in town. Wherever he happens to be on the globe at that moment. This is someone who never shies away from living a statement life. From Osorio’s high-profile 30th birthday bash at the Palazzo Corsini to his statement shoes, he’s often the real most interesting man in the world.
Since launching his company in 2011, Osorio’s designs have changed how we see statement shoes. Sure, you sometimes have to endure some pain to achieve shoe beauty, but Osorio uses clever tactics to merge style and comfortability. All while making a statement.
During a recent visit to Houston’s Neiman Marcus, PaperCity caught up with this Italian shoe maestro for a wide-ranging conversation. Osorio was in town to promote his all-new Aquazurra Mini line — a mommy-and-me collection — but he had thoughts on much more.
PaperCity: Describe the Aquazurra style in three words.
Osorio: Sensual, fun and comfortable.
PC: How does the Houston woman differ from other clients?
Osorio: The Houston woman, she likes fashion, she likes color. But I think that’s the very much the same for Texans in general. And I think, it depends on the weather, the weather is great here. So the same for LA and the same would be for Florida.
You know, when you’re in the South, or you have great weather, you tend to like to wear color. So you can be tan. And I think people here really enjoy life and are fun. They like to enjoy themselves and they like fashion to be fun and playful, and you know, it’s not so dark.
PC: Must stop spot in Houston?
Osorio: I arrived last night and just went to dinner. I was here for 24 hours, so I never really left the Galleria. I have been to Dallas many times. Unfortunately, I have never spent enough time in Houston to get to know it better. I basically know Neiman Marcus and one restaurant.
PC: What’s your take on style versus comfort? How do you balance the two?
Osorio: Well, I think you, you can’t really be stylish if you’re not comfortable because you won’t feel at ease. So, I think to really be sophisticated and comfortable and have great style you need to be, you need to feel good. You don’t need to be perfect because it’s all about the attitude. And so unless you are OK with taking pain, which actually some people are really good at, it would really be better if you feel comfortable. You tend to be happy and be more confident
PC: You launched in 2011 and have quickly become one of the most in-demand designer shoe brands. What has been your recipe for success?
Osorio: Um, there is no recipe. You know, I am very lucky do what I love to do and I am very instinctive. I have a great team and have great people working with me. And I love women and I like to listen to women, I like to give them something that I think they want.
I love to make them look great, and that is basically it. You know, I think if you love what you do, and do it everyday, it’s never work and it should work.
PC: What’s a typical day like for you?
Osorio: There are no typical days [laughs]. I travel eight months a year, and so I don’t have one week that there is no routine, in my life fortunately. So, you know the most I think can be a routine is waking up and trying to go to the gym in the morning early, having green juice, and something healthy, but the rest of the day…[laughs]. You know, if I’m in Italy, if I’m in Florence, it’s the only place where I can kinda have a routine.
And so I’ll wake up, I’ll go to the gym, then I’ll come back and go into my office, I’ll have a look at my agenda for the day, have a meeting with my team and see what’s going on, the new things, how things are developing. I’ll see samples and sketches and I’ll work on sketching and then I have meetings with my other team regarding advertising and things, everything. And then in the afternoon, I usually do take a break for lunch cause you’re in Italy and you do. I actually like to have lunch at home because it’s in the same building where I work, so it’s pretty easy. And then I tend to go to the factories in the afternoons and see suppliers and see how things are developing and correct samples. And normally when I go home it’s always a bunch of sample corrections, corrections for production, and you know taking a look at everything that’s going on. And then dinner normally with my family or close friends and then something on Netflix.
I’ve been watching, cause I’m a big history person, so I’ve been watching Da Vinci’s Demons. The Crown is on my to-see list. Unfortunately it’s so rare that I get to watch TV. For me, actually doing things like that which is quite normal for most people, because you’re traveling so much, that you’re so tired, most of the time I’m passing out. It feels like a privilege to watch. For me, instead of going out — like the exciting plans — would be to stay in and watch TV.
PC: If you weren’t a shoe designer what would you being doing?
Osorio: Well, when I was young, I never thought my father would allow me to be a fashion designer, a designer period, so I actually looked into being a plastic surgeon. But, now, if I actually ever stop designing shoes, I think, my other passion is interior, so I think I would be an interior designer. I really love furniture and design.
PC: Where do you draw inspiration from when designing?
Osorio: A lot of it obviously comes from travel. You know, I think as a designer you get inspired by so much and as you travel you see so much, go to museums, art exhibitions and openings, art things, meet people, meet interesting people, see things, colors even just around the city, walking around, different cities and different places, and also a lot of it actually comes from women. Talking to women, seeing what they want, what they like, you know how they mix things, how they wear things, it’s quite inspiring.
PC: Dream collaboration?
Osorio: You know, I never really thought about a dream collaboration. I mean, the people who I have really wanted to collaborate with, I have been very lucky to work with them, you know, like Poppy and Olivia. I actually like the idea of maybe doing a collaboration with a supermodel, so we’ll see.
PC: Any footwear trends you absolutely love? Or would never adopt?
Osorio: Velvet. I love velvet. I do like chunky heels I think they look very modern. Yeah, I think those are my favorite choices. Thigh high boots in velvet, especially the ones with the embroidery and bugs.
PC: What is on your Christmas list this year?
Osorio: On my Christmas list [laughs], um, I have a few things. One would be to have to be, I would love to do a private tour of the Vatican. Especially, since I read a lot about, and even watch the series, but I read a lot about the boar chins and the medici and even now that I’m watching The Da Vinci Statements it’s all a layer and to see the hidden parts.
And I’ve been to The Vatican, but to see the hidden parts of The Vatican — to see those amazing parts… And there’s so much amazing history and hidden secrets.
PC: What’s next?
Osorio: Well, we’re launching Aquazurra Mini for Christmas. So, that’s very exciting. So all the mini-me versions of our iconic styles. You know in the next year or so we really want to launch men’s, really want to launch bags, we want to be a full accessories house.
For spring and summer, white, strong colors, pink are going to be the top pieces. It’s all about “more is more,” so decoration, embroidery and everything that’s fun and feels special — that really makes a statement shoe.