The shoemaker to Hollywood and royalty talks to Effect about the launch of Aquazzura Home, and his passion for interior design and tablescaping
For Edgardo Osorio, it all started during a vacation to Capri. “I love everything about the place,” the creative director of luxury shoe brand Aquazzura tells Effect. “Its landscape, its sea, its unique magic, its history and the vibrant Dolce Vita flair that you can perceive, and which I wanted to communicate through my brand. On a sunny summer’s day, the view of the bright blue colour of the sea inspired me to name my company Aquazzura, which translates to blue water in Italian.” That was back in 2012; fast forward a decade, and not only does the well-known shoemaker count the likes of Nicole Kidman, Rihanna, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex among his fan base, but he has grown his company into a lifestyle tour de force with the launch of his new homeware label, Aquazzura Home.
Born in Colombia, Osorio describes an upbringing in Miami and London surrounded by strong women – perhaps a factor in his innate desire and talent for creating beautiful objects: “I watched the women in my life dress up and saw how it made them feel,” he says. “I wanted to create something that gave women the same feeling.”
Decorating tables is an art and should be done with love and attention,” he says. “It’s like wearing a beautiful outfit as it creates unique memoriesEdgardo Osorio, founder and creative director, Aquazzura
Osorio launched his latest venture at Salone Del Mobile in Milan last month. “I’ve always been passionate about interior design,” he says. “If I hadn’t worked in fashion then I would have been an interior designer. I love hosting and creating wonderful dinners to entertain my guests and I really love the art of tablescaping. I feel like the home line is a natural extension of Aquazzura.”
This interest in interior design has long been reflected in the creative’s own home, headquarters and stores. The interior of his Capri branch, for example, is a vibrant mix of seaside motifs and summery pastel hues that evoke the island’s magical landscapes, while the New York flagship imparts an immediate sense of glamour in the form of striped columns, high arches and a domed niche reminiscent of Florentine churches. “The art of decorating, to me, is an immersive pleasure filled with visits to art galleries, auction houses and flea markets to look for unique pieces throughout my constant travels around the world.”
Osorio’s debut tableware collection reflects the stylistic codes of his highly successful shoe lines. Created in collaboration with Fiona Leahy, founder of Fiona Leahy Design (and now Aquazzura Home’s co-creative director), they are starting with five different collections, all featuring Aquazzura’s signature motifs, tactile embroideries and vibrant prints. “This is my Latin side! I just love bright colours – they bring so much joy and fun,” he says. “Also, I’m a maximalist at heart, and I love mixing prints and details to create a wow effect. For me this project is about bringing beauty into the everyday life.” Describing it as “an Italian style with a Latin soul,” he adds: “I love the idea of creating happiness with my creations.”
Evoking the scent and atmosphere of a journey to India – one of Osorio’s favourite destinations – the Jaipur collection comprises white ceramics decorated in a palette of cobalt blue, rose and burgundy, featuring graphic edges and lush flower and fruit drawings. There’s also a particular focus on the pineapple – Aquazzura’s distinctive emblem and a symbol of beauty and hospitality. Then there’s the Cherry Blossom collection, which showcases plates, bowls and platters in soft pastel shades of celadon green, lemon yellow, off-white and pearl pink – “a representation of spring, beauty and renewal,” explains Osorio.
Next up is the Secret Garden collection, an enchanting selection of botanical elements in verdant tones featuring exotic motifs inspired by 18th century Chinese porcelain. “The use of Murano glass is a homage to the city of Venice, where I moved last year and that I love deeply,” he adds. As to be expected, fruit takes centre-stage in the vibrant Tutti Frutti collection – a stunning set of ceramics and linens. Red cherries and lemons nod to the island of Capri, while peaches and strawberries feature as boldly painted or subtle decorations. “There’s something so cheerful and nostalgic about these fruits and their bright colours, and the promise of summer they invoke,” says the designer.
Rounding out the collection, Osorio has also created a one-of-a-kind Made in Florence capsule collection of floral-wrapped cooking ranges, crafted in collaboration with luxury kitchen producer Officine Gullo. “I started collaborating with Officine Gullo when I first designed the kitchen for my Venice home,” he adds. “I love their work and I wanted to create a kitchen that spoke the same language and was a direct extension to my home collection. It is entirely hand-painted by an Italian artist, turning an everyday object into something extraordinary.”
There’s no denying that the pandemic gave us all a renewed appreciation for staying at home, and Osorio’s newest venture is set to help revive the art of entertaining through elegant table settings that the designer believes express the ultimate in love and caring. “Decorating tables is an art and should be done with love and attention,” he says. “It’s like wearing a beautiful outfit as it creates unique memories and elevates a dinner. It’s not just about having a meal – it becomes an actual event. It’s an act of giving love to your friends and your guests, as you show someone how much you care with the attention you are giving your table when you invite guests to your home.” With a mind set on expansion, Aquazzura Casa’s debut collections are just the start: “I’m definitely planning to further expand the Aquazzura Casa line by adding new categories for the home such as fragrances, candles and more,” he says. “I already can’t wait for the next collection.”
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