Profile in Style: Aquazzura

Edgardo Osorio, at home in Florence, flanked by his friends Alejandra De Rojas and Sabine Getty, who are wearing his shoes.

The Line of Beauty

“What’s missing today in fashion is simply beautiful things,” says Edgardo Osorio, a cofounder, with Ricardo D’Almeida Figueiredo, of the shoe line Aquazzura. “It’s as if to be interesting you had to be depressed and messy, but that’s complete nonsense.” Indeed, there is no shortage of beautiful things in their 2,000-square-foot pied-à-terre in the 15th-century Palazzo Corsini in Florence, which overlooks the Arno River. Here one finds an upbeat jumble of art by Douglas Gordon and Vanessa Beecroft, Baroque Viennese portraiture, Ralph Lauren and Christian Lacroix wallpaper, a bit of taxidermy, and a lot of antique Portuguese silver. Osorio, 30, and D’Almeida Figueiredo, 44, are there only a week or two per month due to an ambitious international-travel schedule, but when they are, the door is open to friends such as the jewelry designer Sabine Getty, the fashion entrepreneur Alejandra De Rojas, and the model and It girl Poppy Delevingne, with whom Osorio created a capsule collection. On this day, Getty is lounging on the velvet sofa in the living room, an Hermès Bleus d’Ailleurs cup of tea perched on the zebra-skin table in front of her. “I just love this place,” she gushes.

A Step Ahead

Osorio, who was born in Cartagena, Colombia, has been working as a shoe designer since he was 19, with stints at Salvatore Ferragamo, René Caovilla, and Roberto Cavalli along the way. “When we launched Aquazzura in 2011, it was just me and Edgardo in his old apartment surrounded by shoeboxes,” says D’Almeida Figueiredo, formerly a Lisbon-based publicist for luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Gucci. Since then, they have placed Osorio’s sexy, deceptively comfortable shoes with Browns, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Net-a-Porter. In November, Osorio collaborated with Ferragamo on a 12-shoe collection. “It was the first place I worked when I got to Italy,” he says. “Partnering with them 10 years later, when I’m in such a different place in my life, was really special to me.”

Global Footprint

Osorio and D’Almeida Figueiredo are expanding the burgeoning Aquazzura empire with the same upbeat maximalism evident in their living quarters. They opened their first store, in Florence, in 2014, on the ground floor of the palazzo; a London flagship followed last fall; New York is having its debut this month; and outposts in Macau and Hong Kong are in the works. “I never met a stripe I didn’t like,” says Osorio, referring to the decor of the Florence shop, with its pops of vivid jade green, brass, and its restored frescoes dating from when a Corsini ran the Vatican as Pope Clement XII. That exuberance—tempered with practicality—clearly extends to his wildly popular stilettos and flats. “I’ve always wanted to create shoes that were positive and happy. Whenever I went to a wedding or a party, girls kept complaining about their shoes. I love to dance, and I wanted them to have shoes they could keep on all night.”

Hair By Guja at Atomo Management; Makeup by Karin Borromeo at WM-Management.