What does it take for a shoe to reach cult status? Impeccable quality is essential, so take an Italian label, like Aquazzura, with a deep knowledge of leatherwork and a love of craftsmanship. Add trendsetter style, plus an on-trend and timeless signature. Who else would embody this better than Poppy Delevingne?
The stars were aligned when Edgardo Osorio, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Aquazzura, and Poppy Delevingne, British style icon and model, joined forces for a collaboration. Their love of style and shoes translated to a capsule collection of Resort footwear, a line of seven styles marrying the brand’s playful aesthetic and Poppy’s ultra-chic style.
Here, Savoir Flair interviews Poppy about the collaboration and her style secrets.
Being a modern-day trendsetter, you must be approached to work with big brands on a daily basis. Why Aquazzura and how did the collaboration come to life?
Aquazzura was introduced to me a while ago, when a really dear friend of mine gave me a pair of — I think one of the most iconic — shoes, the Aquazzura Belgravia ballet flats in black. She gifted to me this pair of shoes and I basically fell in love and lived in them. This is where my love for Aquazzura as a brand really came to life. It was not long afterwards that I went to Paris for work and I met the wonderful Edgardo and I was seriously taken aback by his charm and talent. Within 20 minutes of meeting each other, we already had this idea of doing a collaboration. We really wanted to work together — you know when you just connect with someone? That is where it all came about.
What do you like most about the brand and Edgardo’s designs?
To me, what I love about Edgardo’s designs is that they are so beautifully intricate. It is quite mesmerizing being with him and watching him draw a shoe and bringing pieces to life. I also love that every collection tells a story. There is always something behind them. There is always a little bit of a sense of humor that I think sets them apart as a brand to all the other shoe brands.
I know you mentioned the ballet flats. Do you have any other highly treasured Aquazzura shoes in your wardrobe?
Oh my gosh, there are so many. I have so many! I have the beautiful red tassled Wild Thing sandals and the pretty Christy flats with the tie-around ankle. I have them in three or four colors like emerald green, fuchsia pink, and red. I am really lucky I have quite a few.
The pieces in the collaboration seem like a very natural and effortless translation of your signature style in the form of footwear. Can you give us a bit of an insight into the design process and what it was like to work with Edgardo?
It was amazing, really. We wanted to do something with a little bit of Poppy injected into it, because we obviously thought that was quite an important part and we wanted to remain very true to the aesthetic of Aquazzura. First and foremost, we were discussing ideas and Edgardo was telling me how he was inspired by my wedding in Marrakesh and me; I was obviously very inspired by Marrakesh as a whole — the whole romance and how mystical and beautiful of a place it really is. For our meeting, I brought these earrings that I found in a vintage jewelry shop in the South of France, and we thought it would tie in beautifully with the idea of Marrakesh. We loved the idea of navy that was reflective of the sky and a lot of gold that was like the sun. We also loved the luggage theme that appears in the boots and the hero sandals, which also represent the earthiness of Marrakesh. This was a starting point and then we worked from there. It came down to having a collaboration that has a shoe for every type of woman and every type of style — for me, it was really important to cater to everyone.
I understand this basically sums up your mood board for the collection and where you got your inspiration from. Was there any country or continent that inspired you and any other influences?
Not really, Marrakesh was really our inspiration for the entire collaboration. But also what we really tried to capture was the traveling girl, the girl who seeks adventure and is always out for new horizons. I hope that we caught that.
Your style has a large following worldwide and you are known to be a globetrotter. Which countries and places inspire you most?
I have explored so many places in the world. I am very blessed with many things about my job; I love that I get to see the world, I feel very lucky that I get to do that. I find London to be a very inspiring city. I love places like Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Los Angeles, and all these different sorts of places. I went to Cartagena in Columbia, where Edgardo is from, last year and I think it is one of the most incredible places. It’s sort of covered with jungles and heat and so colorful, I found it to be very inspiring. I could go on for days!
I love the attention to detail that goes into the way Middle Eastern women dress. When I was out there recently, I went to an event at a hotel and the women took my breath away.
Growing up, what inspired your love of fashion and how did you find your personal style? Did it take a lot of experimenting?
It did. When I was a kid and I started wondering about fashion, it was the 90s, which I think was the real time for freedom and expressing yourself and being a little bonkers. I really enjoyed that in the late 90s and dressing up like a Spice Girl and wearing Buffalo boots! Those were the days of No Doubt, Gwen Stefani, and Chloe Sevigny. That kind of vibe was very cool to grow up in, and it did mean making a lot of mistakes in terms of finding a style and the means to go by — but I feel like along the way, that’s fine. I still make mistakes every day, but the way I see it is that it’s good to be a little bit adventurous. I am always willing to try something new and give it a go and do something that is a little bit out there. I see that as something that I can learn from daily and move forward with.
When it comes to footwear, do you prefer heels or flats? Which style is your personal favorite from the collaboration and why?
That’s so hard. I am really tall, so I usually would always say I was a flat girl, but I’ve been designing this collaboration and am so in love with some of the heels. The booties are so great because you could literally dance until the sun comes up. They are so comfortable. You could literally run a marathon, they are incredible! There is also the midnight flat in gold — it is just beautiful and the sort of sandal that goes with everything. Especially in the gold color; the style really pops out. Then the midnight sandal in silver has a kind of vintage feel to it. It looks like it is from another time, and it feels very original, which is why I love it. So three favorites! [Laughs]
What are your thoughts on the style of the Middle East? Do you have any favorite pieces with Arabic influences in your wardrobe?
I’ve been to the Middle East quite a few times, and feel very lucky to go there. I am absolutely in love with Dubai. I was there two weeks ago, actually. Whenever I am there I always go to one of my favorite shops, Sauce Boutique, which I absolutely love. They always have things that I come away with. In fact, it is dangerous actually to visit it because I always come away buying things that I really, really love. I think in the Middle East women are dressed so exquisitely and I feel that my shoes, available at Level Shoe District, will will do really well there. They will suit the Middle Eastern woman so beautifully well. I love the attention to detail that goes into the way Middle Eastern women dress. When I was out there recently, I went to an event at a hotel and the women took my breath away. It was absolutely fantastic.
The Poppy Delevingne x Aquazzura Resort Capsule Collection is available exclusively at Level Shoe District.