Interview: Racil Chalhoub And Edgardo Osorio On Their High Summer Shoe Collection

BY Emily Baxter-Priest / Apr 3 2019 / 21:01 PM

The meeting of creative minds between Racil Chalhoub and Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio results in spring’s most upbeat collaboration

Interview: Racil Chalhoub And Edgardo Osorio On Their High Summer Shoe Collection
Left: The designers behind spring’s most fun and flamboyant capsule collection, Racil Chalhoub and Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio Right: Positano top, Dhs2,258 and Desert trousers, Dhs2,570, Aquazzura x Racil, available at Matches Fashion

Inspired by the striking female attitude of the ’90s, an era both designers grew up in, and their love affair with head-to-toe looks, this season’s collaboration between Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio and Lebanese designer Racil Chalhoub oozes flamboyant appeal. “It’s vibrant, fresh and joyful,” Edgardo says of the 12-piece capsule collection that combines stripes, polka dots and “magnificent floral prints”. Referencing “the high-octane glamour, beauty and supermodels” of the ’90s, Edgardo loves the sensuality of the decade’s fashion, the strong sense of femininity embodied in actresses and models of that time, and the imagery captured by photographers such as Steven Meisel and Richard Avedon. In tandem, the impact of Paris’ fashion scene in the Nineties, which was “all about Chanel and Versace”, played a big role in Racil’s decision to become a designer. Elevating that energy and all-out power glamour for today, their collection fuses femininity and fluidity, with pieces that feel free, spontaneous, and full of romantic holiday spirit.

The duo, who has been friends for years, reference their shared vacations in the collection. “The idea for this collection started when we were on a boat trip in Greece together,” Edgardo recalls. “We were discussing our love of head-to-toe prints with matching shoes and how hard it was to find them.” And so, the design pair took matters into their own hands. “We love going on holiday together,” Racil says, “And I see myself on holiday in Italy with Edgardo wearing this collection. The Amalfi shirt to watch the sun set in Capri; the Desert trousers, Positano shirt and Menorca flats for an evening stroll around town; then the Portofino dress and Deneuve pumps for aperitivo hour on the terrace of Quisisana hotel. Dreamy!”

With summer on the horizon, how will these pieces resonate with a travel-hungry Middle Eastern customer? “Middle Eastern women pay a lot of attention to accessories, and when it comes to shoes they want feminine, timeless and comfortable designs,” Edgardo explains. “I also “I think they will love the colourful prints, the matching shoes, and the lightness of the fabrics, too,” Racil adds.

Versaille heels, Dhs3,286, Aquazzura x Racil

Whilst choosing a favourite piece is like picking a favourite child, Edgardo opts for the Deneuve pump in mixed prints, “because it’s such a great statement piece, yet so easy to wear and goes so well from day to night,” while Racil picks the Panarea dress: “It has all the prints and colours mixed in. The panels make it a very flattering shape and I simply know that I am going to live in it this summer. It is great for day time and also for those summer parties. I will be wearing it with the flats in the day and swapping to the Versailles heel for the evening.”

Portofino dress, Dhs5,104, Aquazzura x Racil

As for their own favourite holiday memory, Racil and Edgardo are unanimous in their answer – a kaftan and kimono night aboard a boat trip last year. “We love to do theme nights on our boat trips, and last summer we had a kaftans and kimonos night where we all dressed up, ate Japanese food for dinner and danced the night away,” he smiles. “We even did a photoshoot!” laughs Racil.

From the April 2019 issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia

Press play to watch Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio answer quick fire questions