If her wedding day was huge for Meghan Markle, it was also an important date for Edgardo Osorio. The Duchess of Sussex wore his custom-made shoes at the party offered that night to celebrate her marriage to Prince Harry.

However, she was not the only one wearing Osorio’s shoes. Meghan’s mother, Princess Cleopatra of Oettingen, Oprah Winfrey, actress Sarah Rafferty, and the five bridesmaids — including little Princess Charlotte — wore custom-made Aquazzura shoes, Osorio’s brand. 

Yes, Aquazzura is a Latino brand.

Designs to solve life-long problems

“It was one of the most important moments for my brand and my career,” he said in an interview with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

Edgardo Osorio started Aquazzura to solve the problem of dancing in uncomfortable high heels, as a good Latino knows.

Osorio was born in Cartagena, Colombia, and raised between Barranquilla and Miami. His love of water as a child is reflected in the name of his brand, Aquazzura, which means “blue water” in Italian. 

His mother, aunts, and their friends were among the many women he grew up with. Osorio learned to understand the female perspective and appreciate shoes early on.

Osorio’s family expected him to be a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. But he knew what he wanted to do in life. So when he was 15, he went to London to take a fashion course at the prestigious Saint Martins.

He later studied accessories at the London College of Fashion.

Then Osorio returned home, where he interned with Colombian designer Francesca Miranda. “She gave me the opportunity. But after a week, I realized that I was interested in accessories, in shoes,” says Osorio.

So he left again for Europe, where he was hired at only 23 to work for Ferragamo and René Caovilla as a consultant. Then, he landed a job as the creative director of shoes at Roberto Cavalli.

A brand adored around the world

Osorio was only 25 when he founded Aquazzura with an experienced artisan specialized in foot anatomy. 

The brand quickly gained recognition for its comfortable yet stylish shoes, a rarity in the industry at the time. His attention to detail and commitment to making shoes that fit like a glove has earned him a loyal following. 

Now, stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Olivia Palermo, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Rihanna are fans of the shoes he crafts in the Palazzo Corsini in Florence, where he lives and works and is known for his friendly and approachable personality.

“I studied and worked with a group of Italian technicians who have been studying the foot structure for over 40 years to create shoe lasts. Generally, the degrees of inclination due to the heel’s height cause the body’s weight to go to the front of the foot when you walk. We build shoes so that the weight is distributed over the entire foot, from the toe through the arch to the heel, not just at one point,” Osorio told the Spanish newspaper El País.

Despite the conservative and traditional nature of the Italian footwear industry, Osorio convinced manufacturers to work with him.

Notwithstanding his lack of experience and funds, Osorio leveraged his relationships and used his Colombian charm to win people over. With his upbeat personality, positive attitude, and unwavering determination, he has become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the fashion industry.