Summer is almost upon us and to make the sweltering heat more bearable, footwear brand, Aquazzura has collaborated with Lebanese designer Racil Chalhoub to create the perfect holiday wardrobe. The designers and close friends wanted to tell their own story of a summer romance through clothes and shoes, dubbing it as “a sort of feminine and modern Dolce Vita dressing for the Instagram era.” The range is inspired by Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio and Chalhoub’s friendship and the numerous holidays they have spent together. “This collaboration really reflects the spirit of our friendship. It brings our worlds together and our idea of a perfect wardrobe: fun but chic looks with the shoes to match,” says Chalhoub. Think stripes, polka dots, and vintage floral print, the collaboration resulted in seven outfits and five pair of shoes that are meant to be mixed and matched.
We caught up with Osorio to find out more about how a meeting on the dance floor led to a life-long friendship and a vacation-perfect collaboration.
You have been friends with each other for a while. How did you decide you wanted to collaborate?
We often go on holiday together and we always brainstorm and share thoughts. The idea for this collection started when we were on holiday on a boat trip in Greece and were discussing how much we both loved head-to-toe prints with matching shoes, looks that were so popular in the ’90s and how it was so hard to find them now. We loved the idea of doing a collection of summery pieces that were fun, happy and easy to wear on holiday.
How would you describe your friendship and what has been the happiest moment that cemented this bond?
Racil has been a close friend of mine for many years and we always have fun together, which can be seen in the collection. We met on the dance floor at a mutual friend’s wedding and we have been close friends ever since. Over the years we always go on holiday together; one of my fondest memories is related to our vacation on Mustique Island with a group of friends where we had theme dress-up dinner parties every night for a week. We share common interests and always laugh, dance and enjoy each other’s company. I admire her for the strong independent woman she is and for her amazing sense of style. As we both have our own labels, we also discuss work and help each other with advice when we can.
The collection makes for perfect holiday dressing. Tell us about your favorite destination you visited together.
We both love spending our holidays at sea. I think being on a boat is the best way to truly unwind, as you can move around and yet don’t need to plan anything other than where you want to swim. The days revolve around swimming, eating wonderful fresh fish and pasta, and sun-bathing while reading a good book. My favorite destination is the Amalfi coast as there are so many wonderful places to stop and eat amazing food and discover the treasures of southern Italy. We have had unforgettable nights around Capri, Positano, and Ravello.
Who do you imagine wearing this collection?
Middle Eastern women pay a lot of attention to their accessories and when it comes to shoes, they look for footwear that’s feminine, timeless and comfortable, which are all aspects found in Aquazzura. The shoes and the dresses of the Aquazzura X Racil collection are full of color and joy, and I think that this is something that Middle Eastern women respond to as well. I love seeing my pieces on real women and I love seeing how they wear my designs and make them their own, that makes me happy. I’ve always admired Queen Rania of Jordan’s style and it would be great to see her wear pieces from the collection.
How would you want to see this collection styled?
The idea of the collaboration is to be able to mix a dress or other piece from the collection with the shoes for a total print look. When wearing separates, I like a white shirt or pants mixed with a print and the shoes to match for a fresh summer look. I also like the idea of wearing the shoes with a bag in a solid color that matches the print. Print on print, we call it ‘Matchimalism’!
What does it feel like to collaborate with a good friend?
It’s a dream to work together with a close friend and get to spend time brainstorming and coming up with fun ideas. We like the same things so it was so great to work together and make something we both love.
See the collection below:
The collection will be available exclusively at Aquazzura boutique at Dubai Mall from 25th March onwards.