As she celebrates 30 years in fashion, supermodel Claudia Schiffer unveils a capsule collaboration with Aquazzura and an invitation to step into her shoes. Originally printed in the November issue.
German supermodel Claudia Schiffer and Colombian Edgardo Osorio, the 31-year-old designer behind one of the world’s fastest-growing luxury shoe brands, Aquazzura, are sitting on a spacious couch in a suite inside the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris. Remarkably, Schiffer looks exactly as she did during her 1990s heyday, and appears a head taller and leaner than the Insta-models reigning the runways today. The smartly dressed Osorio, meanwhile, looks like the cat that got the cream. Just a week before the official launch of their collaboration, Schiffer would reunite with the original Supers and walk the runway hand in hand with Carla, Naomi, Cindy, and Helena to close the Versace show. For Osorio, whose designs often reference the stars, his have certainly aligned.
“Oh, it was spontaneous,” recalls Osorio of his first meeting with Schiffer at Loulou’s in Mayfair, London, in October last year. “We met through friends and had dinner, and Claudia was wearing my shoes.” Schiffer cuts in, “I have actually been wearing Aquazzura since 2011 – the crisscrossing ballerinas.” Osorio’s chiseled cheeks break out into his trademark, cinema-star grin. “She loves shoes. And particularly my shoes – so even better.”
Ahead of discussing their eight-style collection, Schiffer expresses firmly that at this stage in her career, she has nothing to prove. This, of course, is a landslide understatement. Supermodel, actor, and businesswoman, Schiffer holds the record for having appeared on the most magazine covers – more than 1 000 – and has a Rizzoli book celebrating her. “I worked non-stop for my career, weekends and holidays, to get to the top. Today, it’s not about the money. I only want to work with nice people.” She adds that she is “very private” and doesn’t go to all the parties. “I prefer to be with my friends, in the countryside. I’m doing what I want – what makes me and my family feel good. Because of this, I am confident and calm. When I met Edgardo, I found him charming and creative. We get along. We have the same understanding about fashion and luxury.”
Nodding to the collection of suede, leather, and satin boots, heels, and flats in red, blue, black, and tan displayed before them, Osorio introduces the capsule with a question: “What would a supermodel do if she was in your shoes?” Snap her fingers and go right back to being a supermodel, is the obvious rhetoric. “Claudia represents the modern woman,” continues Osorio. “She’s also a businesswoman and a mother of three. She has all these facets to her life and she has the experience of what works and what doesn’t.” Put this way and Schiffer’s fashion status does fall a little to the side.
She is one of us. An entrepreneur who has collaborated on a collection that will take the rest of us who are just like her – sans the supermodel status – from the school run to the red carpet (or just the carpet) – in style. “And comfort!” Schiffer adds, flaxen blond hair bouncing with hypnotic effect.
Picking up a pair of ballerina shoes with fairytale rolling clouds, she shares that they are a reference to her nickname, Cloudy, and that like so many women on the go, she prefers flats. She exchanges the Cloudies for a pair of black, opentoed booties. “These are the Vendômes; they are very French Vogue with the buckles and black hue, and remind me of my fashion shoots in Paris.” Before sliding into dissociate territory, Schiffer springs back to the modern-day woman’s reality and presents a pair of booties with a chunky heel “ideal for walks in Holland Park.” Cowboy boots with tiered fringe offer another glimpse into Schiffer’s life and love for country living (she owns a sprawling mansion in Suffolk), and jeans and a sweater uniform. “It’s a shoe wardrobe for your life,” she says. “While being an expression of myself, and an expression of my life.” Her eyes roam back to the Cloudies. “These are my favorites.” Her voice drops to a whisper. “Well… they are all my favorites.” An unquenchable desire for shoes. On that note, the supermodel and the rest of us are unanimous.