Aquazzura to open Hong Kong boutique

Italian luxury shoe label Aquazzura is to open a standalone store in Hong Kong as part of an ambitious global expansion plan.

While the timing of the seven year old brand’s Hong Kong store opening has yet to be revealed it has been described by the company as “soon”.

Currently, Aquazzura has just eight boutiques worldwide – in Florence, London, Moscow, California, New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Paris and six shops-in-shops, including one at T Galleria in the City of Dreams, Macau.

Aquazzura California

Aquazzura California

Aquazzura co-founder Edgardo Osorio has revealed plans for nine new stores this year, with six locations revealed so far – Hong Kong, Dubai, Qatar, Milan, Brazil and Paris. Two more US stores will follow next year.

As our photos show, each Aquazzura store is different, featuring localised design elements to suit the location and customer base.

“You wouldn’t decorate a house in New York the way you would in Miami or London,” Osorio said in an interview with Business of Fashion. “There’s a certain DNA but you wouldn’t have the same furniture. You might not even use the same colour palette necessarily.

Aquazzura New York

Aquazzura New York

“In Dubai, there might be some Middle Eastern-inspired architecture. In London, it’s inspired by an English townhouse with a fireplace and stucco ceilings.”

The stock in the Hong Kong store – like that in the brand’s other boutiques globally – will vary by as much as 40 per cent from other stores. Expect to see different colours and styles created exclusively for the territory.  

“People nowadays travel everywhere, yet retail is so repetitive. It’s always the same stores with the same windows in every major city in the world,” Osorio told BoF. “If I travel somewhere, I don’t want to go to the same shop that’s around the corner from my house. I want to go somewhere different.”

Aquazzura is known for its colourful shoe designs and craftsmanship.

Born in Colombia and raised in Miami and London, Osorio believes he has an eye for “drop-dead glamour”, a passion for modern design and a hand for creating desirable footwear from luxury craftsmanship.

Shoes from Aquazzura sell from between US$465 for a pair of pool slides to $1500 for embroidered ankle boots. Last year, its global sales exceeded euro 100 million (US$124 million).

Aquazzura CEO Jean-Michel Vigneau has hinted at further expansion in Asia.

“We’re focusing on markets where we’ve seen strong performance. In terms of strategic regions, we are focused on the Middle East and are targeting Asia through local partnerships.”

The company is negotiating a partnership with an unnamed company in Asia.

Meanwhile, plans are afoot to develop a men’s footwear range next year and follow that up with lifestyle lines including a fragrance and eyewear.

Osario was just 25 when he launched Aquazzura after working in the industry for 10 years.

His shoes are now sold in more than 300 of the world’s leading retailers in 58 countries and this year’s boutique expansion is part of a plan to increase the company’s volume of direct-to-customer sales.

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