Edgardo Osorio cuts a romantic figure before me, gazing out onto a palm-fringed resort pool under the light of the full moon. The jacket of his white, striped Tom Ford suit is thrown nonchalantly over his shoulders, and the heady oriental vanilla scent of Kilian Black Phantom surrounds him. It feels like I’ve walked into a film. “This is very Great Gatsby, isn’t it?” he agrees, as if reading my mind.

The comparisons to Jay Gatsby don’t stop there. As a self-confessed pleasure-seeker who lives to “follow the sun” – a spirit he imbues into his designs – he explains offhandedly. “For me, when you buy Aquazzura shoes, you’re halfway to your holiday. They’re shoes that take you places, that make you want to go on an adventure, that make you want to smile.”

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Aquazzura founder Edgardo Osorio with GRAZIA’s Alison Tay
Credit: Supplied

Sizzling shoes aside, it’s instantly obvious what drew past creative coconspirators such as Olivia Palermo and Poppy Delevingne, and current brand ambassador Arizona Muse, to this haute hedonist. “I believe in energy in the sense that you attract the kind of energy that you emit. I think it goes both ways.”

“A lot of these girls are friends first,” he concedes. “We try to make everything fun and about having a good time, and these girls are attracted to that.” However, his free-spirited bohemian cohorts may wish to put their next holiday on hold once they discover Osorio’s collaboration with luxury hand-painted wallpaper company de Gournay – a five-piece footwear collection comprising a pump, a moccasin, a tassel flat, a mule, a slipper and a slide – all adorned with the powder-pink, toucan motif custom design created for the collaboration.

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Shoes from the Aquazzura for De Gournay collection available from May 1
Credit: Supplied

“I think the Aquazzura girl loves a beautiful house, loves a wallpaper, loves to be creative,” he muses, disclosing that Poppy already had a de Gournay design hanging in her bathroom when he told her about the project.

“For me, it’s a dream come true because I am naturally very passionate about interiors,” he admits before revealing that the collab came about after de Gournay spotted his home in a magazine. “And that’s how everything happens. The world gives you what you need at that moment.”

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Does anyone leads as magical a life as Edgardo Osorio? Yet, frivolity aside, there’s also an esoteric philosophy underpinning his work. “There is this fun element, and I think fashion needs to give you that. Fashion needs to make you enjoy life, needs to make you feel good, and makes you able to have fun,” he insists. “There are horrible things happening in the world – so many terrible things.

“If fashion doesn’t make you dream, or doesn’t make you feel good or make you want to have a good time, then what does?”

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He adds, “I think this is the purpose of art and fashion – creating beauty because the world needs it – otherwise you just have horrible things. When you buy a great pair of shoes, when you eat a wonderful ice cream or when you see a beautiful painting, if you forget about all the problems in your life for five minutes, then we’ve done our job.”

And with that, he escorts me into the courtyard, strewn with exotic blooms and transformed into an imaginary Aquazzura jungle, for a private dinner celebration. Edgardo, your work here is done.

Aquazzura for de Gournay launches on MatchesFashion May 2017

Alison Tay is the Editor-in-Chief of GRAZIA Middle East and an International Woolmark Prize judge. Follow the British fashion journalist and celebrity stylist on Instagram and Twitter.

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