The Art of Shoes – British shoe brand Bionda Castana is known for its detail-orientated and elegant style. Today, we have an exclusive first look at the brand’s fall 2013 campaign. In the past, BC has found inspiration ranging from film noir to pop art for its advertisements. And this season is just as inspired with their designs appearing in illustrated form courtesy of artist Sonia Hensler. We talked to one half of the design duo, Natalia Barbieri, in an exclusive Q&A where she reveals more about the campaign’s influence and working with design partner Jennifer Portman.
Shoes for me are the starting point of every outfit and say a lot about a person. It’s great to be able to offer something different to the market and see it worn in magazines and on the street.
What was the inspiration behind the campaign? Tell us about the decision to have an illustrated campaign this season instead of traditional photography.
Our autumn/winter 2013 collection took regal inspiration – from the fabrics, to the colours, to the detailing. The couture detailing is further elevated from last season, showcasing the talents of the Italian artisans that produce our collections each season. Each style displays the minute details that make each shoe individual and desirable. For this reason we wanted to illustrate our campaign – to further enhance the experience of the ‘hand-made’ element of our collections. I had been following Sonia Hensler’s work for a few years and felt it was the right time for us to collaborate with one another.
What makes shoe design appealing to you?
Ever since I was a young girl I’ve always wanted to design accessories. Shoes for me are the starting point of every outfit and say a lot about a person. It’s great to be able to offer something different to the market and see it worn in magazines and on the street.
Working as a design duo must be an interesting experience. What is your partnership with Jennifer like?
It’s wonderful to be part of a tight-knit team, and even more amazing to work with someone who I have known for 15 years. We are very close. Totally on the same page when it comes to every aspect of the business. We design together, but our roles are very separate after that point.
What is your proudest moment so far concerning the brand?
Winning the ‘Who is on Next’ award in association with Vogue Italia was the stepping stone for the brand to get noticed by people that mattered in the industry.
What is your favorite look from the autumn collection?
My favourite for AW13 has to be the DAPHNE pump – the fanned court shoe. Feminine without being girly, this style takes our brand’s familiar handwriting to a new level.