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Edmundo Castillo Relaunches Shoe Line


Halle Berry
Photo: Getty Images
Designer Edmundo Castillo.

Edmundo Castillo is back.

The shoe designer is relaunching his eponymous footwear line with a collection of strappy sandals, simple (yet still lovely) flats, and, believe it or not, kitten heels.

"Right now was the right time to take charge of the kitten heel," Castillo says. "The high heel is sexy but it's also turned into something vulgar. Anyone can make a high heel these days. There's something in kitten heels that seems fresh."

Back in 2004 the shoe designer was the new kid on the block in accessories. His elegantly simple heels in bold colors were worn by everyone, and he'd just opened a new store on Mulberry St. in New York City. And then, almost suddenly, he closed down his label and store and announced his move to Sergio Rossi as the brand's creative director.

"I felt that I needed to have a little more experience in a shoe company in 2004," he says of the shuttering. "I felt that I needed to take a break. I always saw it as a break."

Castillo left Sergio Rossi in 2008 ("When you have so many people around you, like at Sergio Rossi, battling you all the time and you're always proving to them that they're wrong, you're like, 'What the hell am I doing here?'"), and he has since gone back to his first love—his own line.

Edmundo Castillo shoe

Photo courtesy of Edmundo Castillo

The Spark Pump in Capri by designer Edmundo Castillo

The focal point of the new collection isn't Castillo's kitten heel or the suede-covered slingbacks (one of the designer's favorite fabrics); it's his Light shoe. Made from fabric that lights up, the shoe was Castillo's starting point for Spring.

The project (it's more than just a shoe) was designed in conjunction with Oryon Technologies and stemmed from an archival Visionaire issue helmed by Tom Ford. The theme was, naturally, light.

"It was like a therapy project," Castillo laughs. "I had to figure it out by myself because I was the only one who knew what I wanted to do. It was the beginning; my own personal beginning."

Those of us who coveted his heels in the early 2000s are jumping for joy at Castillo's return. He set himself apart by not bowing to trends but by designing shoes that should be in your closet for years, classics to be paired with outfits long after purchase. And on occasion, he still sees former customers wearing his old designs, including Vogue Gioiello's Giovanna Battaglia.

Though the designer is also doing menswear (a well-received line called Casbia), and consults for Spanish espadrille brand Castañer and Italian line Santoni, it's Castillo's pragmatic (yet poetic) approach to womenswear that's been lacking from the marketplace. The shoe does not wear the woman in Castillo's world.

Edmundo Castillo shoe

Photo courtesy of Edmundo Castillo

The Spark Kitten Slingback in Powder Sky by designer Edmundo Castillo.

"A shoe needs to disappear, at least. A shoe needs to call attention to [a woman]," he says. "It's about what she transmits, it's about what it does to her, making her feel powerful, demure or whatever. It should make her feel what she wants to feel but make her feel [it] in a fabulous, comfortable way."

Comfort in a sexy shoe? This is what we've been missing.

Edmundo Castillo is available at Saks Fifth Avenue (Beverly Hills, New York, and Bal Harbour, Fla.), saks.com, and shopbop.com starting in February.





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