You can't always see the high heels beneath the gown, but that doesn't stop many brides from splurging on gorgeous, high-end designer wedding shoes to go with their dream wedding dress. But beyond Christian Louboutins and Jimmy Choos, there's another, newer name we love: Bionda Castana.
The high fashion footwear line launched with a capsule collection in 2008, and since then the shoes (which are renowned for their comfort—and for good reason!) have been worn by chic celebs from Kate Bosworth to Miranda Kerr.
Now, Bionda Castana has launches its first bridal collection. We caught up with designer Natalia Barbieri to talk wedding-worthy styles and the appeal of bespoke shoes.
Brides: You left finance for fashion when you launched your shoe collection. What's been the most exciting part of your new career?
Natalia Barbieri: I knew my life was headed toward a creative path around 2000, when I was thinking about how I saw my future and what made me essentially happy. I knew two things; I had to be creative, and I had to be around shoes. As soon I saved enough money to begin researching, I began to travel and put together a sample collection, and Bionda Castana was born!
Jennifer Portman, my business partner, and I showed a very small capsule collection for Spring Summer 2008 at a trade show in Las Vegas; today we're stocked in some of the most influential stores in the world, including Joseph, Saks, Nordstrom, Moda Operandi, Aizel Russia, Level Dubai, Isetan Japan...to name but a few!
Brides: You offer a custom design service—customers can select their favorite styles, fabrics and colors from your archive, and the shoes arrive in 3-4 weeks! What inspired this service?
NB: Women look for custom made and bespoke items in today's market. It was a natural step to be able to offer our collections in ways that are designed to compliment any outfit or style.
Brides: Tell us about your new bridal collection.
__NB:__We wanted to design a shoe for the biggest day in the Bionda Castana girl's life. Whether her wedding dress is a short lace Sixties-style shift or a liquid silk '30s slip covered in tiny jewels, there's a Bionda Castana shoe to complement it. With the launch of our first bridal collection, she can choose from a beautiful range of styles in creamy silk and Cinderella lace.
Photo: Courtesy of Bionda Castana
Brides: There are 11 styles in the bridal collection. Do you have a favorite style?
__NB:__The "Daphne" in satin and gold lace overlay (seen above) is so dramatic. I adore it.