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Built to Last


Is it possible for one man to redefine shoemaking innovation over half a decade? Enter, stage left, Aquazzura founder Edgardo Osorio.


Once a pioneer, always a pioneer. It’s a noble calling, and therefore a life-long commitment. Those born to beat new paths, to regrind the lens through which the discerning observe life, are driven by an insatiable, all-consuming urge: a force which thrusts them from one innovative masterstroke to the next. This issue of ESSENCE Lifestyle is dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the such individuals, and there is therefore no more apposite figure to grace its cover than Aquazzura co-founder Edgardo Osorio, a designer and artisan whose idiosyncratic approach to shoe design has seen his star rise to the highest echelons of the luxury universe. Read more...

We interviewed Osorio exclusively, and photographed him in his remarkable home: the peerless Palazzo Corsini. The results, we’re confident you’ll agree, are a bona fide visual treat.

Next in our ‘Artisans and Ateliers’ series, we meet John Vizzone, the creative director behind Cifonelli – the French atelier which took bespoke tailoring into the 21st century. In our short film, Vizzone discusses the brand’s vertiginous ascent, and its evolution from much-lauded tailoring house to global lifestyle brand.

Next up comes Pierre Corthay – the eponymous founder of the superlative French footwear brand – followed by an intimate conversation with prolific art curator, historian and critic Hans Ulrich-Obrist. We also present to you, this issue, The Art of Living: A Summer’s Tale, a filmic ode to British summer style traditions with a sharp contemporary edge, featuring the latest iteration of the Bentley Mulsanne. Nick Scott experienced this uber-sedan in the Bavarian Alps – and, as his prose account testifies, it could well be the most innovative piece of automotive engineering the world has ever witnessed.

Elsewhere, La Mania’s creative dynamo Joanna Przetakiewicz grants an audience to Rebecca Gonsalves, and Samuel Muston visits the Bel Air Hotel, Los Angeles – an establishment which is taking luxury hospitality into thrilling new realms.

Enjoy the issue – and join us in a toast to the wonders of human innovation. May those who embody it inspire you, always.

Written by
Nick Scott
ISSUE II | Arts & Culture
A Summer's Tale

A short film and editorial enshrining the broad intellectual scope of human innovation – featuring the new Bentley Mulsanne and starring British model and actor Toby Huntington-Whiteley.

Cinematography By Olan Collardy

ISSUE II | Motoring
The New Bentley Mulsanne

Nick Scott journeys 800 miles south, to tear up the Tarmac strips around the Bavarian Alps in Bentley’s finest model to date — the new version of its flagship model, the Mulsanne.

Words By Nick Scott

ISSUE II | Arts & Culture
Hans Ulrich Obrist

Curator, critic and historian of art Hans Ulrich Obrist – a man whose outlandish intellectualism is keeping London’s Serpentine gallery at the summit of the conceptual art scene - lays bare the philosophy underpinning his raison d’etre.

Cinematography by Olan Collardy

ISSUE II | Style
Joanna Przetakiewicz

Fashion is in Joanna Przetakiewicz’ blood. Born in Poland, the founder of luxury contemporary label La Mania inherited her love of beautiful things from her mother, aunt and grandmother.

Words By Rebecca Gonsalves

ISSUE II | Style

The master craftsman behind Corthay shoes relates the fascinating story behind a lustrous star in the luxury shoemaking universe, from working closely with the late Talbinio Berluti to creating over 200 pairs of bespoke shoes for the Sultan of Brunei.

Cinematography by Paul Akinrinlola

ISSUE II | Travel
Hotel Bel-Air

The Bel-Air Hotel’s roll-call of former patrons is pure old Hollywood. Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Audrey Hepburn. Marilyn Monroe shot her last Vogue magazine shoot there.

WORDS BY Samuel Muston

ISSUE II | Style

Cifonelli’s Creative Director talks interpreting the brand's sartorial DNA, conveying bespoke traits in ready-to-wear and what to expect next from the renowned Parisian powerhouse.

Cinematography by Paul Akinrinlola

The end

Lucas Bitencourt,
Ade Udoma,
Creative Director
Philippe Bitencourt,
Art Director
Nick Scott,
Contributing Editor
Olan Collardy,
Curator’s Club
Beholder’s Eye
David Gandy