Best friends, Jennifer Portman and Natalia Barbieri founded Bionda Castana in 2007. Since then, they have continued to infuse their collections with an intoxicating mix of youthful exuberance and timeless appeal.
It is fair to say they are London’s most fashionable new luxury footwear company. Always evolving with the modern woman is what sets them apart, that and an unwavering standard of exceptional craftsmanship. Each pair of shoes are designed in their London studio and then brought to life in Milan, under the skilled hands of third generation shoemakers.
Their designs tap into an eccentric mix of personality and style that’s spun them into the go-to shoe brand for the world’s most renowned department stores and online destinations such as Net-a-Porter.com, Harvey Nichols, and Opening Ceremony. Glossy magazine ads and being worn by countless celebrities—including Keira Knightly, Miranda Kerr, Alexa Chung, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Olsen, Zoe Saldana, Taylor Swift, and Eva Mendes—hasn’t hurt business either.
They certainly know how to make women drool. Their Instagram is a virtual candy land of sweet colored shoes in sexy fun designs, plays of intricate lace work, sheer panels, exotic skins, and printed silks complete with equally darling sugary names. Word of mouth from their loyal following is also helping them edge out the market. Use the hashtag #BiondaCastana and you’ll fall down the rabbit hole of fashion fan girls blogging and snapping lush shots of their favorite pairs from the duo’s latest collection. Their fans crave what they have come to expect from the brand—cool concepts that don’t trend on fading styles.
Their most successful shoe is a classic take on the single sole pump, called Lana (named after the singer Lana Del Ray). The shoe features a curved arch that dips into a pointed toe. Its delicate mesh creates a peek-a-boo effect along the detailed, colorful leather cutouts, topped off with a dainty tie right below the ankle. Available in a rainbow of colors, Lana epitomizes a love of architecture and art, a recurring theme in the designer’s collections.
Every woman loves a shoe that compliments her personality, a modern yet timeless appeal that she exposes as she crosses her leg bringing one foot over another. For her, shoes are more than a showcase, but rather an extension of herself. Bionda Castana aims to empower her with that.
The Bionda Castana Flagship Store can be found at 73 Elizabeth Street, SW1W 9PJ, London, United Kingdom. ■