Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman founded the label in 2007 as an ode to the perfect blend of London-cool mixed with Italian craftsmanship. The pair met at business school and were instantly inseparable becoming known as “the blonde brunette”. Leaving high-flying banking and marketing jobs in the City to launch the company, years later their handle seemed the perfect name for the business.
Bionda Castana has become the go-to shoe brand for magazine editors, celebrities and London ‘girls-about-town’ including Keira Knightley, Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo and Taylor Swift among others. The brand have also collaborated with Matthew Williamson, Honor NYC and Osman for their catwalk shows creating some iconic looks.
Barbieri and Portman design for women like themselves; they create the kind of shoe that they want to wear because they are the Bionda Castana customer. Each shoe is designed in the London studio and handmade in a remote town a few miles from Lake Como.
Their AW15 collection sought to combine the golden ear of the 1970s with the modern woman featuring vibrant and luxurious fabrics such as intricate laser cut leather and exotic skins. Barbieri and Portman also claimed to be inspired by classic style icons such as Audrey Tatou, Marion Cotillard and Diane Kruger, who remain eternally effortless with their individual and confident style. Now who wouldn’t want to re-create the style of such fashion-icons?