Fashion Test Drive: Aquazzura's Twist Clutch

"Come on, baby—Let's do the twist!"

Graphic of Fashion Test Drive franchise featuring Aquazzura's Twist Clutch on a beach background.
(Image credit: Future)

We love discovering the most covetable pieces for the upcoming season. And to help you determine if you should go ahead and indulge, we've gone one step further and taken them for a Test Drive. Let's get you acquainted with Aquazzura's new Twist Clutch.

Since launching his luxury footwear label in 2012, Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura has become known for his exquisitely-crafted, often sky-high stilettos. His heels are quintessential Italian glamour, boasting statement details that masterfully toe the line between glitz and kitsch—bunny-ear bows, shiny mirrorball baubles, and butterfly embellishments fit for a fairy tale. Osorio’s work is for women with a taste for stand-out fashion, with Beyoncé, Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dua Lipa, and even the occasional royal (Kate Middleton is partial to the bow-tie pump) all members of his celebrity fan club. 

But the Colombian-born designer doesn’t limit himself to the world of footwear: Osorio unveiled costume jewelry in 2021 (his penchant for bedazzled and shiny things made the step a natural evolution) and a homeware edit, Aquazzura Casa, in 2022. And now, in Aquazzura’s Pre-Fall 2023 collection, Osorio has unveiled a capsule of handbags just in time for the summer season.

The brand details in a press statement that the new handbags "translate signature craftsmanship and unmistakable stylistic codes" and are "marked by a sense of modernity and timeless refinement." Unsurprisingly, Aquazzura's signature party-ready spirit is one of those key codes that Osorio called on: A Nappa-leather shoulder bag detailed with gold chains and tassels, dubbed the Downtown 24/7, is what a working woman who's mastered the day-to-night transition would carry; the bedazzled Kiss Me clutch belongs to the party girl you'd meet in a bar bathroom and who's retouching her red lipstick with fine precision; and there's the Twist Clutch, which is destined for fashion editors who relish summer evenings spent sipping martinis and slurping oysters.

I fall firmly into the latter camp—which is precisely why I had to take the sculptural bag in the Sunrise colorway out for a spin on a recent happy hour outing. For a night filled with dirty martinis and a stroll around New York City's SoHo, here's how the luxe Twist Clutch fared on my test drive.

The Design

The Twist Clutch comes in seven different colorways and fabrications, including a beachy beige raffia, a high-octane silver grosgrain, and the laminated leather gold-to-pink Sunrise iteration that first caught my eye. It's available in its standard sizing, which measures 27cm long and 13cm wide and fits cozily tucked under your arm, as well as a mini version that's half the size.

The clutch noticeably does not boast an outward logo, a design choice that perfectly coincides with fashion's preoccupation with quiet luxury. You'll have to open the top flap to find a tiny golden pineapple, the label's representative motif. "I wanted the design of the bags to be recognizable and powerful enough that no logo is needed," describes Osorio in the statement. "The absence of external logos underpins the uniqueness of the designs, which are crafted in selected workshops in Tuscany, Italy," the brand adds, reinforcing Aquazzura's commitment to exceptional craftsmanship.

Lastly, fans of Aquazzura's footwear will also recognize the titular twist: "Effortlessly chic is the Twist Maxi clutch, which underlines the harmonious connection with the season's footwear: the sculptural metal clasp recalls the eponymous sandals with a shiny gold-finished twisted heel," reads the press statement. A whimsical matchy-matchy moment would be to carry the clutch while wearing the brand's matching heels—an accessory combo I've mentally bookmarked for upcoming nights out.

Emma Childs holding Aquazarra's Twist Clutch in Sunrise in New York City.

(Image credit: Emma Childs)

The Utility

In addition to being an intriguing and artistic detail, the iconic twist offers necessary practicality. While holding the clutch by its handle, your fingers naturally fall into the sculptural curves for a comfortable hold. However, the bag also features a detachable 90cm strap if you wish to carry it across your shoulder or by your wrist for extra security. 

The clutch is secured by a metallic snap-front closure, which, when prodded, allows the leather flap to open. As for the interior of the clutch, it features one zippered pocket (perfect for any items you want to hold in safekeeping) and is large enough to carry any of your going-out essentials: wallet, phone, keys, and any spare makeup needed for touchups throughout the night

Aquazzura twist clutch sunrise

(Image credit: Emma Childs)

The Occassion

Day-to-night versatility was a paramount factor in Osorio's design process with the new handbags, and iterations like the raffia or nude Nappa leather easily serve as an accessory that'll take you from brunch to early-evening cocktails to a later nightcap. However, the Sunrise style, which I had the honor of acquainting over an extra dirty martini and half-a-dozen oysters, especially steals the spotlight during the early evening (I beg you to snap a picture of the purse during golden hour—you'll marvel at how the metallic handle catches and reflect the light).

Emma Childs holding Aquazarra's Twist Clutch in Sunrise in New York City.

(Image credit: Emma Childs)

In any of its seven color iterations or two sizes, the Twist Clutch is the perfect summer bag for anyone who cherishes top-notch craftsmanship and a statement that's flashy yet not obnoxiously so. As Chubby Checker wisely said, "Come on, baby—Let's do the twist!"

Shop Aquazzura's Twist Clutch

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, who writes everything from trend reports to fashion featurettes and long-form profiles. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, writing shopping e-commerce guides, assisting with market for fashion photo shoots, and assigning and editing fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center. When she's not writing fashion deep-dives, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking in her tiny NYC kitchen.