FN spoke to the globe-trotting designer this morning. She was at the airport in Istanbul waiting to board a flight back to Paris and was bubbling over with excitement.
Working under her own name means the stakes have never been higher. “I had to start from zero again,” she said. “Everything had to be a perfect representation of me, from the image and the campaign to the logo and the product itself.”
Muaddi, who continues to design the footwear for French couturier Alexandre Vauthier, started working on brand identity last summer on holiday in Ibiza. “It was like I had to get naked, be aware of who I want to be today.” She hastened to add: “Not literally, though.”
The vibe she says is “modern and fresh,” with the DNA in “simplicity and minimalism but with a luxury twist.” She’s also developed a new flared stiletto heel with a geometric base. It’s set to be her signature — “very feminine but with an edge to it, so the result is very strong.” Perfect for cocktail hour, her heel looks just like a martini glass.
“Doing something minimal is harder than working with a lot of ingredients,” she observed. “When the ingredients are few and the result delicious, it’s even better.”
A major focus is comfort, with the highest heel coming in at 95m. “I call them nine-to-midnight shoes,” she said. “You can wear them to work during the day, but also at night to go out and have fun without feeling you’re making a sacrifice when it comes to style.”
Made in Italy’s Parma, there are around 45 styles in the collection, including pumps, slingbacks and thigh-high boots. Fabrications run the gamut from holographic glitter — pink-blue and lemon-green to suedes, patents and laser-cut leathers that look just like fabric.
“Each had to be to die for,” she said. “There are no fillers.”
Many of the styles come with a Swarovski crystal embellishment in the shape of a sun, inspired by an Art Deco mirror. The overall idea is “precious but easy to wear shoes that make every outfit feel special and different.”
Indeed everything is deeply considered, including the exact shade of the sole and insole — nude to match most skin. And as for the logo, a striking upside-down version of her initials, Muaddi worked with CR Fashion Book art director, Jim Kaemmerling.
The line will launch soon, with exclusives at Browns Fashion both online and in store, plus Net-a-Porter, FWRD by Elyse Walker and Level in Dubai. Browns womenswear buying director Ida Petersson fell immediately under its spell, highlighting it as one of her top emerging brands for fall. “It’s an extremely strong first solo collection,” she enthused. “I love how Amina plays with proportions. Her new heel designs feel fresh and gives an edgier feel to classic silhouettes like the satin sling backs.”
“The collection strikes a balance between sexy, cool and sophisticated and that, combined with a very considered price point makes it one of the most interesting brands of the season.”
The campaign, which breaks this week on Instagram, stars the designer’s friend Tina Kunakey, fiancé of actor Vincent Cassel. Muaddi, who is Jordanian-Romanian, was keen to feature someone she felt “represented me with my mixed origins and background,” and funnily enough the agency she was working with actually proposed her friend.
Cassel and Kunakey will tie the knot this weekend in Biarritz — and following a brief sojourn in Paris, that’s exactly where Muaddi is headed, too. (Wonder what shoes she’s going to wear.)