Designer Amina Muaddi will be recognized on Dec. 4 at the FN Achievement Awards for the Launch of the Year (watch the livestream here). Below is an article from the magazine’s Dec. 3 print issue about the new brand that bears her name.
Not many people can claim two successful footwear labels by the age of 32, but that’s just how Amina Muaddi rolls. Having left Oscar Tiye (the brand she co-founded at 25), the designer this year launched her self-titled collection.
It debuted for fall ’18, officially an extended capsule dubbed “Season Zero.” “In my head, it was more a nonseasonal see-now, buy-now drop because I wanted people to get acquainted with my brand,” she said.
It certainly did that. Muaddi’s hero martini glass flared heel was instantly snapped up by Browns, Net-a-Porter, FWRD by Elyse Walker and Level Shoes.
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Level’s Alberto Oliveros dubbed the collection a reflection of Muaddi herself: “Beautiful and bold,” he said, noting that Level is the exclusive retailer in the Middle East region, “and the response was excellent.”
“It’s an extremely strong first solo collection,” agreed Ida Petersson, Browns womenswear buying director. “I love how Amina plays with proportions. Her new heel designs look fresh and give an edgier feel to classic silhouettes like her satin slingbacks.” As for the customer response, she added: “It went far beyond what we’d anticipated. She has a really bright future ahead.”
For Muaddi, it’s a deeply personal project in which she’s been fully involved at every step. “I wanted to create a brand I could completely identify with and that represented who I am today,” she said. And she’s done it her way: from production to choosing clients to communication.
The see-now, buy-now format is a prime example — one she’s extending to spring ’19. “Nowadays, we are flooded with product info and imagery, so by the time something actually goes on sale, we’re already over it before we’ve even bought it or worn it,” she said. “I’m a spontaneous person, so I want to get people’s first reaction, not their 10th, so when they see something and like it, they can purchase it.”
For fall, she also kept distribution strictly limited, rejecting a great deal of retail interest. Her goal was to keep the product niche while generating excitement.
For the upcoming season, however, Muaddi is working with around 40 retailers, including Hirshleifers in the U.S., Harrods London, Antonia Italy and Paris’ new Galeries Lafayette on the Champs-Elysées. This marks growth of some 300 percent for her label.
Her collection has grown as well and will comprise 70 SKUs for spring ’19, among them three new heel silhouettes: a super-high platform, a sculptural take on her signature flared stiletto and a 4-centimeter version that she calls her “flat.” The materials and colorways run the gamut from raw to supernatural, including linens and sandy desert hues to PVC and hologram glitter. There’s a lot of transparency, Muaddi said, with many of the styles looking as if they are suspended on the foot.
“I’m obsessed with the vinyl slingbacks,” added Petersson. (Both she and Browns Fashion CEO Holli Rogers have fall ’18 styles named after them, respectively a slouch boot and a holographic heel.)
For Muaddi, it’s been quite a journey. “When I started Oscar Tiye, I was a kid — I was inexperienced and thought of it more as a game. I was just lucky it was successful,” she said, adding that this time around, she’s more mature. “I’ve been able to choose everything from A to Z, a luxury I never had at 25.”
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