How ‘Euphoria’ Catapulted Amina Muaddi’s Heels to Gen Z Fame

Fashion designers come in levels of notoriety. Some are retail favorites or street style staples, while others rely (increasingly) on celebrity credits to fuel their image. Amina Muaddi checks all of these boxes.

But it’s not until a designer enters the lexicon of TV and film that they are truly immortalized in pop culture, one that exists outside of the fashion bubble. The benchmark, of course, is “Sex and the City,” where Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Fendi and the like all achieved household recognition. There were others, too, from Cher Horowitz’s red Alaïa (“A-whatta?”) mini dress in “Clueless” to a certain Prada backpack in “10 Things I Hate About You” that has elicited years-long searches amongst Millennial collectors who can recite the film line for line.

Muaddi joined that inner circle of TV and film fashion over the past year, with not one but two big moments on the small screen.

In the season premiere of the highly anticipated season two of HBO’s “Euphoria,” actress Alexa Demie’s character Maddy sports a pair of Muaddi’s lace-up- the-leg, crystal-studded sandals while in a tense bathroom scene that has since become a favorite meme from the zeitgeisty show.

“I had spoken to Alexa and she had told me that she had worn many of my shoes during the second season (of filming). But I didn’t have any details on which episode, or where and when,” Muaddi recalled while on set for September cover shoot in Paris. “So it was pretty cool to see her wearing the shoes on the first episode of the second season, an episode that everyone was waiting for and also in such a powerful scene, because it was funny and tragic at the same time. I find the whole thing to be pretty iconic and I was just happy to be a part of it.”

Fast forward a month to Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks, and myriad designers were citing “Euphoria” as inspiration for their fall ’22 collections (in both fashion and beauty, the Y2K-influenced “Euphoria effect” has shown no signs of stopping). But it was Muaddi’s aesthetic that initially served as inspiration for the show’s portrayal of Gen Z style.

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“Euphoria” actress Alexa Demie on set in Amina Muaddi’s lace-up sandals.
CREDIT: Eddy Chen/Courtesy of HBO

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“Euphoria” character Maddy in the season two premiere of the HBO show.
CREDIT: Courtesy of HBO

“Euphoria” was not the only small screen moment that immortalized Muaddi’s highly coveted heels. Last year in the HBO series “Insecure,” characters Issa and Molly are held at gunpoint by a woman they know. She demands, “Molly, come up off them shoes, please!” pointing to a pair of Muaddi’s clear PVC and crystal Begum slingback pumps (a real-life Cinderella glass slipper collector’s item). When Issa tries to hand over her own shoes, a pair of off-label ballet flats that are clearly not made by the designer, the robber responds, “Oh no, you can keep them.”

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Actresses Issa Rae and Yvonne Orjii in HBO’s “Insecure.” The series featured a major moment for Amina Muaddi’s shoes.
CREDIT: Merie Weismiller Wallace - SMPSP

The scene instantly captured the excitement that Muaddi’s footwear has created since she launched her namesake brand in 2018.

“We were featured on these amazing series that are representing the youth and culture of today. They are so relevant to today’s world,” said Muaddi. “It became very representative of what women want today. When moments like that are remembered, it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.”

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