In its latest spring 2022 campaign, shoe brand Amina Muaddi celebrates more than shoes: it celebrates Arab culture.
The designer, who is of Romanian-Jordanian descent, said she had been thinking about her creative concept since before the pandemic. It comes to life on Monday.
“I really wanted to do something meaningful that would be an ode to my Arab heritage, a celebration of our culture,” Muaddi told WWD. “Obviously, I wanted to work with creatives who could understand and embody this concept, so it was crucial for me to work with an almost entirely Arab team and a production led by [visual artist Dexter Navy’s] goal, which is half-Egyptian, and featuring Imaan [Hammam] who is of Moroccan-Egyptian origin. The styling was done by Jahleel Weaver.
The campaign was shot entirely in Cairo, Egypt, where palm trees unique to the region or purebred Arabian horses can be seen as the backdrop for the jewel-covered shoes.
But really, it’s about visibility for a culture that hasn’t been widely recognized in the global fashion space.
“This project is important because it is very close to our hearts. In a way, Dexter, Imaan and I are all uprooted Arabs who are also looking to feel closer to their own heritage, to find a way to return home,” Muaddi said. “We support each other simply because there isn’t enough representation and spotlight on people from our past. For this reason, in our industry, we don’t often see the beauty of traditions and the Arab community.
Alongside the cultural message, the luxury brand is looking to expand beyond its best-selling Begum styles – although styles featuring the crystal buckle will of course remain a brand staple – with new buckles, heels and details. New bags are also part of the collection.
“There are so many new styles in the collection. I always challenge myself to create something new because otherwise I don’t feel stimulated. Our jewelry and handbag collections have also grown,” Muaddi said. “The new Camelia slingback pump has a special crystal adornment inspired by an Art Deco mirror that we worked on for a long time and a square stiletto heel; this is one of my favorite new styles that i think will become a classic. Many styles are inspired by the underwater world which always fascinates me. I must have been a fish or a mermaid in another life. The Lily slipper with crystal flowers is another favorite, but there are plenty to choose from.