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First Look: Arnaa by Farah Sultan Fall 2016 Campaign

Following a debut Spring 2016 collection, the emerging Kuwaiti shoe designer Farah Sultan unveils the Arnaa Fall 2016 campaign here on Style.com/Arabia. The Arnaa by Farah Sultan campaign was photographed by Fabio Bozzetti, and the images draw on Salvador Dalí’s 1969 colorful gouache illustrations for the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland.

The moody and whimsical campaign showcases round-toe, Edwardian silhouettes, and features thick heels and platform soles. The lineup also includes playful pom-pom tassel embellishments, trompe l’oeil details on a sling-back bootie, and feminine floral embroidery on a T-bar heel. The collection also showcases the designer’s signature optic details, including graphic black and white pinstripes and handcrafted, 3D leather orchids. The orchid bloom is a recurring element across Sultan’s collections, and the designer explained her fascination with the flower to Style.com/Arabia, “I’m obsessed with orchids,” she admitted. “It’s a beautiful and interesting flower, and not many brands study it.”

Born and raised in Kuwait, Sultan launched her brand in 2015 after completing her bachelor’s degree in architecture and design at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE, followed by shoemaking courses at the renowned Arsutoria school in Milan. Produced in Italy, Arnaa shoes are handcrafted in the same factory that makes shoes for Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, and Pierre Hardy. Supported by her small team in Milan, Sultan manages her label between Kuwait and Italy, where she spoke about the challenges of the design process, “Whether it’s from designing and choosing materials, to getting the shoes in stores to delivery, it’s a long and technical process; it’s not easy,” she said. “Especially as I don’t live in Europe, it requires a lot of my time and energy; but I love what I do and it’s become part of my routine.”

The designer describes her brand Arnaa—a name derived from an Indian goddess who represents power, wealth, and strength—as elegant and playful in a sophisticated way. Comfort is also a key component to her designs. “I’m a mother,” Sultan said. “Therefore, I really focus on comfort. If I do a 12cm heel, you’ll find it comes with a platform and padding to make sure that it’s easy to walk in throughout the day.” The mother of a three-year-old son harmoniously finds balance between raising a family and managing her brand between two continents. “It’s really hard, but I take him [my son] with me to my office [in Kuwait] whenever I get the chance,” she explained. “I set up a drawing corner for him while I’m working.”

Arnaa by Farah Sultan is available at No. 30 Milano in Milan Italy, The Box Boutique in London, Harvey Nichols Kuwait, and Wolfandbadger.com.

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