Amina Muaddi has long been one of the most in-demand and sought-after footwear designers. Previously named the Best Footwear Designer of the Year for 2019, Muaddi is no stranger to success. However, in the face of what has been a challenging year for many, Muaddi was able to continue growing her business, creating a sense of excitement and glamour through her extremely popular collections, and even launching an exclusive 10-piece capsule with MyTheresa on the cusp of the pandemic.
The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have devastated many independent businesses across the world, particularly in fashion when lockdown meant we had few places to wear some of our best clothes. Even global fashion weeks took a hit. Yet, in the face of adversity, the Jordanian-Romanian designer has continued to soar with her shoes – renowned for their signature kick-flare heel – nearly selling out within hours.
While lockdowns and curfews may have halted glamorous lifestyles that require expensive shoes and glitzy dresses – with sales for such attire screeching to a halt – Muaddi’s designs, which encapsulate party style and contemporary elegance, have been selling undisturbed on e-tailers across the globe from Browns to Matchesfashions. Speaking of the phenomenon, Tiffany Hsu ,buying director at MyTheresa, told Business of Fashion, “If the brand is hot, it’s hot regardless of what’s happening.” Recognizing Amina Muaddi’s eponymous label as timeless and “pandemic-proof” brand, Hsu added, “Whenever [Muaddi’s new] styles become available, people just want to jump on it, not thinking [whether] ‘I can wear it now’ or ‘I can wear it in six months’.”
You could argue the success is an anomaly, but the key could also lie in Muaddi’s savvy marketing on social media – harnessing the power of the celebrity – and tight distribution. A favorite among the likes of Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Kendall, and Kylie Jenner, and Rihanna, Muaddi has an influential cult following. Arab model Imaan Hammam also features in the brand’s latest campaign. From Hollywood glitterati to major Middle East talent, her high-profile fans frequently share images of her Instagram-able collections (which range between US$550 to over US$1,300) across all social platforms. As a result there has been a continuous hype surrounding the brand, which, unlike many competitors, didn’t have to cancel orders during the crisis.
Singer Rihanna, who is frequently pictured wearing some of Muaddi’s creations, commissioned the young designer to collaborate on a footwear collection for her Fenty fashion label, which dropped in July. The collaboration fast became one of the most desired collections in 2020, further cementing Muaddi’s status as one of the best in fashionable footwear. The collection has been met with critical acclaim and is set to be honored with the Collaborator of the Year award, at the upcoming 34th edition of the FN Achievement Awards, dubbed the Shoe Oscars.
“That’s what’s up! @badgalriri’s @fenty and I will be honored with the Collaborator of the Year award at the upcoming 2020 FN Achievement Awards this December!” shared Muaddi on Instagram.“Thank you @footwearnews for acknowledging our work and @badgalriri @illjahjah @fenty for embarking me on this journey! Looking forward to what’s next. Much love from my team and I!” she added.
A lot of Muaddi’s success also comes from learning from past mistakes from her first label Oscar Tiye. “I had made so many mistakes and I had learned so many lessons that I didn’t care to prove anything to anyone at this point I just wanted to make good product,” says Muaddi, who co-founded her first label with a friend in 2012. Opting against mass production also served Muaddi well. Designing just two collections a year, and forgoing fashion week presentations meant fans had to wait until the collections hit the shop floor – thus keeping interests high. It was a bold move but it ensured “my customer never gets bored of my product before it even hit the stores,” says Muaddi.
The designer will be sharing her expertise in the upcoming weeks as part of the jury for the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize.