Over a casual coffee, I had the opportunity to get to know fellow shoe-addict and designer, Hissa Haddad. Miss Haddad is known to put her best- and most fashionable foot forward- in the world of glitz and glamour. Hissa was recently selected by the British Fashion Council to participate in the London Fashion Week, after a successful run at Paris Fashion Week last October and showcasing in Doha this year in January.
An engineer in her own right, Haddad translates her unwavering passion for design and the determination to share her expression of her culture into her beautiful shoe collection.
In partnership with the Italian Chamber in Qatar, Hissa curated her first shoe collectin from all-things-Italian, from the materials used to working with a well-known Italian manufacturer. Hissa produced her debut collection using her favorite medium- satin. While the workmanship was of Italian origin, her shoes were made with Qatari-love, expressing her culture as a source of inspiration. Cuts of the shoes were inspired by Islamic architecture, bringing in some structural influence from her academic career. Pearls were a sign of her Qatari heritage, being a well-known item of trade in Qatari history. Gold and gems are used, symbolizing their importance in fashion and beauty in the Arab- and more specifically, Qatari- world. Haddad’s personal love for satin, adds her own unique touch to the collection, which was marketed under the umbrella of other well-known brands.
Hissa explains, ” My love for design began at a very young age, inspired by my father’s engineering sketches and my mother’s ability to effortlessly customize clothing.” The ability to customize and improvise, all the while adding personal flavour and touch, is an art that should be nurtured and developed, so that it can be expressed and promoted.
When asked about how shoe design stepped out from her engineering career, she says, ”The perception and expectation of achieving a career do not include creativity, but just achieving something “clever”, hence my decision to pursue shoe designing and manufacturing after the completion of my Masters in Engineering.”
Hissa reveals that she loves shoe brands that tell a real story, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, who was considered a visionary.
Haddad also recognizes the vast amount of talent in Qatar and added, “I would love to be an inspiration to all those women and I would love to tell them they can do whatever they want… I have always wanted to launch a Qatari brand. We do have lots of women here who are extremely creative but perhaps, didn’t go all the way to take their brands to the international arena. My advice would be for them is to believe and do it”.
If you never try, you’ll never know.
For more information on HH collection: