The designer left Oscar Tiye, the shoe brand she cofounded in 2012 with two business partners, in May 2017.
“In the span of five years the brand had grown, we were in 150 stores in the world and I started having a different vision on what direction to expand the label, so I decided to exit the company,” said Muaddi, who continues to design footwear for Alexandre Vauthier. “When we launched Oscar Tiye I was 25. In five years, I evolved as a person and I felt that I wanted to express this maturity in my personal way.”
The Jordan-Romanian designer, who moved to Italy as a teenager, started working on her Amina Muaddi line in the summer of 2017.
“I wanted to do something really expressing my personal style, my vision, concentrating the things I like,” said Muaddi, who chose to use her name to express this tight relationship between her creations and herself. “I actually took six months to clearly understand what I wanted to do and then I started working on the first styles.”
Instead of opting for a traditional launch, Muaddi chose to debut her namesake line with a see-now-buy-now capsule, which she unveiled via a digital campaign at the end of August.
“We wanted to keep the distribution of this ‘zero’ collection very tight and we invited only a dozen retailers to see it. The feedback was so positive and basically all of them decided to buy the shoes,” said Muaddi, who cited Net-a-porter, Browns, Level Shoes and Aïshti, among others. “I felt very supported by the people who knew me before but also by those that had just met me for the first time.”
Defined by a combination of “dream and practicality,” Muaddi wanted to deliver styles that were both appealing for international women and easy-to-wear and walk in.
“There are no heels exceeding 9.5 centimeters [about 4 inches], because I wanted women not only to fall in love with the look of my shoes but to be able to sport them around the clock,” said Muaddi, who developed 25 styles, spanning from mules and ankle boots to sexy sandals and over-the-knee boots.
A signature detail of the “zero” collection, a heel designed by Muaddi herself, combines the breast of a stiletto with the top piece of an exaggerated kitten style.
“I don’t want people to associate my shoes with a single feature, but every season I want to introduce new signature elements,” said Muaddi, who worked with a wide range of materials, including silk, leather, PVC, suede and velvet, sometimes enriched with crystal embellishments.
Asked about the positioning of the brand, Muaddi said that “while I wanted to have accessible prices, I preferred to reduce margins instead of compromising quality.” The brand’s debut collection retails from 490 euros to 1,400 euros.
Continuing her strategy aimed at revealing the new lineup only when it hits stores, Muaddi showcased her spring 2019 shoe range exclusively to buyers in September.
“We enlarged the network of retailers we reached but we want to maintain the distribution quite small,” said the designer, who sold her second collection to about 40 stores in the world.