Walk this way: Arab shoe designers snap up celebrity fans

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From Ashley Graham to Emily Ratajkowski, footwear labels from the region are earning celebrity fans. (AFP)
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From Ashley Graham to Emily Ratajkowski, footwear labels from the region are earning celebrity fans. (AFP)
Updated 08 June 2019
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Walk this way: Arab shoe designers snap up celebrity fans

  • Lebanese shoe designer Andrea Wazen is known for her high-quality, handmade footwear created in Beirut
  • The up-and-coming label is known for its bright hues and razor-thin stiletto heels

DUBAI: Well-heeled celebrities from around the world have been sporting shoes by Arab designers as of late — from Kylie Jenner to model Emily Ratajkowski, there’s no shortage of famous fans when it comes to footwear labels from the region.

Last week, Ratajkowski showed off a pair of tan mules by Lebanese shoe designer Andrea Wazen, known for her high-quality, handmade footwear created in Beirut.

The model posed for photographs at a polo event in New Jersey wearing the simple Gloria mules by the Lebanese designer.

“When your ultimate girl crush wears your shoes,” the designer captioned a photo of the model, who paired the shoes with a fitted pencil skirt and orange crop top.

Wazen, whose sister is fashion influencer Karen Wazen, also saw her shoes worn by model Ashley Graham last week.

Graham wore a pair of slinky black heels with clear PVC accents to the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards ceremony, held last week.

The shoes, called the Dassy PVC pumps, accessorized a custom-made Christian Siriano dress, with puffed sleeves and a form-fitting silhouette.

“In custom @csiriano for the @cfda awards feeling like I just walked out of a fabulous Alfred Hitchcock film, darling!” Graham captioned a snap of her outfit on Instagram.

Wazen isn’t the only designer from the region to earn herself celebrity fans lately. Jordanian-Romanian shoe designer Amina Muaddi has also been in the spotlight, with the likes of Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Rihanna and British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley showing off her heels in recent weeks.

Kylie boasted a pair of the Lupita glass slippers at the launch of her new skincare line, Kylie Skin, at the end of May, while her older sister Kendall finished off a skin-tight minidress with the Gilda rainbow sandals while in Cannes.

Back in April, beauty mogul Rihanna was spotted in New York — reportedly out and about with her Saudi beau Hassan Jameel — wearing a black coat with strappy white sandals by Muaddi, while Huntington-Whiteley has been an avid fan for quite some time and regularly takes to Instagram to show off Muaddi’s latest designs.

The up-and-coming label is known for its bright hues and razor-thin stiletto heels that often widen out into a squared block at the base of the heel. 


What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

Updated 16 June 2019
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What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

  • Some of the gifts have either gone missing, were stolen or destroyed over the decades

HOUSTON, Texas: US President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill.
While some hold pride of place in museums and scientific institutions, many others are unaccounted for — they have either gone missing, were stolen or even destroyed over the decades.
The list below recounts the stories of some of the missing moon rocks and others that were lost and later found.
It is compiled from research done by Joseph Gutheinz Jr, a retired NASA special agent known as the “Moon Rock Hunter,” his students, and collectSPACE, a website which specializes in space history.

• Both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks presented to perpetually war-wracked Afghanistan have vanished.

• One of the moon rocks destined for Cyprus was never delivered due to the July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the assassination of the US ambassador the following month.
It was given to NASA years later by the son of a US diplomat but has not been handed over to Cyprus.

Joseph Gutheinz, an attorney known as the "Moon Rock Hunter," displays meteorite fragments in his office on May 22, 2019 in Friendswood, Texas. (AFP / Loren Elliot)



• Honduras’s Apollo 17 moon rock was recovered by Gutheinz and Bob Cregger, a US Postal Service agent, in a 1998 undercover sting operation baptized “Operation Lunar Eclipse.”
It had been sold to a Florida businessman, Alan Rosen, for $50,000 by a Honduran army colonel. Rosen tried to sell the rock to Gutheinz for $5 million. It was seized and eventually returned to Honduras.

• Ireland’s Apollo 11 moon rock was on display in Dublin’s Dunsink Observatory, which was destroyed in a 1977 fire. Debris from the observatory — including the moon rock — ended up in the Finglas landfill.

• The Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks given to then Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi have vanished.

• Malta’s Apollo 17 moon rock was stolen from a museum in May 2004. It has not been found.

• Nicaragua’s Apollo 17 moon rock was allegedly sold to someone in the Middle East for $5-10 million. Its Apollo 11 moon rock ended up with a Las Vegas casino owner, who displayed it for a time in his Moon Rock Cafe. Bob Stupak’s estate turned it over to NASA when he died. It has since been returned to Nicaragua.

• Romania’s Apollo 11 moon rock is on display in a museum in Bucharest. Romania’s Apollo 17 moon rock is believed to have been sold by the estate of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed along with his wife, Elena, on Christmas Day 1989.


Spain’s Apollo 17 moon rock is on display in Madrid’s Naval Museum after being donated by the family of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, who was assassinated by the Basque separatist group ETA in 1973.
Spain’s Apollo 11 moon rock is missing and is believed to be in the hands of the family of former dictator Francisco Franco.
cl/sst