Adiós Amor: Reinventing the Madas, with a feminine touch

Adiós Amor: Reinventing the Madas, with a feminine touch
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Monica Suitt with her collection of Madas for women.
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Updated 24 March 2017

Adiós Amor: Reinventing the Madas, with a feminine touch

Adiós Amor: Reinventing the Madas, with a feminine touch

There is nothing more therapeutic, I tell you, than coming home after a long day and taking off your three-inch high heels to relieve the pain in your feet. But when I met Monica, I knew I had a better option than the stiletto. The Madas. Yes, you read it right! She designs the Saudi slipper with a feminine twist, which not only is a comfortable choice but also an elegantly casual combination with the everyday abaya.
Spanish designer Monica Suitt is no ordinary woman. She is an interior designer, a fashion designer and a quite deft footwear designer who creates the Madas, or Saudi slippers, for women under her brand Adiós Amor.
It was a mere coincidence when the owner of a local leather factory stopped by her stall at a bazar, where she was selling abayas she designed, and asked for a piece of her fabric so he could make a shoe for his wife. “This is where it all started,” Suitt said.
“I took a particular interest in the traditional slipper worn by the men in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “It is very simple and original and I wanted a pair for myself too.”
Upon realizing the potential of this new design for women, Suitt began making samples and trials.
“However comfortable the Madas were, the designer in me kept processing variations of it in my head,” Suitt said. “With time I felt that a touch of color and a playful mix between leather, fabric and patterns could make the Madas more feminine and attractive for more women to wear.”
Adiós Amor is ideal for women who want to be a little different according to Suitt. Describing the design process, she said their focus is always on serving the best quality. “We play around with different fabric, including denim, camouflage, glitter, embroidery and leather, in order to make special and unique combinations.”
At Adiós Amor, mixing and matching materials are what make the designs a favorite to many. “Our bespoke footwear is made to our clients’ preferences,” added Suitt. “I think that the secret of our designs is in the blends with all fabrics, colors and textures making the final product chic and trendy.”
“Our leather collection is designed using rich snake, ostrich and lizard leather, which we get down from Italy. If you asked me to pick a favorite from my creations, I would definitely choose the snake-leather ones,” she said.
Designer Diary
Having studied Interior Design in Miami, Suitt was a full-time interior designer and had her own studio in Seville before she moved to the Kingdom. Hailing from Chipiona, south of Spain, Suitt also lived in the United States and Mexico before she moved to Saudi Arabia. “Ever since I landed in the Kingdom, I fell in love with this place, it’s deeply rooted culture and the kind people.”
As a newcomer to this part of the world, the Spanish designer found herself driven toward wanting to learn and understand the customs, words, dress code and their evolution. Suitt also designs linen abayas under a fresh brand, “Thaa,” which she recently co-founded with a Spanish friend.
Taking bigger ‘steps’
Suitt’s success often faces obstacles she encounters as a designer. “Everything is copied very fast in this fashion world,” she said. “So our main challenge is to be one step ahead of our imitators and when one design is copied, we already have several new ones.”
Finding the proper fabric can be tricky. “One specific problem we run into constantly is that if we find one fabric one day, we never find it again,” she said. “So this results in some discontinuities in our collections.”
Demanding work comes as extra baggage for the Spanish designer, who usually has so much to do in so little time.
“We need to buy the fabrics, make the designs, manufacture the samples, check them, correct them and monitor the manufacturing process,” she said. “But we also have to do the selling, attend a lot of bazars with never-ending schedules and this is really hard work.”
Suitt believes that there is a huge potential for the next generation of footwear designers in Saudi Arabia — both men and women. “It is an important fashion complement and we are only currently playing with fabrics,” she said. “There is more that can be done with the shape, the heel or the material. So, there are a lot of possibilities that need to be explored.”
Creative Musings
Jeddah’s Al-Balad is where Suitt gathers her inspiration for her footwear designs. “I just love the colors, the people and the atmosphere, which is all a continuous source of inspiration for me,” she said.
Adiós Amor has successfully fashioned four collections of footwear. Hinting on their next collection, Suitt said it will feature hand-embroidery and will be released during Ramadan. She also said that they are currently finishing a complete collection for men, which is going to come as a surprise to many.
Her personal style philosophy speaks of simplicity, practicality and affordability. In 10 years’ time, Suitt sees Adiós Amor evolving into a different brand with a strong presence on the Internet and selling in a lot of countries.
Speaking of her choice among the heels, the boots and the flats, Suitt said, “I used to be a heels woman, but since I discovered the Madas I am, without doubt, a flat one. But I love to wear high heels for celebrations and parties,” she added.
To get hold of a pair or have a custom-made Madas to one’s liking, Suitt encourages her customers to get in touch with her through her Instagram page @adiosamor_ms. With a generous price range for her footwear, you can get a pair of an Adiós Amor Madas made with fabric for SR400 and a pair made with leather for SR700.
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Enduring style of the sandal: From traditional staples to Yeezy Slides, put your best foot forward

Enduring style of the sandal: From traditional staples to Yeezy Slides, put your best foot forward
Instagram/@tamashee
Updated 26 July 2021

Enduring style of the sandal: From traditional staples to Yeezy Slides, put your best foot forward

Enduring style of the sandal: From traditional staples to Yeezy Slides, put your best foot forward

DUBAI: There can’t be a more beloved item of footwear in the Middle East than the sandal, and while increasing numbers of Arab men are rocking collectible sneakers with their thobes in 2021, deep down, the open-toed classic will always remain the footwear of choice. The question is, just how should you wear them?

First things first, did you know that the sandal is actually the OG of all footwear? In 1938 a 10,000-year-old pair was discovered in Fort Rock Cave in Oregon, US. That makes it the oldest shoe going. Sandals in the Middle East are always open-toed and have a leather covering across the front of the foot—meaning that there’s no need for a strap at the heel to keep them in place. While in many parts of the region they would evolve from free open toes to a na’l—featuring another piece of leather to separate the big toe—there was also a need to leave room for a sock, so bedouins could wear them as the desert evenings grew colder.

Sandals in the Middle East are always open-toed and have a leather covering across the front of the foot. Instagram/@tamashee

However, when it came to Western fashion, things were a little more complicated and they quickly become the footwear of choice for uncool, suburban dads. Amazingly, what nearly killed it actually saved its life. Thanks largely to the normcore fashion movement, suddenly the sandal was back in the game. Whether it was David Beckham wearing them with sports socks and a Tom Ford suit or Justin Bieber sporting something with a chunky sole, the sandal was reborn. Not that the Arab world needed such a renaissance, of course, here it had always been on-point.

Now, with luxury brands crafting new editions each year—not to mention elevated streetwear options like the impossible-to-cop Yeezy Slides—it becomes clear: The sandal is no longer a dull, lifeless addition to your wardrobe — right now it’s the star of the show.

“For price and design Birkenstock is great and very reliable,” GQ Middle East’s Fashion Editor explains. File/Getty Images

Here, GQ Middle East’s Fashion Editor, Keanoush Zargham, explains how, when and where you should go open-toed.

“A relaxed, cosy fits work best,” Zargham said when explaining what look you should style your sandals with. “This could range from an oversized tailored suit to a pair of wide slacks with a tank top and cardi thrown on to complete the look.”

While sandals are the norm in professional environments if you’re wearing regional attire, what about pairing them with Western clothes at work?

“That depends on where you work,” Zargham noted. “The other day I wore a pair of Toga Virilis sandals to the office and nobody said a word. Do wear them with socks, though. Nobody wants to see your bare feet in a meeting.

Yeezy slides have become a real powerhouse. Instagram/@yeezymafia

“For price and design Birkenstock is great and very reliable. If you’d like to splash a little more cash, splurge on some Bottega Veneta sandals with intrecciato weaving detail,” he added.

When it comes to slides, the fashion expert says it’s all about how you wear them.

“They’re a little more relaxed, but I love them. Yeezy Slides have become a real powerhouse. Add some socks, a pair of oversized shorts, a relaxed tee and hoodie and you have a great look going on.”


Zuhair Murad celebrates Jennifer Lopez’s birthday with fashion tribute

ennifer Lopez performed at the Citizen VAX LIVE concert in May wearing a jumpsuit by Zuhair Murad. (Getty Images)
ennifer Lopez performed at the Citizen VAX LIVE concert in May wearing a jumpsuit by Zuhair Murad. (Getty Images)
Updated 25 July 2021

Zuhair Murad celebrates Jennifer Lopez’s birthday with fashion tribute

ennifer Lopez performed at the Citizen VAX LIVE concert in May wearing a jumpsuit by Zuhair Murad. (Getty Images)

DUBAI: Lebanese designer to the stars Zuhair Murad celebrated US singer Jennifer Lopez on Saturday, taking to Instagram to toast the queen of pop’s special relationship with the fashion house.

The hitmaker is known for her love of Zuhair Murad gowns and regularly hits red carpets, and the stage, in glittering outfits by the designer.

The fashion house celebrated the singer’s birthday on July 24 by releasing a short video of the numerous occasions she has donned a gown by Murad.

“Celebrating the beautiful Jennifer Lopez today, by reminiscing over some of our favorite #ZuhairMurad looks of hers,” the caption read. “Happy birthday @jlo! Cheers to your everlasting youth and to more #ZMxJLOMoments!”

Murad is one of Lopez’s go-to designers for special red carpet events and performances.

The “Let’s Get Loud” singer previously opened up about her affinity for Murad’s designs, describing the couturier as “probably her favorite designer” in a past interview with Venture Lifestyle.

“I discovered him years ago when I was doing a show, and I was so jet-lagged and I was up in the middle of the night watching Fashion TV, which they had in this country I was in,” explained the hitmaker. “He had this beautiful show and I was like, ‘who is this guy?’”

Lopez went on to explain the hurdles she faced when trying to get in touch with Murad, who doesn’t seem to have been a household name at the time.

“I came back (to the US) and I said, ‘Do you guys know Zuhair Murad?’ and nobody knew who he was, none of the stylists, nobody in the United States knew who he was. I was like, ‘You have to get me this dress for the Met Ball,” she said, referring to the Met Gala, an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York and one of the fashion world’s most eagerly anticipated events. 

“I wore his dress to the Met Ball and after that, I just started using him for everything — he designed my last tour — we just have a great relationship. He’s a beautiful man, a beautiful designer,” Lopez added.


US-Egyptian jewelry label Jacquie Aiche snaps up celebrity fans

US-Egyptian jewelry label Jacquie Aiche snaps up celebrity fans
Updated 24 July 2021

US-Egyptian jewelry label Jacquie Aiche snaps up celebrity fans

US-Egyptian jewelry label Jacquie Aiche snaps up celebrity fans

DUBAI: From British actress Emily Blunt, to US stars Justin Bieber and Khloe Kardashian, Egyptian-American jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche’s celebrity fan base expanded this week.

 The label has quickly managed to emerge as a A-lister-loved brand, with stars like Kylie Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski and Shanina Shaik adorning themselves with the Los Angeles-based jewelry house’s signature diamond-encrusted body chains, anklets and stacked gemstone rings on the red carpet.

This week, Blunt showed off an ornate ring by the label while doing press interviews for Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” her latest film in which she stars alongside Dwayne Johnson and Edgar Ramirez.

Blunt was dressed by Hollywood stylist Jessica Paster, who made sure to get mileage out of the ring by featuring it in several ensembles on the press tour, including outfits by Gabriela Hearst and Zimmermann.

For her part, Kardashian opted to show off a dainty body chain by the brand during a photoshoot for her label Good American’s latest swimwear release. She paired the jewelry, which wrapped around the torso, with a neon yellow swimsuit.

To wrap things up, Bieber showed off a pair of small hoop earrings by Aiche, which he paired with a red visor.

(Instagram)

Aiche, who was born to an Egyptian father and an indigenous American mother, launched her eponymous label from her garage in 2008. She has since amassed an impressive celebrity client list that includes the likes of Rihanna, Selena Gomez and Katy Perry, whose stylists flock to her Beverly Hills showroom in droves to adorn their clients in her signature delicate earrings, finger bracelets and chokers ahead of red carpet events. The jeweler is also the brainchild behind Chrissy Teigen’s bespoke engagement ring from John Legend.

The part-Egyptian jewelry designer’s store in Los Angeles is full of jewelry items made from delicate raw quartz, tourmaline, moonstone and countless other special stones. Her pieces often feature Arab influences like hammered gold, amulets and the evil eye talisman, as well as natural elements such as turquoise, fossils and precious gemstones, which are a nod to her indigenous American ancestors.

 


Syrian designer Daniel Essa’s remarkable rise to success

Syrian designer Daniel Essa’s remarkable rise to success
Daniel Essa is a Syrian refugee who founded a luxury shoe brand in France. Supplied
Updated 22 July 2021

Syrian designer Daniel Essa’s remarkable rise to success

Syrian designer Daniel Essa’s remarkable rise to success
  • In 2013, Essa fled his homeland for Europe to start over. Eight years later, his luxury footwear brand is globally acclaimed

PARIS: Daniel Essa has become a household name. In 2018, Reuters highlighted his extraordinary journey: A Syrian refugee who founded a luxury shoe brand in France bearing his name. On June 3 this year, Essa was nominated for the Shoe Designer of the Year award at the Drapers Footwear Awards — the equivalent of the Oscars for shoes. 

It’s been a meteoric rise for Essa. In 2013, he made the decision to leave Syria behind — and with it both his family and a successful career in the fashion world. He was a valedictorian at Esmod Damascus, a professor at the Arab International University, the host of his own television show for three years.

“Rebuilding everything was complicated. I didn’t start from scratch, but rather from minus 10,” he tells Arab News. Essa arrived first in Spain — a country where he was not familiar with the language. But he already had his heart set on a new project: to found his own brand of luxury shoes.

Essa was nominated for the Shoe Designer of the Year award at the Drapers Footwear Awards. Supplied

That project came together in France, where his first collection was launched in September 2017. “I took the time to do my research. Having an idea is not enough to launch a brand. I had to analyze the market, seek advice from influential and powerful people in the industry, like the former artistic director of Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing” he said. “It was the result of two years of work and preparation. I went to Italy to learn more about suitable raw materials and to have access to the best manufacturing workshops.”

Essa was set on launching his own brand rather than joining a major luxury house. His talent matched his ambition and he found immediate success, with orders coming from all over the world. In January 2018, he presented a collection at Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.

The brand’s success is based Essa’s ability to combine French elegance with Italian expertise in a striking harmony. Supplied

The brand’s success is based Essa’s ability to combine French elegance with Italian expertise in a striking harmony. “The brand’s clean and minimalist signature has been noticed and appreciated,” he says. “We were even the first to launch this sleek trend by highlighting haute-couture production. These are new, durable and customizable models.” All the elements of his collections are meticulously and subtly thought out, including the tongue and laces.

His brand — less than four years from its launch — is now on display in major boutiques around the world, including Printemps and Level Shoes in Dubai. “Level Shoes is a unique concept. It’s the only place where you can find the 250 best shoe brands,” Essa says. The designer stresses that his success is — above all — the result of hard work, which he considers fundamental to any project. 

His brand — less than four years from its launch — is now on display in major boutiques around the world. Supplied

“True success is reaching a certain level and being able to maintain it. I am even more motivated than before,” he says. “Self-motivation is an inherent trait of my personality.”

Essa is certainly reaping the rewards of his dedication, as evidenced by his Drapers Footwear Awards nomination. The awards ceremony is scheduled to be held in London on September 23. 

“Being a finalist is very important. It will be a great opportunity to meet the artistic directors of the biggest luxury brands or sports shoes,” he says. “Above all, I believe that this nomination proves that talent is stronger than money and all other obstacles.”


British-Moroccan model Nora Attal celebrates Eid with throwback family photo

British-Moroccan model Nora Attal celebrates Eid with throwback family photo
Nora Attal was born in the UK to Moroccan parents. File/Getty Images
Updated 21 July 2021

British-Moroccan model Nora Attal celebrates Eid with throwback family photo

British-Moroccan model Nora Attal celebrates Eid with throwback family photo

DUBAI: Moroccan-British model Nora Attal took a step down memory lane on Instagram to reflect on her Eid memories with her family.

The 22-year-old catwalker extended warm wishes to her 49,400 followers on the social networking platform with the message, “Eid Mubarak.”

And she posted a childhood family photo of herself wearing traditional Moroccan garb and posing with a sheep accompanied by a caption that said: “Me crying knowing the sheep would be slaughtered as tradition ... And now I’m vegetarian.”

The 22-year-old catwalker shared a throwback family photo to mark Eid Al-Adha. Instagram

Many other stars also used the photo-sharing service to send heartfelt wishes to fans on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, which began on Monday.

"Eid Mubarak to all my friends and family that celebrate," wrote British hitmaker Dua Lipa on Instagram Stories.

Part-Palestinian model Bella Hadid shared on her Instagram Stories a post — also shared by Dutch-Egyptian-Moroccan model Imaan Hammam — that said: “Eid Mubarak you beautiful people.”

Her father, real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid, also took the time to wish Eid Mubarak to his followers, while reflecting on how grateful he was for his family.

Alongside a series of pictures of his children, he said: “Blessed to have my beautiful family ... may God fill this world with peace and tranquility. Eid Mubarak.”

Meanwhile, Huda Kattan posted a twinning photograph with daughter Nour Giselle, and said: “Happy Eid my loves. Wish you guys a blessed holiday. Love you all so much.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Halima (@halima)

The world-famous beauty influencer and entrepreneur also shared on her Instagram Stories a video of a lamb-shaped cake, wishing everyone an Eid Mubarak, and spreading the joy.

Somali-US star Halima Aden, 23, uploaded a family photo onto Instagram captioned “Eid Mubarak” alongside two emojis wearing party hats.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Swizz Beatz (@therealswizzz)

Elsewhere, US producer Swizz Beatz took the opportunity to extend Eid wishes to his 4 million Instagram fans with an anniversary tribute post dedicated to his wife Alicia Keys.

He said: “Celebrating our 11-year anniversary month all month. The fact that we haven’t been back to the house in Corsica we got married at 11 years ago, until now, is crazy. Time goes by fast, make every moment count. Eid Mubarak.”