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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