DUBAI: Kuwaiti designer and geologist Fatmah Hussain decided she was not destined for a repetitive life, so in 2019 she translated her affinity for footwear — heels in particular — into a full-fledged label.
Despite having a fulltime job and three boys, she moved to Milan and took up a fast-track shoemaking course at the renowned Arsutoria School.
During the month-long course, Hussain was able to pick up basic shoemaking skills including sketching and pattern-making.
She struck out on her own in November 2019 after launching her debut collection of handmade leather heels, mules and flats.
Entitled Carat, the Kuwait-based label draws its name from the synthetic, semi-precious ruby engraved on the soles of each pair of heels — the designer’s calling card in the same way Christian Louboutin’s red soles and Manolo Blahnik’s iconic buckle have come to set their shoes apart.
Within a few months, her designs have been worn by Australian-Lebanese model Jessica Kahawaty and Lebanese TV personality Nadine Abdelaziz.
Hussain has cultivated a brand of footwear unlike anything else in the Middle East market right now, an aesthetic that the designer dubs “a piece of art.”
Her debut collection for the Fall 2020 season was inspired by the history and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, hence the column heels that adorn some of the pieces in the offering.
Produced in Italy, each pair of heels is handcrafted using the finest authentic leathers sourced from high quality suppliers in the country. “When I design, I imagine something I’d like to wear,” Hussain told Arab News.
Her debut offering features four timeless and elegant silhouettes. There’s Joy, a pointed-toe flat that comes in black and gold colorways; Louis, a leather mule that boasts a furling tongue; Roman, a classic pump with a structural column heel; and Alexander, the label’s piece de resistance.
Hussain’s attention-grabbing creations are available online and the brand ships worldwide.