Hissa Haddad grew up in house full of brothers, her love for design comes from her father and his sketches, but also from her mother who was always coming up with creative ideas to add her personal touch to her clothes and accessories. Inspired by historical art, architecture and the love of fine jewellery, each pair is draped with the finest materials of satin and leather, and hand encrusted with gems.
Hissa Haddad is a luxury footwear label of Italian made shoes designed by female entrepreneur and designer Hissa Al Haddad. After two years of meticulous research and design, the ‘Hissa Haddad’ brand was launched during Paris Fashion Week, October 2017 with its first Capsule Collection of 10 designs. The brand was also selected by the British Fashion Council to be part of the London Fashion Week Designer Showrooms in which the brand launched their second collection Capsule Collection II of gem stone inspired shoes. Here is a conversation with the designer who is already making waves in the world’s top fashion cities.
Shoe design is quite an unusual direction for women designers, especially in our region. How did you chose this category?
I have selected shoe designing based on my love for shoes and the love for making it perfect. The other thing I have always dreamed of is having a comfortable high heel that fits me perfectly, heels that I can walk in all day long. I also perceive shoes as the most important accessory to what a woman is wearing and they should stand out.
I have started my career as an engineer and shifted to design while I was doing my master degree studies. This category of design is unusual in our region but that motivated me to do it even more. That is why I make sure my designs have that special aesthetic touch linked to our region.
What was the first design you have ever made? What was your feeling seeing it as a ready product?
I have drawn many designs. However, I have only started the sampling/manufacturing process with my capsule collection. Although the first sample was not as per my requirements and required me to work through it and through the design again. I have seen it as an achievement to see the progress.
Tell us about your latest collection, what was the inspiration behind it?
The Signora collection is inspired by the Arabic/Islamic architecture with a modern and simple touch.
How much time does it take to prepare a new collection?
Within the process research, designing and sampling it takes between 8 – 10 months to get the final samples.
How important is it in shoe design to follow the main season trends?
It is very important as the seasons trends are changing and the customers would be looking for the trends promoted for that specific season.
What are the main traits that distinguish your creations in your opinion?
Our signature design of cutout and the way we have developed the shoes to be comfortable.
Who are the designers who influenced you most in your career?
I am mostly inspired by the success stories rather than designs, such as Salvatore Ferragamo, who was considered a visionary.
How do you see the design scene in general in the Arab region?
It is continuously improving and many designers are being introduced to the market and having the strategy to become international.
What are you plans for the future?
To launch the brand in different countries around the world.
“Shoes are the most important accessory to what a woman is wearing and they should stand out.”- HISSA HADDAD