Zahra Rahman Habib, the renowned Karachi- based footwear designer has an M.Sc in Marketing Management. Out of a sheer passion for shoes and hardwork, she has established her brand in a short span of time, through a unique way of looking at shoe design. The designer gives Hello! a peek into her life and the work that goes behind her footwear collections.
What makes a ‘Zahra Habib’ piece unique and sets it apart from the other shoes in the market?
From concept to crafting, I am involved in every step of the process. Each sandal is hand made and designed to uphold high standards of perfection and to break boundaries. I have a brilliant new design team; without them, I would be completely handicapped. Together, we like to play with colours, textures, materials and ideas to come up with unique pieces, which are not just sandals, but works of art.
Do you think women are obsessed with shoes? Why do you think that is?
Of course, they are! Footwear speaks a powerful language across the world. In the 14th century, the length of a pointed shoe was in proportion to the status of a noble person. Although now I feel it’s more the length of the heel!! As Marilyn Monroe said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world!”
Where does the inspiration for each collection come from?
Inspiration is the fuel for a designer’s mind. It’s hard for me to point out one thing that inspires me. Fashion trends, my own style, my favourite designers and my personality are some of the things that are portrayed in my footwear. I don’t like to work with typical textures and colours. When I see common trends, I try to move away from them and give people a chance to show off their individuality. I love people who take chances, who are bold, confident and one of a kind. My shoes are exactly that!
If you had to choose one pair of shoes that every fashionsta should own, which would it be?
You can never go wrong with a pair of sandals. They bring out the hidden elegance in every woman.
Which celebrity would you love to have wear your shoes?
The greatest high for me is seeing my customers in my shoes. It makes me so proud and gives me the confidence to carry on designing. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if Christian Louboutin walked into my shoe store and said O.M.G!
How did you become a shoe designer?
I have been obsessed with shoes ever since I was a little girl. I can never own enough of them and I can certainly never tire of designing them. My love for fashion led me to choose the most natural career option for me.
How do you think Pakistani women’s aesthetic varies from that of women all around the world?
Pakistani women are slightly more traditional than their counterparts in the west. It is just recently that they have begun to explore the possibilities beyond what is the norm, and that is why my shoes are different: they help people break out of their comfort zones and enter a new world of fashion and style previously unbeknown to them.
You have been working on your most recent collection lately. What is it about?
It’s about the sparkle and dazzle of our beautiful winter festive season. There’s a bit of play too with the funky designs.
What are your future plans?
I am working with a young, talented design team and together we plan on bringing in a new dimension to ZHF.