Meet Havva Mustafa, the mastermind behind the new luxury footwear brand HAVVA. Born into a family of third generation footwear artisans and designers, and growing up with the curious shapes of patterns, lasts and heels – Havva’s interest and passion for footwear was stirred from a very early age.
Determined to preserve the family heritage and knowledge Havva followed in her father’s footsteps and studied at the prestigious Cordwainers Footwear College in London. Gaining invaluable experience she nevertheless became increasingly frustrated by the constraints and lack of vision encountered. When wearing shoes of her own designs she was frequently stopped in the streets and realised that she wanted to share her passion. She set about making that dream a reality and launched HAVVA in 2009, with the support and backing of her family who all contribute to the brands existence.
HAVVA shoes are truly precious objects of desire. Please find below an interesting interview that the beautiful designer gave Sandra’s Closet:
1.You were born into a family of footwear artisans and designers. Did your family want you to follow in their footsteps? How has the experience that you have gained from a very early age helped you?
I remember growing up, I was constantly surrounded by shoes, around the dinner table normal conversation was, what leather, last or season trend was going to be appearing. My father and grandfather have always been in the shoe trade, I think it became second nature; it was always something I was going to go into, and wouldn’t change it for the world. As I grew up- my shoe collection gradually expanded until there was no space left- as you can image for a girl it was heaven. Going on holidays would never be the same if we didn’t stop in a few shops to check out the footwear, so I gained a great back round knowledge of the industry before I even went into it.
2. You studied at the prestigious Cordwainers Footwear College in London. How did you like the studies?
Studying there was great, I learnt from design to making which I think is very important to be able to know how the final product will be created. I made fantastic friends who are also in the shoe trade and we meet up all around the world.
3. Nicholas Kirkwood, who became very well known for his shoe designs, studied at Cordwainers, too. I recently did an interview with him. Have you ever met him?
No I haven’t but I would love to, his designs are amazing-what an imagination.
4. Could you imagine to do different collaborations with other fashion houses like he does? If so, which fashion house would be your prefered one to design shoes for?
I think collaboration is a brilliant idea. The creativity that you combine with a fashion house can produce beautiful creations. One of them would be Miu Miu- the shoes are fun and unique and every season I look forward to their collections.
5. Is there any other shoe designer that you admire? And why?
Rupert Sanderson’s footwear is pretty amazing; it’s great to see every brand has their own unique touch.
6. If you were able to dress the feet of a famous lady? Which ones would that be?
Dita Von Teese- she has such a unique style.
7. I like the idea of creating shoes inspired by modernist architecture. Your designs are very special. How did you come up with this?
My younger brother is an architecture student and I was flicking through his books and saw these amazing shaped 1960s buildings. All of these shapes and designs represented progress and ‘moving forward.’ They symbolized to the people around them that everything, including architecture, was moving forward in some way or another.
The spiral staircase, Buhrich house, 1960, designed by architect Hugh Buhrich demonstrates the curve and shape that inspired Loretta, the swirling shoe boot with elements of the patterns from the 60s.
The design of the Hotel and Restaurant Astoria in Trondheim included various versions of the cone chairs lending itself to Gloria with the geometric lines and side scroll.
The Philips Pavilion designed by the office of Le Corbusier, had strong dynamically-angled contours, geometrical architectural sharp lines and pointing asymmetrical lines takes the form of the style Rene with its intricate diamond design.
The St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago is somewhat famous for its marching walls of blue diamonds and the architectural feature of a pediment in the shape of waves took to the patchwork layers of Venus- wave roofing’s and detailing was a feature of the 1960s architecture. The high shine leather metallic mix was a tribute to the futuristic movement called Googie.
8. Do you have a shoe no-go?
Shoes that don’t fit! It can ruin such a beautiful silhouette of a shoe. And always get your soles and especially your heels repaired-when i see a heel bending and the top piece has totally worn away into the actual heel its terrible.
9. Havva Mustafa in three words.
The person- Passionate, creative and bubbly.
The brand- Infinitely, lavish and innovative.
10. What are your plans for the future?
I hope that the HAVVA brand just carries on expanding and we become a known brand for creating beautiful footwear.
Havva’s amazing accessories collection for S/S 2011 includes beautiful headpieces.
I am sure that we will see much more of Havva Mustafa in the future! For store locations, please click here. Good luck, Havva! I am already a big fan of yours.