From Romania to Milan to Paris: take a walk in Amina Muaddi’s shoes
The cult footwear designer reveals how different cultures have influenced her style – and how to turn criticism into self-confidence
Saturday 16 July By Laurianne Melierre Makeup by Andreea Ali Hairstylist: Ciaria Constenoble Photographer: Kenny Germé Styling: Dan Sablon
When we meet its July. Fashion Week. Couture. Amina Muaddi is a woman in a hurry, and it seems to have been the case ever since she was born. ‘I’ve lived all over the place,’ she says. ‘I was born in Romania, grew up in Jordan, studied fashion in Milan, went to New York before going back to Milan, and then settled here in Paris. ‘Each of the places I have lived in represents a particular period of my life. They say something about me, my history, what I learnt there. But above all, it’s the fact that I have overcome positive and negative experiences in each of these places that has forged my character and made me the woman I am today.’
Six years later, she left Oscar Tiye and with it Milan. It was one of the decisions she considers ‘the most difficult of my life’, but which led her to Paris four years ago. ‘As is often the case, I needed a physical move to make a new start,’ she says. ‘To move is to hit the reset button. I chose Paris for its energy, its creativity, its bustle, which reminded me of New York. It’s at the crossroads of my identities: Paris is a more cosmopolitan city and more open to the world than Milan, while remaining close to Italy where my suppliers are located.’
As an inhabitant of the city, Amina Muaddi has seen the many faces of the French capital, many of them rarely shown to tourists. Here’s her Paris, in seven hotspots.
‘My offices are in the 8th arrondissement. I love the calm of the neighbourhood, the wholesome, polite tranquillity. I often walk my dog in Parc Monceau. Living in Paris also means constantly trying to seek out nature. I often go to the Bois de Boulogne and the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which is like a green retreat on the edge of the city. I’m also regularly in Le Marais, a neighbourhood I love for its creativity, its village feel, its teeming, narrow streets and its eternal youth.
‘You have, of course, been able to find me in Soho House Paris ever since it opened just over a year ago. Having so much space for meetings, but also downtime in the middle of the city is priceless. And because Paris wouldn’t be Paris without it, I still can’t help but stare at the Eiffel Tower every time I’m in the 7th or driving along the Seine in a taxi. Whether you’re Parisian or not, the truth is that you never get tired of it. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.’