Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Up-and-coming Designer: Havva Mustafa

Perhaps even more exciting than the finished product, is the process and thought behind the shoes themselves. I had the pleasure recently of conversing recently with shoe designer Havva Mustafa, and it's clear this isn't just a job -- it's a passion.

We talked about our mutual love of shoes, and she was kind enough to grant me an interview, and provide modeling pictures of the shoes -- because it's hard to gauge what a shoe really looks like from a picture of it by itself. For me, the biggest selling point is seeing how it looks on the foot, because a lot of times just like a dress on a hanger that looks "nice", when put on there is a total transformation.

So, without further ado, a Q&A with Ms. Mustafa.

Erin: I love the designs! What is your favorite pair?
Havva: I’m in love with the Loretta boot. 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. It just compliments any outfit and I change the colour of the lace at the back to suit my outfit.

Loretta Bootie

E: What is most important to you when coming up with a design?
H: It's the look and the fit, the worst is having shoes that are so painful and uncomfortable, that you end up never wearing them! Why have beautiful shoes and not be able to put them to good use. Its great to have fun and go crazy and design for show pieces

E: Do you have a favorite material to work with?
H: It has to be a beautiful quality nappa there’s so much you can do with it and work it into the most structured silhouettes. For example the scroll on Gloria, I adore these shoes the cut is unique and the scroll on the side just give it that little extra special something.

Gloria Peep-toe

E: What is the process like after you come up with a design?
H: Once i have come up with an idea i like to do a stylized drawing to help me visualize what the final creation will be like and then from there I cut some of the patterns myself- as I know how and where each line of the shoe will be when its on the foot- this is what gives a great fitting shoe. Then with my team as I’m the most indecisive person we choose leather and materials combinations. When complete range has been planned out its to the factories to get the samples made.

E: I would love to see your beautiful shoes stocked in the US. Any upcoming plans?
H: As we are currently based in the London area, we are hoping to expand in to the US. For Autumn/Winter we have a great collection of rain boots with fabulous uppers and a traditional Made in England belts and small leather accessories. But some of our stockists do ship overseas- so keep an eye out for that!

E: It’s so cool that you followed your father’s footsteps in going into shoe making. Did he have any specific advice for you when it came time to branch out into design?
H: My father always says never walk around with your eyes closed- have them wide open to take in all of your surroundings, there is something new out there each and every single day. And “it’s not always what you like”- which is so true, every woman has their own taste, their own style and the way they wear items makes it their own.

Jean in Tan Croc

E: Any additional thoughts?
H: Do what you love to do but in gorgeous shoes! And its great to hear lovely comments from fellow shoe lovers! So thank you. x


More of Havva Mustafa's shoes can be seen on her website, and the Stockists can be found here.


  1. Wow, how cool!! I love all the shoes, they are gorgeous!

  2. I love this! What a fantastic interview. Those shoes are so gorgeous!