Showing in London for the first time, the shoe designer Lulu Al-Hassan, founder and creative director of Lu Vixen luxury shoe brand presented her collection at London Fashion Week at Hotel Café Royal hoping her work could inspire more fellow country women to follow in her footsteps.
While Saudi designers have made a name for Abbayas and ready-to-wear, Al Hassan is the first Saudi shoe designer. Shoe design is quite new and proofed challenging in our region. Al Hassan also has her own TV show that hosts many respected women’s wear designers.
“My family really did not like my idea because I have a masters in IT from a good university in the US and I was holding a good position in Saudi Arabia,” she told Arab News. “All of sudden, I decided to quit all that and go to Italy and study shoe design which is my passion. It wasn’t easy because at that time Saudi wasn’t as open as it is today. So, I had to struggle and make my own way.”
She wanted her collection to look glamorous but yet comfortable to wear and says a perfect example for a Lu Vixen woman is the late Princess Diana,’’ I’m a big fan of Lady Diana, to me she’s a fashion icon’’ she said. Al Hassan even named one of her designs after the princess,. The collection comes in six styles: platform stiletto heels, stiletto mules, mules, oxford shoes and sandals, using different kind of materials: suede, velvet, leather and silk chiffon.
“I wanted this collection to be very chic and detailed,” she said about her latest collection. “We have used a lot of chiffon and delicate fabrics not usually associated with shoes. Lu Vixen is basically lingerie for the feet so the shoe has to be soft on your skin and comfortable.”
She has made a success of a dream she nurtured from a very young age and against all the odds, Lulu Al-Hassan proudly presented herself to the world and accepted the challenges.
“Saudi women are seen as not having many rights and so we’re always being underestimated. But we have a lot of opportunities to develop our skills. We’re very determined and we’re very creative,” she says. “I get a lot of comments from people saying that I don’t look Saudi. But there are many like me; I’m a version of Saudis that the world needs to see.”