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BEHIND THE BRAND: IN CONVERSATION WITH WOMEN SHOES DESIGNER KATRINE HANNA

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Pour myself a cup of tea and sit and watch the birds in the garden while I catch up on the daily news.

What is your main source of inspiration?
Nature and fantasy. I’m inspired by the surreal natural world, indigenous plants and the extraordinary in the mundane.

If you could only keep one pair of shoes in your closet, what would they be?
My Bad Banksias of course! The heel is a native flower to Australia. The flower dries up and turns into a pinecone like nut and is then carved into a heel. This material has never been used in this way before and each pair of heels is unique to the wearer.

What can customers expect from the brand?
A unique product every season; on trend yet different to everything else in the market. Every design accentuates the feminine beauty of the foot. The customer will always find shoes for every occasion to compliment a casual outfit or a more extravagant gown.

What do you love most about National Day?
National Day brings my awareness back to really appreciating the environment that I have grown up in and how far it has come. It puts everything into perspective. Dubai has changed and grown so much. I have experienced all of that as I myself have grown up and changed in Dubai. Seeing Dubai aim for great heights and face challenges has inspired me to aim high, to stick through the challenges of starting my own brand and to know that with determination great things can be achieved.

How do you hope to reach the Middle Eastern customer?
The Middle Eastern customer appreciates luxury and fine craftsmanship, a key attribute in my designs. They are flamboyant and enjoy wearing unique, stylish fashion pieces. I don’t design shoes specifically for the Middle Eastern market or have a side collection just to appeal to this market. Instead I feel my unique aesthetic, love of colour and designs that can easily be worn in both casual and formal situations, meets what the Middle Eastern customer is looking for. One advantage of being a brand growing out of Dubai is that I can share our Middle Eastern flare for fashion internationally to the visitors who come to this great city.

The Middle Eastern customer appreciates luxury and fine craftsmanship, a key attribute in my designs. They are flamboyant and enjoy wearing unique, stylish fashion pieces.

What appeals to you about the Middle East?
The Middle East is a place of warmth, not just in the weather but in the people. There is a richness in being surrounded by so many cultures. I love differences in ideas, design aesthetics, food and cultural traditions.

Who is your target audience?
I target fashion conscious women looking for unique statement pieces who appreciate quality craftsmanship. I see my customer as the woman with two faces to her ego. On one side she loves to dress up stylishly but on the other side she is down to earth and relaxed.

What are three things you love about Level Shoes?
The atmosphere in the store! Walking into Level wraps one in a sense of luxury. That is the perfect place for my shoes. The service and the product selection in Level Shoes is always great.

BAD BANKSIA STRAPPY WHITES

The quintessential must have heels

EXPLORATION OF THE FANTASTICAL

Each pair is unique to the wearer