Jayda Hany is a young (and revolutionary!) Egyptian shoe designer who infuses architecture into footwear, coming up with innovative pieces, and making her dream job come true along the way. When you see Jayda Hany's shoe designs, you'll notice that she has truly pushed the boundaries, and has taken one fashionable step forward towards revolutionizing the footwear industry.
We had a little chat with the ever talented Jayda Hany, where she told us about her starting point in the world of shoe design, how architecture inspires her, and her future plans for her eponymous label. Scroll through to read, and you'll also get a glimpse of Jayda Hany's debut shoe collection.
You’re originally an architect, so how did you drift into shoe design?
I did not really drift. I have always wanted to do fashion design since I was 10. I wanted to study womenswear at London College of Fashion after school, which meant that I would live abroad on my own at the age of 17; a step neither I nor my family were ready for. So my parents recommended that I study architectural engineering first, then go to London once I graduate, which is indeed what happened.
When I applied at London College of Fashion, it was noticeable how architecture influenced my design flair as I grew, particularly the very few footwear I designed with careful attention to details. I received an unconditional offer on the footwear design course, and my journey as a footwear designer started from there.
By 2016, I became a master's degree holder in footwear design, and launched my own label - fully aware of the strong similarity between architectural engineering and footwear design.
Tell us more about the Jayda Hany brand aesthetic.
My brand focuses on structure as part of the design, as well as the practicality of footwear. It provides a balance between advanced 3D technology and hand making techniques, as both a making methodology and a design aesthetic.
How do you feed your creativity and stay inspired?
There is no right way to do so. I always follow objects/shapes that catch my attention and take things from there, play around with proportions, colors, textures, etc. I also tend to do a lot of material experiments.
Connector, your debut footwear collection, has such an industrial flair. Can you walk us through its design/production process?
Connector is mainly derived from the idea of a truss structural system. It is a cross braced construction that consists of a set of joints, that connect truss members in a triangular series used to bare load on long spans through utilizing tensile and compressive forces.
I adopted the same structural technique, and scaled it down to footwear instead of a building. I decided to make the joints the main design feature of the shoe, which are all the red pieces that are connected to the stainless steel rods in the sole unit.
All the joints are 3D printed. I 3D modelled all the shoes myself on rhino. Each shoe has about 8 different materials, such as clear acrylic/perspex that is cut on the CNC machine, 2 types of leather, 3D printed Nylon SLS, stainless steel, 2 types of rubber, nuts and bolts, screws. I was inventing a new way of shoe-making based on my own understanding of structural architecture and footwear design.
You’re pushing style boundaries with your architectural footwear; how’s the feedback been so far?
I always get the feedback that my work is very futuristic, and different from what people have seen so far; which is something I take pride in.
In the recent years, technology has redefined the world of shoe design! What’s your take on this?
I believe that it is imperative to keep an open mind as to how the designer’s role in the fashion industry has changed over the past years, to hone the ability of making use of the contemporary technology as a tool surrounding us everyday to facilitate the making process. I believe in balancing between hand-crafted making techniques and the usage of advanced 3D technology, in terms of understanding as a designer that technology is a tool used when necessarily needed not a design concept.
A “wearable” shoe has to be equal parts comfortable and unique. Do you agree?
Not really. Any shoe that sustains its wearer’s weight can be classified as wearable. Comfort and uniqueness are quite subjective since they differ from one person to another.
Most young designers dream of dressing celebrities; is this something you’re after?
Definitely! I have a list of female musicians lined up already. Beyonce, Rihanna, Jessie J., Nikki Minaj, and Rita Ora.
A piece of advice for the young woman who’s afraid to pursue her dream…
Do not let anything or anyone put you off your plan. It is normal to fail at the first few attempts, it is how you learn not to quit.
What’s your future vision for the Jayda Hany label?
I want to have my footwear sold worldwide in boutiques and big department stores, and to dress celebrities of course.