WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
A new Middle Eastern shoe label to know, offering a modern, sustainable take on glamorous, crystal-embellished shoes.
Morena’s fuss-free mules styles includes retro mules and Swarovski-crystal sandals. Images via @morenaapparel.
The Middle East is usually associated with all things glitz and glam – and with powerful luxury shoppers, who have some of the most enviable collections: Amina Muaddi rare Begum colorways, the latest Bottega it-shoe, Balenciaga’s viral sneakers, you name it they have it.
But there’s also a growing community of homegrown talent, who are launching their own brands out of the Middle East and grabbing attention both at home and around the world.
Morena, is one such label: Launched amidst the pandemic in 2020, the footwear brand is all about adding a modernist touch to all things glamour and sparkle. This means fuss-free mules featuring curved kitten heels and Swarovski-crystal embellishments, bejewelled strappy sandals, and statement ankle boots in bright, snake-effect leather.
Founders Youssef Mamdouh and Omar El Deed, who operate out of Dubai and Cairo, wanted to achieve a balance between functional, timeless silhouettes and the fun, flashier elements women are drawn to when it comes to shoes, be it sparkle or palm-tree prints. The good news is that they’re doing it sustainably too: Morena shoes are handmade with some of the Swarovski-encrusted pieces – which utilize lead-free crystals – taking up to 72 hours of handwork to complete. The brand is also working to reduce its waste, with recycled packaging, made-to-order pieces and a close-knit team of artisans who produce the shoes.
“We are looking to push our sustainability efforts whilst remaining on-trend and current with our styles,” said the designers.
Prices range from $100 to $1,250 for a pair of fully bejewelled block-heel mules and the shoes are available to buy on Morena’s website.