When it comes harnessing the true power of women, Najeeba Hayat, the London-born Kuwaiti designer behind luxury footwear label Liudmila sets a good example.
Inspired by a powerful female character from Fyodor Sologub’s 1907 classic The Petty Demon, Liudmila Rutilova, one of the book’s central characters, is the brand’s life-loving fantasist Victorian muse. With subtly dramatic and undeniably sexy designs, Hayat certainly brings her to life through her label.
While pursuing a degree in government at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University, Hayat fell in love with the character during one of her Russian literature classes—and the rest is history.
A career spent in government buildings wasn’t for Hayat in the end. It wasn’t long before she decided to embrace her fashion obsession, moving to Milan to study footwear pattern-making, and going on to launch Liudmila in 2013 at just 22-years-old.
From pointy stilettos with cutouts to leather knee-high lace-ups and buckled boots, her signature eyelets and laces are indispensable for a look that breathes power and confidence. A two-tone sock style low heel in turquoise and cinnamon shades is another standout piece.
Over the years, her spiked patent leather lace-up boots have been spotted on Bella Hadid, while Emily Ratajkowski was seen wearing their black romantic prom sandals—to name a few of her celebrity clients.
Best of all, Hayat places women at the heart of her design process. You won’t find a heel of over 10 centimeters in Liudmila’s offerings. Comfort and practicality come before all else for the label.