— Footwear Designer
It is every budding fashion designer’s dream to have their collections stocked at the most prestigious department stores around the world. For American-born Lebanese shoe designer Nora Habbal, that dream came true after her debut shoe collection Nora Aÿtch, showcased at London Fashion Week in September 2017. Habbal, who calls London home, had her eponymous luxury shoe line picked up by Harvey Nichols-no easy feat for a newly launched brand.
The 27-year old London College of Fashion graduate is not new to the fashion scene. With around 60,000 followers on Instagram, Habbal is a fashion influencer in her own right. Before moving to London in 2016, she worked in digital media for an online fashion platform based in Dubai. Working alongside influencers on brand collaborations, Habbal learned the intricacies of building a successful insta-brand. “Instagram has really helped me launch my brand. I’ve been able to reach a wider audience and I love getting feedback from my followers about my designs”.
Habbal explains where the Aÿtch in Nora Aÿtch came from “I wanted to use my last name but in a quirky way so chose to spell out the first initial.”
Her fabulous footwear line is Carrie Bradshaw meets Blair Waldorf. Fitting, considering the shoes are handmade in Milan in a small town called Vigevano, at the same factory where Manolo Blahniks come to life. Habbal oversees every detail of production from sketch to fabric selection, to prototype conceptualization. She also handles the brand’s distribution, social media, marketing and e-commerce to ensure that everything stays in line with her overall vision.