After teasing her line of shoes on Instagram with weeks of no-frills promotion (read: flat lays that allow the designs to speak for themselves), Shaikha Al Ali's Gasah Studio finally dropped their collection. The plot twist: it features on only two shoe designs. While it's pretty atypical for a designer to drop so few designs at once, Gasah does everything at its own pace. Once you take a closer look at the footwear and Gasah's knack for "slow design", it makes perfect sense. Behind each shoe is a history of Arab craftsmanship paired with temporary vision.
The Kuthub shoe embodies old and new, with a sleek block heel filled with sand from the UAE deserts. Similarly, the minimalist Nakhla babouche plays up and builds upon the traditional (and multi-functional, as both a babouche and loafer) shoe design. Whether you're a shoe obsessive or just love good design, you'll appreciate the detail put into each pair.
"Gasah studio is a personal project by Shaikha Al Ali aimed at developing products that bring forward new ways of taking Gulf culture and combining both old and new, and different and common," reads the Gasah Studio website. "Studying how traditional forms can combine with modernistic aesthetics and introduce new designs and forms."
Gasah Studio was founded by the 24-year-old designer in 2017, first with a collection of knotted silk henna-printed handbags that existed at the intersection of Emirati and Japanese design. She then created a collection of home goods, including an incense holder, a mibkhar, and picture frame - all boasting unique and thoughtful design.
The Kuthub shoe is available online for approximately Dhs1,157 and the Nakhla babouche for approximately Dhs606 at gasahstudio.com.