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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 January 2019

Emirati shoe designer uses sand from the Emirates in her new heels

Shaikha Al Ali's newest project was inspired by the UAE's dunes

Shaikha Al Ali's Kuthub heel shoe features sand from the deserts of the UAE. Courtesy Gasah Studio
Shaikha Al Ali's Kuthub heel shoe features sand from the deserts of the UAE. Courtesy Gasah Studio

Looking for new ways to combine the old with contemporary, Emirati designer Shaikha Al Ali, 24, has launched her newest project, which was inspired by the UAE dunes. The Kuthub heel contains a lucite block heel filled with sand from the deserts of the Emirates. The statement heel aims to highlight a Bedouin identity.

"They are pretty comfortable and the sand actually moves within the heel, creating a beautiful image of shifting dunes," Al Ali explains. "I mean, we are a country that was raised in the desert, it is our comfort and home. How beautiful is it to have a part of it with us always?"

The heel has a starting price of $315 (Dh1,150) and current sizes are available in limited quantities. However, there will be a new collection coming in all sizes next month that will feature more colour options.

Here's a sneak peek of the February collection:

“I started this project because I love creating the things I dream about and wish to wear,” says Al Ali. “I didn’t want to limit myself to what is currently in the market, and I used to always wonder why some things are so beautiful but aren’t really present within the industry, so I said I would take the risk.”

Al Ali's Gasah studio was founded in 2017 and follows her design philosophy of creating contemporary products with respect to old designs. That includes creating frames filled with sand, incense burners made with raw travertine stone and brass, and Japanese knot bags adorned in traditional hand-painted henna prints.

Visit www.gasahstudio.com to learn more.

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Updated: January 8, 2019 10:00 AM

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