NAJEEBA HAYAT’S LIUDMILA
By Elizabeth Patterson
Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty. Rapunzel. Anastasia. We know all of these princesses, and now we’ve found the perfect shoes for them to wear. Liudmila is the enchanted, sugarplum fairy shoe line of our dreams. Young designer Najeeba Hayat helms the emerging brand.
Hayat went to Wesleyan University where she studied government. It was in a 19th century Russian Literature class that she read The Petty Demon by Fyodor Sologub. Liudmila takes its name from one of the sisters in the story. After years of a persistent shoe obsession and doodling shoes when she couldn’t sleep, Hayat went to Milan as soon as she got her degree to pursue her dream of becoming a shoe designer. Liudmila was born in 2013.
Liudmila shoes hardly blend in on a shelf, and Hayat prides herself on this fact. Pastel colors and bows ensure that these shoes wouldn’t look out of place in the window of a bakery, next to enticing cakes and sweet macaroons. Staying true to the theme of shoes fit for a princess, Hayat has taken direct inspiration from fantastical tales of the Disney variety. The “Cinderelly” shoe, a black flat, is reminiscent of Cinderella’s own shoes (pre fairy godmother given, magical glass heels, of course). Other pieces, like teal satin slippers with tulle ties, scream Jasmine. Even beyond princess references, Hayat seems to have fun with her designs, incorporating fur, florals, lace-up ties, pom-poms and snakeskin to her varied designs for unforgettable shoes.
Hayat is a true creator of fantasies. Her candy-colored, minutely detailed heels look like they could make all your dreams come true. And with the added knowledge that no heel is higher than around 3 inches, they just might. Luckily, you won’t need a fair godmother to get these – Liudmila shoes will soon be available at Browns in London.