By Arwa Lodhi
The word ‘agape’ has many meanings. It could mean ‘wide open’, as in ‘her mouth was agape in wonder at the beauty of what she saw.’ In the Bible, it is simply used to mean ‘love’. The ancient Greeks included it as one of four kinds of love, including eros (erotic love), philia (brotherhood or friendship), storge (affection) and agape, a higher, unconditional love.
It’s easy to believe that Husna, of the eponymous sandals range, named one of her bestsellers because the shoes left her customers agape with pleasure; but given this woman’s love of the earth, it could be a referral to a higher love beyond oneself–a love for the planet.
Understanding that there’s nothing quite as durable or that wears its age as well as leather, she chose this to be the foundation of her shoes. However, as a highly compassionate woman, Husna wanted to maintain the planet’s health as much as possible so insisted on using what’s known in the shoe industry as ‘eco-friendly’ leather. This leather is derived from cows raised certified organically, on open pasture lands, with organic feed when necessary in the colder months.
Organic leather is then treated with Tannic acid, a natural product extracted from the bark of Vallonea oak trees, and is treated with natural oils such as beeswax or fish oil, to give the shoes some shine. Such organic leather is free from chrome, metal, formaldehyde, sodium sulphide, sulphuric acid and other harmful chemicals which are usually found in conventionally tanned leathers. Organic tanning is known to give footwear an antiperspirant quality that can even prevent (yuk!) fungi like athlete’s foot. And leather tanned with this acid is also 100% safely biodegradable, too.
We covered Husna’s more minimalist range last season, but her current collection features much embellishment, from Celtic knots to Greek style embroidered ankle cuffs. We particularly like the embellished toe straps, that convey the idea of a ‘toe ring’.
Inspired by Art history, mythology, and architecture, Husna turns her Turkish heritage into wearable art. In this collection, she has integrated the ancient Lydian symbol for love, with the idea of bringing a bit of ‘love’ to each person who wears her shoes.
Lead-free Swarovski crystals, studded leather uppers, stones and natural pearls are some of the jewel-like details that give this line of sandals chic, bold character. Husna’s unique style has won the attention not only of international celebrities like Mick Jagger and Sting, but also gained the attention of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who invited Husna to partake in “The cARTel”, a project/shop/design concept.
From the intricacy of her designs to the care she takes in selecting beautiful but sustainable materials, it’s clear that Husna’s ‘agape’ isn’t just for the planet; she loves her work, too.
For more information on Husna Sandals, please click here.