During her years working alongside designer Luly Yang, Lina Zeineddine, then 19, kept a personal sketchbook, doodling design ideas during spare moments. In 2011, after fashion classes at the Art Institute, business school, and two and a half years at the downtown couture house (which she left in 2009), the Lebanon-born designer rediscovered that sketchbook and found a golden nugget: a drawing of a luxurious pair of heels edged in Swarovski studs and crafted from fine leather. Zeineddine located a shoemaker in Brazil to bring the page to life and produced a small collection of five styles on a hope and a prayer, which has been answered by the growing demand for Lina Zeineddine footwear.
This fall, she launches an expanded collection crafted in Brazil and Italy, flush with soft kid suede, Napa leather and hand-painted soles. Inspired by the elegance of Zeineddine’s pearl-sporting mother, the designs add a crisp urban edge to classic Mary Janes ($250), tall riding boots ($398) and flats ($159–$234) with patent leather piecework, zippers and clever snap-off bows.
“I’m from the Middle East, where it can be difficult for women…I’ve always loved empowering them through fashion,” she says. “As they take bold steps in their life, I hope it will be easier to do so if they have bold shoes.”
Available at the Lina Zeineddine showroom (Crown Hill, 10013 Holman Road NW; 206.743.8953) or online at linazeineddine.com.