[Exclusive] Jayda Hany talks New York Fashion Tech Week and how her latest collection came to be the theme for a special edition BMW M4, as well as the interesting origin story of her shoes.
Jayda Hany, the footwear designer behind the 3D-printed shoes you see pictured, was in New York last week to showcase her creations along with a gorgeous BMW M4 that was customised in their likeness.
An Architectural Engineering graduate of the American University in Cairo, Jayda moved on to do a Master’s in Footwear Design in the London College of Fashion at the University of the Arts London, which she graduated from in 2016.
It was during her MA that she started working on footwear, all the way from the initial research process to the final phase of crafting them. She revealed to us that the assembling and building process actually took place in Herafiyeen, a working-class district just north of Cairo Airport dedicated to all things automobiles. It is the city’s capital when it comes to repairs, maintenance, body works, and spare parts, which explains the highly stripped-back and mechanical look of Jayda’s red and white footwear collection.
The raw yet futuristic-looking shoes made their first appearance at the London College of Fashion MA16 exhibition, where students got to showcase their works for buyers and press from around the globe. They were also exhibited at last year’s editions of the London Design Festival and Fashion Clash in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Jayda then brought her shoes to Egypt for the first time at Cairo’s Fashion Nights last February.
Jayda Hany even provided us with an exclusive teaser into her upcoming leather footwear collection, set to be released within a month as her Autumn/Winter 2017-2018 collection, as shown below by Dominican stylist and art director Lily Gatins.
This latest exhibition at BMW’s showroom in New York proves Jayda’s inventiveness in promoting Egypt’s place in the fashion world abroad, as well as bolstering the reputation of Egyptian-made products. So how did Jayda make her shoes and how did they become the inspiration for this sexy BMW M4? We managed to get in touch with the avant-garde designer to get an exclusive inside look.
So tell us more about this collaboration you've made with BMW. How did it come to be?
So there's an event called New York Fashion Tech Week. It recruits designers who work with 3D technology and they contacted me in the summer to host me. BMW is the main sponsor, along with Microsoft, and BMW New York chose only two designers to customise M4 cars to match their shoes and I was one of them. The event had two parts; one of them was an exhibition hosted by BMW with the cars and the models in them wearing the shoes, and the other was a runway event where Lily Gatins wore my shoes. She specifically asked for the boots.
So what inspired your design for the shoes and how did they conceptually come to be?
I'm originally an architect and I wanted to employ the same structure of a truss, which is a cross bracing structural system consisting of a repetitive pattern of a joint and truss members. This structure uses tensile and compressive forces to bare the load. I wanted to integrate my structural and architectural engineering background with my passion for footwear. Aesthetically speaking, I’m always inspired by cars, car rims, motors, robotics, industrial architecture, and anything that looks futuristic and mechanical. I wanted to achieve maximum accuracy so I 3D-printed the joints which are all the red pieces. And the collection was actually made in Egypt and assembled in Herafiyeen to be more specific! I'm quite well known there now. I think it’s a very inspiring area.
We would have never expected your shoes to have been built there!
I always make sure to exhaust all my resources in Egypt and I take pride in the fact that I moved back home after studying in London to have my brand and to have everything made in Egypt.
Could you give us some background story on how the shoes came to be made and assembled in Herafiyeen?
So I worked in Herafiyeen because there was a lot of hardware work going into this collection, a lot of metal threading, CNC milling, riveting, and screwing on nuts and bolts, as well as airbrushing and spray painting. The only place that I could think of back then was Herafiyeen since I was inspired by cars and mechanics as well as structural design. I figured all these three elements could be found there.
Did you work all around the area? Or at a specific workshop?
All around. Different workshops did different jobs. You can never make a shoe at one place even if it’s a simple classic court shoe.
What's to come next?
I'm producing a ready-to-wear collection now and it’s a collection of high end leather trainers. My brand aesthetic in general is always along the same line of mechanical futuristic looking shoes.
Are there going to be any other events or projects that will show the 3D-printed shoes that were used by BMW NYC?
I'm always open to showing these babies off. As I mentioned earlier, I'm working on my new ready-to-wear footwear range and once I get this settled, I would like to go back to working on some new high-tech shoes and start a new bespoke collection.
You can also follow @LilyGatins to check out Jayda’s upcoming leather shoe collection.
Check out more pictures from the event here.