It’s not so often I get to use my favorite phrase, so opportunities such as this one must be exploited and harnessed for every ounce of self-congratulatory praise they can afford. I told you so. Those four words reveal more than just my narcissism and adolescent tendency to become annoyingly incessant when I’m right; they also prove that Sultan Al Darmaki is well on his way to becoming one of the fashion world’s greats. Contrary to what you may have deduced, this is not an article on my momentary elated sense of self-entitlement.

This is about Sultan Al Darmaki, the Emirati shoe designer behind the eponymous luxury footwear label, DARMAKI. Okay, and yes, perhaps a little about how I told you so! It was two Junes ago at the Vendôme Luxury Trade Show in Paris that I first set my eyes on the surreal sculptures that made up DARMAKI’s Autumn/Winter 2011 collection. From his feather-embellished Amazonia to his Victorian Durra suede ankle boots, his designs were decadently plagued by a sophisticated vintage aesthetic that mirrors the classism of the days when craftsmanship and innovative design triumphed over good PR and strategic product placements on HBO and reality TV. With the very first collection, DARMAKI signified a revival of wearable art that hasn’t been seen since the golden days of the “Fragonard of the Shoe,” Roger Vivier.

The acquisition of one of DARMAKI’s debut designs by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, as part of its permanent collection of “significant footwear throughout the ages” is a testament to Al Darmaki’s importance within the fashion industry. Much like Vivier’s “Fabergé of Footwear,” international fashion experts have hailed DARMAKI’s debut collection as “walking works of art,” and “art installations.” And if it were proper writing practice to quote oneself within their own article, I’d happily be placing more than “I told you so,”within quotes. Fortunately, there are numerous sources, who are in agreement with me that DARMAKI has ushered in a new Age of Shoe Enlightenment.

Made in Italy, based in the UK and designed by an Emirati, the brand is as international as they come and as decadent as our self-indulgence will excuse. “A modern twist to my Arab roots,” is how Al-Darmaki humbly summarizes his aesthetic. “Each shoe reflects a different emotion that is expressed through witty finishes, glamorous impact and classical lines.” Beautiful, sexy, and — yes, even comfortable —Al Darmaki has women all over the world wishing they could walk on their hands, as not to harm the art that decorates their feet.

Oasis Magazine got a chance to catch up with the designer, who is quickly becoming a championing figure for the Middle Eastern fashion scene. Al Darmaki, “The Sultanate of Shoes,” tells us his plans to take over the world by converting one fashionista at a time! (If that’s the case, then consider me a faithful apostle!)

To read the rest of this interview, grab a hold of our latest issue – Issue 19 out now in stores nationwide

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