Footwear brand ALBATAR on an elevated approach to combining the traditional Arab sandal with Italian craftsmanship and a modern touch.
What inspired you to enter the footwear space and launch Albatar?
We saw there was a gap in the market. While the modern Arab GCC clients are aware of international brands, we wanted to bridge the gap and deliver a traditional sandal that also feels modern enough to wear with their daily attire.
The pieces are made by master craftsmen in Italy – can you talk us through the creative process?
There are multiple layers to our designs both creatively though ideas and the stages of production each goes through. It always starts with a sketch by our design studio in Italy. Then we select some designs we feel are classic and add our DNA to it we select the colour theme that will be used in the collection fr that season, black and white remain as continuity colours for our brand. The chosen styles are made into a trial prototype where we can then make any small changes needed before pieces are given as sale samples. Once approved they go into order production. Some of the styles need special treatments and need to leave the factory were these can be completed in a special design lab.
Your pieces champion ARAB heritage – was this the plan from the outset?
Yes, some of the designs had inspiration from the Arab world, especially UAE and some are more modern.
Do you enjoy the creative or the commercial side of the business?
I enjoy both, but the creative part is more fun for me as I love to see ideas that started on paper evolve into the final result.
You’re one of the only made-in-Italy Arab sandals. What was the reason behind having your production there?
Italians have a full ecosystem to ensure the best craftsmanship.Italy is also home to incredible leather suppliers and hosts the Linapelle fair which brings all tanneries together under one roof making is the ideal place to select for the next seasons.
Tell us more about your staple designs.
After doing creating so many designs over the last seven years, we now know that our customer wants comfort, elegance and simplicity. These attributes were with us since the start, and we work hard to maintain these as part of our ALBATAR Signature.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Start small, stay focused and keep your work original. If you find the secret sauce, double down in it.
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