top of page

Sarah Diab - Interview with Award Winning Sustainable Footwear Designer

Cutler sits down with the Winner of the 2021 Los Angeles IDA awards in footwear - Sarah Diab, we get the low down on her new collection and how she gets her inspiration.

Courtesy of Sarah Diab

The “Fibonacci Mule” from her first Footwear Collection, won the 2021 Gold Prize in Footwear Category and Honorable Mention at the International Design Awards, Los Angeles.

After living in Japan Sarah returned to her homeland in Egypt but soon found herself wanting to travel again and began studying abroad in Switzerland and Italy in footwear design. Coming from a multicultural background, Egyptian with Sudanese roots and mother to Japanese/Egyptian children, Sarah values multiculturalism and diversity, which reflects the fluidity in designs between Arabian and Asian influences.

Courtesy of Sarah Diab

“The creation process of The Fibonacci Mule Has been an unmatched opportunity to re-unite with Nature and combine Innovative Technology with Craftsmanship."
Sarah Diab

Sustainability, heritage and artistry are at the core of Sarah’s designs which involve a diverse team of artisans and engineers from Egypt, Italy, UK, Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan as well as refugees from Syria.

Can you tell us more about the concept behind your 2021 Gold Prize Award winning footwear?

While on a program by London College of Fashion and Kering, I was inspired by an illustration I saw by the German Botanist Alfred Möller, dating back to 1896

The Fibonacci mule I created was inspired by geometrical patterns in nature and how they amazingly follow a proportional system, in which one element or more are related to each other in a proportional ratio, known as “the Golden Ratio / Fibonacci Sequence”

I noticed that this concept applies massively in Nature in several examples like Honey Combs and Fungi Plants and are represented by the Arabian Artist in marvelous patterns. The hexagon, an important element in my designs, has the capability of assembly by means of repetition, forming a network of patterns with marvelous aesthetic qualities through the harmony of proportions.

What do you think your role as an Ethical Designer should be?

With the pandemic striking the world, we all had to rethink our behavior and how we interact with Nature. Climate Change is a major issue and I always wonder how it is possible for us to destroy the only solution to our problems? How can we destroy our planet’s Biodiversity? I believe as fashion designers, we have a great role to reshape what we call fashion and what fashion is, by taking in consideration our impact as early as the design stage with an aim to Value Nature.

Can you tell us how Fashion can support nature and how you achieve this in your work?

Design "thinking" is at the core of my designs. A shoe goes through many stages to reach the final product and if we are not mindful, the process could be harmful to the Planet. The process starts with making a shoe last, that imitates the shape of the foot (that usually doesn't follow the foot anatomy), material sourcing, samples testing (during which several copies of the same shoe are made to test the fitting). Gas imitation and transportation of imported materials from oversees countries are endless. Human labor, Nature and Time, our most valuable assists, are being consumed.

Courtesy of Sarah Diab


bottom of page