We all know that shoes can make or break your outfit.  Seriously life is too short for boring shoes.  And now with Maksters we’re about to experience footwear as we haven’t before. With Maksters stocking in Cairo at concept store 29 – 31 in Maadi and their availability in Paris, London, Dubai, as well as on their own website www.maksters.com, it looks like the two brothers, Khaled and Ahmed Makki, are planning to take over the shoe world. Khaled Makki spoke to eniGma’s Yosra Shohayeb about the idea behind Maksters.

Tell us more about your background and how you started.

I have an international relations and business degree. I started out in publishing, where I co-founded Alter Ego magazine in 2007. I was involved in a lot of aspects of fashion features and shoots, and realized that it was something of interest to me.  When the 2011 revolution took place in Cairo, the magazine was highly affected. I therefore found myself with a lot of spare time.  Then in 2013, as I was walking past a shoe store in London, I happened to look inside from the window, and I remember saying to myself how horrible those shoes were, and how I could do a better job. At that moment a bulb inside my head had gone on, and I suddenly knew that this was what I was going to do! I went home, spoke to my brother, who lives in Paris, and discussed the idea with him. Luckily, he was sold onto the idea and we started designing.

Did you always know you wanted to design shoes?

My brother Ahmed and I have always been interested in fashion. It wasn’t limited to just shoes; although I always felt that shoes were crucial when it came to completing a look or giving it an edge.  Shoes just happened to be the one area where we felt we could really make a difference and create something that was truly different from what’s already out there.

What’s the concept behind Maksters?

The idea behind the brand is that we wanted to create shoes that not only looked different, but felt different too. We were adamant on hand crafting the shoes in England to showcase true craftsmanship and incomparable quality, but to package it in a way that was trendy; hence all our designs are non-typical compared to any other brands.

What inspires your designs?

A lot of our designs come from observing people in their daily lives. Also, my brother and I travel as much as possible to far-flung places, seeking out new ideas, and exploring new places. You will see a lot of influence in our designs from countries or cities we have visited.

How would you describe the man/woman who wears Maksters?

First and foremost, they are confident. They don’t follow trends; they set them. We also like to think of them as being brave and daring, if not in life, certainly with their fashion.

What sets your brand apart from other similar brands?

A lot of time and effort is spent on creating our fabrics. We go to great lengths in finding traditional mills to work with.  They are able to use their traditional techniques in transforming our designs and creating unique fabrics. And on the other end of the spectrum, we also work with highly modern factories in Italy, who have the technical know-how when it comes to our more complex designs that require the use of a mixture of fabrics. A lot of manufacturers shy away from doing this, because it’s not only time consuming, but also expensive. To us it’s simply a case of either making something truly special and different, or nothing at all.