NJ Symphony is a luxury Kuwaiti footwear brand with a cheeky artistic flair. Each new collection offers customers a curated selection of handcrafted and fun and fearless shoes that are designed to inject personality into every woman’s wardrobe. We met the founder and designer behind the collections, Najat Alkandari, and learned about her inspiration, her process of design, and what’s coming next!

After completing her degree in Computer Science and Statistics from Kuwait University, she began her corporate career in the field of banking. Realizing that this wasn’t her sole passion, Najat decided to also enter into the exclusive realm of shoe design. Actively working on developing her passion and learning the craft of the trade, she enrolled in the prestigious Arsutoria Design School in Milan, Italy.

“Since a very young age, I was captivated by the beauty of shoes and their ability to uplift you by giving you a new found confidence, allowing you to fearlessly conquer the day” explains Najat.

View more of Najat’s NJ Symphony collection here

Why shoes? What’s the back-story? Who, how, and why were you inspired? I own a large closet full of shoes, and over the years I have become known for my beautiful collection. Every single shoe is special to me and holds a treasured memory. Through this love, I have developed a deep interest in design. It prompted me to start my own line of luxury footwear. I waited for the right moment to start. I’m an artist, I love art, I love drawing and I love analysing people and their personalities – I actually studied personality analysis, which is something that has been engrained in the brands DNA.

Tell us a little about your collection… perhaps you could describe the character of each style for us… I’ve been inspired by many women in my life and some of whom have become muses for my designs. Having an interest in personality analysis, I have developed a curiosity with different characteristics and traits. My current collection consists of four signature designs inspired by people in my life.

  • Dana: She’s the affluent woman who loves to wear heels and sits with her chin held high
  • Bibi: She’s the bold, confident woman who commands attention
  • Warda: She is the eccentric artist who is extremely creative
  • Emme: She is the woman longing for freedom and is on a path of self-discovery

And perhaps you could imagine for us the character of Nj Symphony’s customers… The NJ Symphony woman is strong, bold, confident and playful.

How would you describe your own style? My style is more of a hybrid, I love to wear timeless classics but also inject my personality though more playful pieces.

How has your work evolved over the years? NJ Symphony is still a fairly new brand, however, I’ve learnt to cater to many different types of women through my designs. Learning the tastes and style preferences of different people help me to diversify and open my brand to a larger international market.

What criteria do you use when designing a new shoe? NJ Symphony is not like any other footwear brand; it’s an art form. Each shoe has its own unique story and personality that has inspired its design. I love how a pair of shoes can transform your mood and give you a newfound confidence. In our designs, comfort is paramount. It’s just as important as the aesthetics and what allows the wearer to feel and look her best, giving her the confidence to walk into her most important occasions with comfort and unique style.

Which design has given you most satisfaction, and why? I can’t pinpoint just one design that has given me the most satisfaction because someone close to me has inspired each design; each piece holds something uniquely special. I love the creative freedom that comes with designing; it’s what makes it so exciting.

What fascinates you right now, what is feeding in to your work? All women inspire me; they are my muses. I’m inspired by their confidence, femininity and posture.

Where do you work on your projects? I do most of the designing in Kuwait and all the manufacturing in Marche, Italy.

Are there any materials you’d like to explore further? Feathers currently fascinate me so I’m exploring ways in which I can include them in my next collection.

What is your personal motto? Live life to the fullest and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.

What’s next on your agenda? I’m working on an artistic piece that talks about the “swan girl”; she’s extremely elegant in her walk, smile and look. She’s very delicate. The final name will be chosen soon. It consists of one heel design, which is glittery, and another flat piece that incorporates feathers.