GINA is a refined design, manufacturing and retail company established in 1954 in London by master shoemaker Mehmet Kurdash. He had a dream to make glamorous handmade shoes and named the company after his muse, 1960’s movie icon Gina Lollobrigida. Throughout his life, Mehmet would never compromise on quality and crafted his own designs out of the most beautiful leathers. Today, GINA are renowned world wide for their exquisite sculptured footwear and handbags – remaining the last and only British designer label creating luxury footwear in London today.
Designing couture shoes has been a family trait since 1893. Today Mehmet’s sons, Attila, Aydin and Altan Kurdash are the combined talent who skilfully create by hand, the lasts and heels, using skills passed down from generation to generation. The brother’s interweaving roles contribute to the rare luxury of being involved in the design, manufacture, technology and retail of all GINA shoes and bags.
In 1991 the very first GINA boutique was opened and proved to be a resounding success. The increasing need for more space led to the acquisition in 1994 of the Sloane Street boutique in London’s fashionable Knightsbridge. A decadent, luxurious, beautiful gallery for the shoes and handbags, the comfortable and eclectic interior is perfectly sympathetic to the elegant, sumptuous GINA styling.
GINA’s bespoke shoes have become the latest must have indulgence of the fashionâ€™s elite. When GINA opened their couture salon in Old Bond Street in 1999 – media hysteria soon followed over their astonishing accessories. In particular, their £18,000 alligator mules finished with 18-carat white gold buckles and inlaid with 36 princess cut diamonds. These slippers are so remarkably ostentatious that the Millennium issue of The Guinness Book of Records acknowledged them as the world’s most expensive slippers.
In June 2009 the first flagship store outside the United Kingdom was opened in the Fashion Avenue of the prestigious Dubai Mall, the most incredible shopping destination in the Middle East. This flagship store reflects the existing GINA image, making a powerful statement as the ultimate exclusive shoe destination in the visually spectacular Dubai Mall. In March 2011, the fourth GINA store opened its doors in the Mall of Emirates, Dubai, an international celebrated destination for the fashion elite.
The brothers mission is to have GINA represented in luxury department stores and boutiques worldwide, as well as key GINA flagship stores.
Continuing the success of the GINA brand meant more demand and therefore space. In September 2011, the brother’s decided, as a commitment to the manufacture of GINA products in London, to relocate their operations to a new 40,000 sq feet state of the art unit in North London.
The entire team at GINA, from the craftsman in GINA’s studio to the Kurdash brothers themselves are dedicated to quality. The perfection of each design is reliant on the cut and the use of outstanding fabrics and textures. Each tiny stitch, up to twenty per inch, shows incredible, scrupulous attention to detail. Each individual shoe is handled with the utmost care and respect. No other designer has captured the finesse, quality and fine craftsmanship of a shoe, whilst being the most sought after fashion accessory of the season.
The stunning styling and imaginative use of cut, colour, leathers, fabrics and striking detail has caught the eye of the fashionista. GINA footwear has been gracing the feet of supermodels and leading actresses as well as high society celebrities, royal families and an ever-growing following of international stars.
Whilst it is acknowledged that Sophie Rhys Jones had her shoes made by GINA for her wedding to Prince Edward, GINA’s popularity amongst the highest echelons of society is helped by the brother’s renowned discretion. Amongst their public ambassadors are Madonna, Britney Spears, Victoria Beckham, Catherine Zeta Jones and Jennifer Lopez all of whom have all been seen leaving their luxurious London stores.
The distinctive and stylish GINA styles have become the hallmark of a discerning owner who has no need or desire to ever settle for less than the very, very best.