Kinamania is an independent Brussels-based atelier with a passion for leather. We make fine iconic footwear inspired by cultural heritage and revisited with elegance and dare. The shoes are made in Spain and Portugal.
"I find my inspiration in basic footwear styles that have stood the test of time to which I add fashion-forward details. This is my way of reinventing heritage." Kristina
The brand has two main lines - The Essentials which are timeless collections and The Collaborations where Kristina partners with artists, artisans and craft-based NGOs to put their craft in the spotlight.
Kristina has a deep appreciation of makers and cultural heritage combined with a passion for leather as a primary raw material. Driven by her curiosity and her hunger for discovery of creative works, she collaborates with artisans and artists on her shoe collections and takes great pride in partnering, when possible, with craft-based NGOs that drive real changes in people’s lives.
Former designer and production director to the Johnny Farah House of leather accessories - between Beirut & NY - Kristina Zouein spent countless hours in artisans’ workshops. As a self-taught designer, this was a very formative experience.
In 2015 and with more than 10 years experience, she decides to create Kinamania, a slow fashion brand of accessories with a balanced mix of humility, sobriety and dare.
Of Canadian-Lebanese origins, Kristina lived most of her life in Beirut, until she met her partner and moved to Brussels a few years ago.
"In November 2019, I was diagnosed with breast cancer which pushed me to redefine the way I am leading my life and my business. Statistics show that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was chocked when I learnt those numbers, especially to discover that so many women, like myself, below the age of 40 go through this for reasons that are still unclear. Since then, I have committed to support cancer research."
Kinamania shoes are made from domesticated animal skins that are raised in agricultural settings and treated in European tanneries that are certified for their environmentally friendly working method.
The European leather industry is at the forefront of the conversation and innovation towards lower impact and circular practices :
+ to reduce chemical usage, water, and waste compared to traditional tanning processes.
+ to make sure that animals from which the hide is used are being treated well
+ to ensure that people who produce the leather are treated fairly
+++ It is through a failed romance with a Spaniard that Kristina discovered the abarca sandal style. This traditional Spanish sandal was the trigger to her shoe brand.
+++ KinaMania is a brand name with roots in 'menorquina', the alternative name for the abarca sandal which was originally handmade on the island of Menorca in the Baleares. The mania for Kinas is born from menorquina mania!
+++ The shoes have singer name and the subtitles refer to uplifting songs that align to the Craft Your Day tagline.
+++ The tag line says CRAFT YOUR DAY with two dashes. The two dashes symbolise the craftsmanship and hand-stitched design signature of the Kinamania fine footwear atelier.
Kristina also offers creative leathercraft workshops combining leather and modern technology.
The objective behind those workshops is that participants personalise a beautiful object - in a warm and friendly atmosphere - and proudly return home with a unique souvenir.