10 qUEsTIONS WiTH 
AmINAH ABdUL jILLiL

A quick fire interview with the dancer turned footwear designer 

WORDS BY REBECCA RHYS-EVANS

It may surprise you to know that footwear designer Aminah Abdul Jillil actually began her career as a ballet dancer. Moving from her hometown Anchorage, Alaska to Los Angeles, she twirled, plié’d and pirouetted for the likes of Janet Jackson and Britney Spears before foraying into fashion design. Since launching her luxury label in 2021, Abdul Jillil has made a name for herself thanks to her penchant for shoes with crystal, gold chain hardware, PVC, satin and suede. Her pumps are a signature (and a favourite here at KOIBIRD), with pointed-toes and ankle straps, other key styles include Abdul Jillil’s pink satin sandals and rubberised rhinestone flip flops. As any dancer (and modern urbanite) will tell you, comfortable footwear is essential, whether you’re rushing between business appointments, enjoying a sunday stroll with your favourite matcha latte or dancing until the early hours (Abdul Jillil will argue window sills are best). So, for those that can’t handle towering stilettos and wish to save their feet - and look chic whilst doing so - here’s your answer. 

You started your career as a dancer, how has that played into your design process?

I was exposed to the art world as a whole from a very early age. Art in culture and performance, the costumes and makeup – all of these wonderful influences play a part in my designs and my process.

What drew you to shoe design?

I actually started out in fashion design, and whilst I enjoyed it very much I found more artistic freedom with shoes.

Be it art, cinema, music, literature – is there a work of art or artist, era or mood that you often look to for inspiration?

I'm inspired by a little bit of everything. Music, people, travel, culture. All of these things and more continue to move and inspire me in one way or another.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Be yourself no matter what. 

What’s your earliest style-related memory?

All of the fun, sparkly and fabulous recital costumes that I got to wear as a child.

Your own designs aside, what’s your favourite shoe of all time?

Almost any and all flat sandals by Isabel Marant

What’s your hero piece and how should you style it?

Currently, my black patent leather t-strap pumps. You should style anything that you wear in a manner that makes you feel absolutely amazing. No matter what anyone says.

Who’s the ultimate AAJ style icon, who would you love to see in your shoes?

Everyone seems to be talking about model Alton Mason, who I absolutely love. But to answer your question I personally think that Kendal Jenner is currently the red carpet killer. Everything looks great on her.

Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Soleil Crystal Shoes

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Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Gold Chain Suede Shoes

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Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes

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Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes

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Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes
Soleil Crystal Shoes

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Soleil Crystal Shoes

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Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes
Gold Chain Suede Shoes

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Gold Chain Suede Shoes

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Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Soleil Ballet Pvc Crystal Shoes

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Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes
Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Soleil Ballet Satin Crystal Shoes

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Three people you would invite for your dream dinner party?

I'm socially very shy so the dinner party would have to be people that I already know and would have fun with.

If you’re going to be dancing on the tables till the early hours, where would it be and what song are you going to be dancing to?

I'm ALWAYS dancing on furniture lol. Tables, window sills, it doesn't matter where it is, I always have the time of my life when listening to none other than KISS by Prince.

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