The Emirati designer Shatha Essa launched her eponymous label in 2016 and has just released her SS18 Ramadan collection. The feminine silhouettes, intricate embellishments and impeccable attention to detail makes these pieces ideal for celebrating the holy month. We chat to the designer about her journey and what to expect from the brand in the future.
Can you share your brand DNA?
My label is epitomized by sophisticated designs and luxurious simplicity. Every piece is handmade here in Dubai by a skilled team of artisans and craftsmen. Designed with every woman in mind, a piece from SHATHA ESSA ensures that the wearer always feels elegant and effortlessly beautiful.
Tell us about the process behind launching your own label?
I studied Art & Design at Zayed University, majoring in Interior Design. I started my career on the marketing team for The Dubai Mall. I worked on many excited projects there including the first Vogue Fashion Dubai experience. During that event I had the honor of meeting Vogue Italia Editor in Chief, Franca Sozzani who was such an inspiration, which gave me the idea of changing my career and starting my own brand. I have always loved timeless fashion and beautifully crafted designs so I based my brand DNA on this and went from there!
What was your inspiration behind the most recent collection?
I recently traveled to one of my favorite cities, Paris, to source materials from the world’s most exclusive fabrics exhibitions. When I was there I spent hours at one of my favorite gardens: Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil. While strolling through the garden, I watched the birds flying from one tree to another, I admired the shapes and textures of the leaves and the organic lines and dots that makes every inch of that garden unique in its own way. I can happily say I drew my inspiration this season from mother nature.
What is your standout piece from the collection?
The daffodil yellow dress with abstract birds and rope embellishment. I spent a lot of time developing the embroidery and I’m really proud of how it turned out. It’s the perfect piece for Ramadan that will allow the wearer to stand out from the crowd.
What do you think of the fashion scene in the region?
The fashion scene is revolutionary! I am impressed to see how the people in the region appreciate the emerging talent just as much as they do for the international brand pioneers.
Do you think fashion can be empowering?
It can be if you use it for the right causes.
What part of the creative process do you enjoy the most?
Seeing my sketches come to life!
Can you tell us about your personal style?
My personal style is classic, sophisticated and refined. I also love detail, embroidery and embellishments! As a designer, I believe in a well curated quality wardrobe that is not brimming with trend based pieces but rather carefully filled with garments that are timeless and versatile.
Can you share with us the best piece of advice you have been given?
‘Never take no for an answer’ – from my other half.
What are your future plans?
I want to see my brand stocked in the top department stores in the fashion capitals around the world as well as to open more of my own stores within the region. It’s also my dream to show my collections at Paris Fashion Week.