Shatha Essa Al Mulla on Giving Back to Those in Need Through Her Fashion Label

Lindsay Judge   |   02-12-2022

Shatha Essa Al Mulla started her eponymous womenswear brand in 2016 after deciding to take her passion for design to the next level, but also to give her an outlet to support various causes that are close to her heart.


With her background in fashion marketing, Shatha was able to marry her design skills with her business mind to create her own brand which was born in the UAE. Her label SHATHA ESSA, acts not only as a platform for Shatha’s creativity but also serves communities in need across the globe. Creating garments with a story, each season SHATHA ESSA collaborates with female artisans from a diverse range of cultures and communities. The collaborations showcase traditional craftsmanship and embroidery techniques from these artisans while creating employment opportunities in rural communities and fulfilling the designer’s dream to create beautiful garments with an ethical approach.



This season Shatha has created an exclusive UAE-inspired womenswear piece with a matching kids style to honour her country and also highlight the importance of family. We find out more about this special edition piece as well as her ambitions for the future.


What can you tell us about your Fall/Winter 2022 collection?

This season I focused on everyday essentials in the form of abayas and coats to suit the cooler months. The pieces feature my signature embellishment styles in cool colours for the winter. 



We know you are also working on an exclusive piece inspired by the UAE – tell us about that.

It is inspired by an art piece that I saw in the women’s museum last year. It was a 3D model of a series of Burqa’s and was absolutely mesmerising.


Would you like to expand further into kid’s wear?

Ever since I had my children it’s been a dream of mine to expand into kid’s wear. I have something exciting in the pipeline so watch this space!



In this issue we are celebrating UAE National Day – what does this day mean to you?

UAE National Day is a special day for all of us from Emirati nationals to expatriate residents. It is a day to look back and celebrate all the achievements of the country throughout the years. It is also a day to celebrate the union of all seven emirates under the vision of our late founding father His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. A significant day to commemorate the historic achievements of the country.


What is a message you would send to your country on this occasion?

I would like to thank our leaders for the opportunities they have provided us. I am proud to be from a country that consistently strives to work hard, develop and achieve all the dreams it has set out.



What is your favourite memory of the UAE growing up? 

Its people and the friendly neighbourhoods.


What inspired you to become a fashion designer?

SHATHA ESSA emerged from my love for design intertwined with my passion to support different causes. I had always dreamed of starting my own brand, but it wasn’t until I had the privilege of meeting the late Franca Sozzani, Editor In Chief of Vogue Italia, who inspired me to take the step and launch my brand.



What is the biggest challenge you face in what you do?

Due to the pandemic and rising inflation costs worldwide we are facing supply chain challenges. I source all of my fabrics from countries across the world such as Japan, Italy and France so it has been challenging to meet deadlines due to delays from the suppliers.


Where do you see your brand in five years?

My dream is to see my brand sold in major department stores worldwide and to continue making a difference in communities around the world.


How would you assess the fashion industry in the UAE today?

The industry has expanded extremely quickly over the past five to ten years. When I first started, most Emirati brands were working out of their homes and only taking private orders. Now you see Emirati labels with flagship boutiques. And with the development of online shopping, so many local brands are now available online and in big department stores both regionally and internationally, which is amazing to see. It’s important for me to support local businesses to continue to grow the industry.



What more would you like to see done for emerging designers from the region? 

There are now a lot of initiatives for emerging designers compared to when I started out, offering mentorship support. But I would like to see more initiatives for buying and supporting local brands and education on how purchasing from a local brand supports a whole community.


Which designers or brands inspire you?

Elie Saab is a big inspiration to me.


What is the professional motto that you live by? 

Believe in yourself and don’t take no for an answer.



What else is in the pipeline for you in the coming year? 

We have an exciting new launch coming soon which I can’t wait to share with everyone! Along with some new retailer partners which have been on my dream list for a long time now!