Brazilian model Cindy Mello dresses with a Lebanese designer in Italy

From Farfetch to luxury department stores, designer Shatha Essa talks success on Emirati Women’s Day

DUBAI: For Emirati designer Shatha Essa, her roots and identity mean everything. “My heritage is incredibly important to me and I want to share it with the world,” she told Arab News as she shared her experience as an entrepreneur in the region.

The eponymous label was born from the Dubai-based women’s fashion visionary’s love of design and her passion for supporting different causes. “My label not only acts as a platform for my creativity, but also serves communities in need,” she said. “This is achieved by supporting artisans from a wide range of cultures and nationalities.”

“Creating garments with a story, each collection fuses the traditional craftsmanship and embroideries of these artisans, which in turn enables us to create employment opportunities,” she added.

Shatha Essa launched her luxury brand in 2016. (Supplied)

Earlier this year, Essa released a collection titled “Ethereal Oasis” which explores commonalities between the UAE and Tunisia. The entrepreneur hired Tunisian craftswomen to help him create the offer.

Essa has partnered with handwoven button specialists, improving the well-being of local women in rural areas by generating employment opportunities, as well as promoting the preservation of craftsmanship in the nation. North African.

One of his biggest accomplishments to date has been partnering with Dubai Cares to fund the construction of a school in rural Nepal, providing local children with access to quality education. “Volunteering and philanthropy are extremely important to me. From a young age I have been volunteering to help those less fortunate and when I started my own business, supporting CSR initiatives was one of my goals. I partnered with Dubai Cares in 2018 to build a school to provide quality education to underprivileged children in Nepal. Every child deserves an education, whether affected by poverty or emergencies,” said Essa. .

“The school was completed in 2019 and it always fills me with pride to know that the children will continue to receive a quality education for years to come,” she added.

Essa got its start when she launched her luxury brand in 2016 and many of her collections are inspired by Emirati culture. “I had always dreamed of creating 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 plunge and launch my brand.” she says.

Being an Emirati woman, Essa said she did not face any problems when launching her brand. “As an Emirati woman, I am supported by my family, my community and the government of the United Arab Emirates, which supports and develops entrepreneurs,” she said. “The challenges I faced were around starting a new business, like dealing with suppliers and dealing with fabric delays.”

However, if she had any advice for herself younger, it would be to “trust your intuition and don’t take no for an answer.”

The brand is sold both regionally and internationally at retailers such as Farfetch, Threads Styling, Ounass, BySymphony Dubai, Harvey Nichols Riyadh, Harvey Nichols Doha, Galeries Lafayette Doha, Tryano Abu Dhabi, Saks Fifth Avenue Bahrain and Elevnish, with more of international retailers being added in 2023.

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