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Beach in the Fall? Work it with Naila

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It may be Fall now, but that’s not going to stop us sons and daughters of Dubai from going on beach picnics anytime soon. Who are we kidding? There’s neither Autumn nor Spring here! Until mid-December comes, it’s still warm enough out to hit the beach and turn the shore into your very own personal swimwear catwalk.

But of course, there’s no way you’re working the runway-slash-beach in a tatty two-year-old swimsuit from Carrefour. If you want something designer with a fresh ring in the ears (meaning no flashy Vuitton two-piece bikinis a la Paris Hilton), might we suggest Naila?

Naila is a New York-based high-end swimwear line headed by Lebanese designer Naila Chbib. Hot off a stint at the Miami Fashion Week where she showcased her latest collection, Naila’s creations offer something unique for women, men and boys alike.

We know you’re dying to know more about the latest Middle Eastern designer striking it big in the Big Apple, so we took the liberty of sitting down with Ms. Chbib to chat about the collection, her humble entrance into the glamorous world of fashion, and the influence of her roots over the design philosophy of her collection.

What did you do before you decided to become a swimwear designer?

I was working for magazines as a contributor and stylist. It was actually a long path until I finally decided to launch a swimwear line. I have a business bachelor degree from Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland. I have always wanted to create my own line, so I pursued fashion designs studies at Parson School NY. Upon my graduation, I have interned in many fashion houses from Donna Karan, Alessandro Dell’ Acqua press office, Liz Claiborne’s men department and finally Harper’s Bazaar fashion closet. All these experiences gave me the strength and skills to start my own line.

What was the tipping point that made you decide to pursue your passion for design?

The fashion industry is so large and offers a wide opportunities of careers. I tried it all and had to stick with my original dream of having my own line.

How did you start out? What challenges did you overcome when you first started designing?

Starting a line is actually a long process. The first step, like any other type of businesses, is to actually start with a business plan. I spend an entire vacation in the South of France last year of putting everything down, analyzing and studying the market to finally put together a plan of what NAILA Collection will become.

There are a lot of challenges especially when you start; it can come from finding the perfect factory to produce the line, to finding good hardware or even having the factory redo a sample five times just to get the perfect fit.

Who is your target market? What kind of man or woman wears Naila swimwear?

My target market is a sophisticated clientele. Those who travel to exotic places such as Dubai, St. Barts, and St. Tropez. A clientele looking for fit, comfort and especially quality with a sensitivity to eco-friendly efforts. We do try to be respectful towards nature as much as we can. We do everything from using bamboo hangers, recycled paper, eco-friendly polyester materials in our men trunk shorts, reducing water consumption in our printing process, et cetera.

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