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Effa launches ready-to-wear and Italian-made handbag line

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A well-known name among the abaya-wearing community, Saudi designer Effa is expanding her footprint in the fashion community with the release of her new ready-to-wear collection along with her exquisite line of clutches, all made in Italy in exotic skins.

We speak to Effa on venturing back into RTW after her couture abaya line’s instant success and her Italian island inspirations for the new collection.

Why did you decide to branch out to RTW?

I am a fashion designer by training, and my first collection in 2006 was a ready to wear collection.

I began my Abaya couture collection the following year due to popular demand, and particularly as I couldn’t find any nice abayas that I would wear in the market.

I think I became quickly famous for my Abaya couture line as I was one of the first designers to re-invent the traditional abaya and make it into a trendy modern garment.

I am very passionate about the ready to wear collection as I love colour and really enjoy designing it.

The RTW line is becoming a more important part of my collection season by season, and its success has encouraged me to produce bigger and more varied collections. I want to cater to all customers and all occasions. That is the goal of my ‘Effa’ total concept boutique.

How would you describe the Effa woman?

The Effa woman is a modern independent woman that is always up to date with fashion and the latest international trends. She is active, often a working woman that loves to travel and loves art and culture. The Effa woman wants her clothes and abaya to reflect her personality and personal style, always looking elegant and well groomed. Even though she is very international, her traditional values remain important to her and that is reflected in the way she dresses.

What are your inspirations for your ready to wear line this season?

For each collection I have different influences, however I often get my ideas when I travel to different countries, and I especially love to visit museums and art galleries wherever I go.

For the Summer and Eid collection of Ready to Wear, I was inspired by my recent trip to the Italian island of Capri, I was inspired by the rich colours of the lanscape, the deep turquoise sea, blue skies, with amazing sunsets against a backdrop of green mountains, The area was also rich in corals, which was an important colour in my collection.

Your RTW designs are more Grecian and kaftan-like due to their length. Would you create a collection in a different cut, say cocktail dresses?

Yes definitely, and we do already take requests from clients for some of our dresses in a shorter cocktail version, and do have a selection of short dresses in the boutique.

Tell us more about your handbag line. How does it compete with established handbag brands? What sets your creations apart? Will your handbag line be continued in the following seasons?

When I decided to launch my line of clutch bags, my aim was to create a line of bags that are exclusive and very select high quality, for the customer that appreciates beautiful workmanship,and wants something unique and timeless that she will not see everyone wearing.

That is why I went to one of the best family run factories in Italy to make them, as they make everything by hand, and with pride. They also produce bags for some of the top italian and french brands. For the “Effa- made in Italy” line, I used genuine exotic leathers in colours that compliment the abayas and dresses and are the perfect accessory.

Effa recently launched a flagship boutique at the Jumeirah Palm Strip.

Click here to see our fave picks from Effa’s latest ready-to-wear collection >>

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