ISSA London: stunning comfort for curvesPosted: March 26, 2015
Daniella Issa Helayel was born and raised in Brazil surrounded by stunning tropical scenery and blazing sunshine. Her childhood weekends were spent swimming in the Atlantic, laying on the beach and enjoying the carefree Brazilian attitude to life. Helayel moved to New York to study at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), before working as a fashion consultant and buying agent for several Brazilian companies.
Helayel moved to London at the dawn of the new millennium and she soon realized that there was little by modern designers that appealed and fitted her curvy Brazilian figure. Daniella decided to design a range of clothing that was perfect for her and so Issa was created. She began by designing clothes for herself and a few select friends but soon the word spread and her experiments culminated in the first Issa catwalk presentation during London Fashion Week. Helayel now oversees a label that boasts international sales and editorial coverage.
“Most of my team are women and we all try on each and every design. Of course we have different tastes, body shapes and styles, but if a dress doesn’t please us all, I tear up the pattern.”
The main material Issa uses is a soft fluid silk jersey in a myriad of luminous colors and singular prints. The nature of the jersey allows the designs to be both sexy and comfortable.
Issa has been embraced by a number of celebrity patrons including Madonna, Laura Bailey, Scarlett Johansson, Keira Knightley and possibly most famously, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge nee Kate Middleton. Before she was married, Kate Middleton became something of an unofficial muse to Helayel, being an early patron of the label and featuring in many articles about her sense of style.
In 2011 Camilla Al-Fayed acquired Issa and became the brand’s Chairwoman. Camilla appointed Blue Farrier as Creative Director in May 2013, tasking Blue with developing the Collection whilst retaining the design DNA. The company is now wholly owned by the Al Fayed family whose strategy is to develop Issa further to become a true lifestyle brand, with more product categories and a firm retail presence.
dievca’s Issa London dress isn’t silk jersey, though she is keeping an eye out for a silk jersey dress. It is a Cap Sleeve Double Lace Knit Dress, purchased at a sample sale – similar to the following photo, but in Grass Green. Something for Spring — if it ever arrives.
(Background complied from StyleSequel.com, New York Magazine and the Issa website.)