Issa London – Designer Womenswear


Striking Prints and Eye-Catching Colour From Brazilian-Born Fashion Designer Daniella Helayel

View recent Issa London Collections on the London Fashion Review Blog.

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Introduction to the Issa London Fashion Label

Brazilian-born fashion designer, Daniella Helayel spent an idyllic young life surrounded by stunning landscapes, before moving to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Daniella left the bright lights of New York for the streets of London in 1999 and was soon filling her wardrobe with the finest vintage pieces. However, even in the UK’s fashion capital, she couldn’t find any garments from the current collections that she wanted to buy – so Daniella decided to design and create her own.

This led to the foundation of Daniella’s womenswear label, ‘Issa’ in 2001, where she began making the clothing that she wanted to wear for herself and a few friends. Issa hit the big-time in 2003 with their first catwalk show and the rest, as they say, is history. Daniella now overseas a truly international label and as of 2012, the brand collections were stocked in some of the world most prestigious boutiques including, Fenwicks, Harrods and Harvey Nichols in the UK, as well as Dubai’s Boutique 1, Bon Marche in Paris; Isetan in Japan, Biffi in Italy and New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue.

Issa London Womenswear Fashion 01

Issa London Spring/Summer 2012

Issa London Fashion Label: Key Dates

  • 1999: After studying at F.I.T. in New York, Brazilian-born Daniella Helayel moves to London.
  • 2001: Womenswear fashion label, Issa, is founded when Daniella starts designing and creating clothing for herself and her friends.
  • 2003: The Issa fashion label has its first catwalk show.
  • 2005: Jut two years after the label’s first catwalk show, the Issa label is already being embraced by some of the world’s most stylish celebrities.
  • 2010: In November, Issa becomes front page news, when Kate Middleton wears one of the label’s dresses at the official announcement of her engagement to Prince William. Also this year, the brand launches ‘Baby Issa’ expanding the signature use of vibrant print and colour to a new baby and childrenswear line.
  • 2011: In July, Camilla Al Fayed, daughter of the former Harrods boss, bought a 51% share in the Issa fashion label, with Daniella Helayel continuing her role as creative director of the label.
  • 2012: Daniella designs the clothes for Madonna’s film, WE, which follows the romance between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson.

Issa London Womenswear Fashion 02

Issa London Spring/Summer 2012

Aesthetic of the Issa London Fashion Label

“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.” – Daniella Helayel.

The influence of Daniella’s Brazilian roots can be seen in all the designer’s collections, with striking prints and unique, eye-catching colour combinations. The Issa woman can be anyone who wants to be elegant and feminine, with the collections being glamorous yet versatile – suitable for meeting, the office and dancing until dawn with just a change of accessories.

The signature aesthetic of Issa London has gained the brand many a celebrity fan including, future Queen Kate Middleton, Naomi Campbell, Jessica Alba, Elisha Cuthbert, Kim Kardashian, Rebecca Romijn, Sarah Jessica Parker, Eva Mendes and Kiera Knightley.

Issa London Womenswear Fashion 03

Issa London Autumn/Winter 2011-2012

Issa London and Kate Middleton

Issa became front page news in November of 2010 when Queen-to-be, Kate Middleton, wore their signature waist flattering Sapphire style dress for the official engagement photo call. The £385 gown sold out in department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols within 24 hours and spawned numerous high street copies. Soon after Kate Middleton was pictured wearing the label’s dress, Issa reported a surge in demand and in February of 2011, announced that pre-collection sales for its Autumn/Winter 2011 range were up 45% on the previous year.

Issa London and Kate Middleton

Future of the Issa London Fashion Label

Camilla Al Fayed’s investment in the womenswear label in July of 2011 has brought about plans to develop the brand and implement further global reach. In the near future, Issa will be looking to opening stand alone store, particularly in London and Daniella’s native Brazil. The long-term goal is to turn Issa into a lifestyle label, adding childrenswear and homewares to the brand profile.

Issa London Womenswear Fashion 04

Issa London Autumn/Winter 2011-2012

Visit the official Issa London website, here.

If you like the look of Issa London, why not check out fellow British labels Preen, Erdem and Felder Felder.

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