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Emirati Designer Shatha Essa’s Journey of Growth Is Far From Over

Back in 2016, Emirati designer Shatha Essa inaugurated her high-end fashion line. Since then, many of her creations have been influenced by Emirati culture. She had always wanted to establish her own label, but it wasn't until she had the honor of getting to know the late Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, that she was motivated to do so. Essa faced no difficulties in starting her brand as she received assistance from her family, her neighborhood, and the UAE government which encourages and nurtures entrepreneurs just like her. The difficulties were related to negotiating with suppliers and experiencing fabric delays.

Amidst her success with Farfetch, the Dubai-based designer told Arab News that her heritage and traditions are everything to her. The namesake brand was developed as a result of her vision for womenswear, love of design, and passion for numerous charitable causes. She explains that her label supports communities in need in addition to providing a platform for her creative expression. “This is achieved through supporting artisans across a diverse range of cultures and nationalities,” she told the publication.

Earlier this year, Essa dropped a collection called "Ethereal Oasis" that showcases similarities between Tunisia and the UAE. The businesswoman enlisted the assistance of Tunisian female artisans to produce the pieces and collaborated with experts in handwoven buttons thereby increasing the livelihood of rural women in the North African nation.

One of her greatest accomplishments to date has been working with Dubai Cares to raise money for the building of a school in rural Nepal, giving local children access to a high-quality education. It was completed in 2019 and she shared with Arab News, “Volunteering and philanthropy are extremely important to me. From a young age, I have been volunteering my time to help those less fortunate and when I started my own business, supporting CSR initiatives was one of my goals.” 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. 

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