Anyone that didn't know Issa London a few years ago definitely does now after Kate Middleton decided to wear it to announce her engagement. Ever since then, the brand has only gone from strength to strength with that dress, and everything Middleton wears from them, selling out instantly. Now they've decided to capitalise on their success by launching an online shop.
The site will offer the main collection along with a series of styles that are exclusive to the web. Creative director Daniella Helayel will also offer style tips and inspirations on their new blog too. 'We are very excited about the up-and-coming launch of the e-commerce site,' chairwoman Camilla Al Fayed, daughter of former Harrods boss Mohammed Al Fayed, said in a statement. 'It's a great opportunity to offer our customers exclusive pieces and we feel the new site will help pave the way for continuous global expansion of the brand.'
Daniella Helayel of Issa isn't the only person planning their next business move. Recent reports reveal that Sonia Rykiel are planning on expanding the brand and are looking into selling of a minority stake in the company to do so.
"I have not taken any decision,"Nathalie Rykiel, president of the company, explained. "I have only just started analysing the possibility. I don't know if it's something I want to pursue, but I want to develop the brand. It has huge potential, in Asia obviously, but elsewhere also. I know that I can go much faster and further with outside help, but I am not even at the stage of contemplating whether the partner should be French or international."
Daniella Helayel, founder and designer of Issa, has everything to smile about. Since Kate Middleton started being photographed in the brand's dresses, international interest in the company has soared and now Camilla Al Fayed wants to cash on in on the brand's success.
The daughter of former Harrods owner, Mohammed Al Fayed, has bought a majority stake in the label leaving Helayel to focus on the design aspect of the business. When the news was announced the designer explained that she had "looked at a lot of investors, and Camilla came with the best fit. She has the infrastructure behind her, she's well connected, and she will open a lot of doors."
London-based designer Daniella Helayel, the woman behind the burgeoning label Issa, has Kate Middleton to thank for a recent boost in business. After Prince William's fiancee donned a royal blue jersey dress by the designer at the announcement of her engagement, the fashion world drew its eyes to the label - leading to massive increases in international business, plus plans to expand dramatically next year.
Brazilian-born Helayel started her label in 2001 without making many waves on the design scene, but recently, she's developed a larger celebrity following, with fans including Madonna, Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley. As for the future royal, Helayel told WWD, "Kate found us through friends." After Middleton wore the now-famous blue Issa dress, she adds that "in Japan, in particular, the shops went mad immediately, and around the world, everyone who had the dress sold out." British chains like Tesco and Peacocks also made their own lower-priced versions.
For 2011, Helayel has plans to relaunch her company in the US, add e-commerce to her website, open the first of sex new stand-alone shops in Brazil, create a children's range called Baby Issa, and move her 200-shop business into a global sensation. She won't disclose whether she's designing Middleton's wedding dress, despite rumours that she's at the front of the list.
For Helayel, designing is stil about one thing: making women feel great. She says: 'I love making clothes to hide defects and enhance the positive qualities...For me, it always goes back to making a woman feel less fat and more secure about herself.
Daniella Issa Helayel, the Brazilian designer behind the fashion brand Issa, gets busy with things like designing cruise collections and boosting her brand to No. 1 on Net-a-Porter (a feat she accomplished one day last week).
She shares a typical day with British Vogue, and although we're impressed by all the international sales meetings, we still can't figure out how she has time to hit Battersea Park or why our fridges aren't stocked with coconut water.