Effa Al Dabbagh is a fashion designer based in Dubai. She’s originally from Saudi Arabia but grew up in the U.K.
Al Dabbagh says her interest in art, design and fashion began as a young girl growing up in England. It then turned into a serious interest as she began to pursue a career in fashion and get her Bachelor’s degree in fashion design.
Hijabtrendz recently had the opportunity to get to know her a bit more.
Read below for the exclusive interview and to see more pics of her designs.
What are you currently up to?
I am the designer and director for the Effa fashion brand. I also work as a consultant professional fashion buyer.
Your website has pictures of amazingly beautiful Abayas and dresses. Are these all your own designs?
How has your work been received?
My work has received an amazing response from clients, and since the launch of my website, from women all over the world – The Middle East, Europe , the US and Africa!
What is the inspiration behind your designs? Do you use any special fabrics or accessories?
I am inspired by anything and everything! I love fine art, historical and vintage fashion, and do keep my eye on international trends. I get my accessories and some of my fabrics from France and Italy. I am selling a luxury product, and therefore I always use fabrics of the finest quality, beautiful, yet practical and comfortable.
Do you find it’s very competitive nowadays in the Abaya field? (The reason I ask is that it seems there are always new designers popping up).
Yes there are always new designers coming on the Abaya scene, but each designer has their own style and clientele. I have not been affected by this negatively, in-fact I see competition as healthy, as it motivates me to keep producing more new and innovative designs. Of course, I do get copied, but as per the famous Coco Chanel quote: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
What’s your advice to women who have never worn Abaya but are interested in purchasing one?
If you are new to Abayas, I would recommend that you start with a more simple design that will be easy and comfortable to wear, perhaps something colorful. In the Gulf, the Abaya is almost exclusively black, and most women choose to wear them really long to the floor, but that wouldn’t be easy to wear or practical in the West.
The Abaya means different things to different people – in the Gulf its very much a cultural garment which has evolved from its original purpose of purely concealing and has become a fashion garment and statement of identity, whereas in the West it is worn mainly as an Islamic garment.
The Effa Abaya Couture collection comprises a variety of styles for a range of occasions, from the simple elegant Abaya for work, to the more high-fashion elaborate evening Abayas.
How can people outside of the UAE purchase your clothing?
At the moment I sell my products in selected boutiques in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. I do, however, accept orders for Abayas by email from customers that don’t have access to these shops.
When I created the Effa brand, I began by catering my collection to the needs and lifestyle of the modern woman in the Middle East, but I soon found that the Effa brand had a much wider international appeal . My philosophy is that fashion should bring out the femininity and glamour in a woman, and my designs aim to show off the best of a woman. At the end of the day my goal is for a woman to feel feminine, comfortable, confident and attractive when she wears a Effa design, no matter who she is or where she lives.
Here are more photos of Effa’s amazing designs:
If you want to check out Effa’s website and learn more about her designs and clients click here.
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