A Conversation with Dubai-Based Fashion Designer Ayesha Depala

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Renowned for her classic yet contemporary designs, locally-based fashion designer Ayesha Depala emphasizes that her design philosophy is to create a product which is at once exclusive and impeccably finished, yet also accessible. Her sophisticated and highly feminine designs have gained her great appreciation from local as well as international clientele. Depala’s latest Autumn / Winter 2012 ready-to-wear collection boasts a romantic assemble of ethereal separates made predominantly in lace and including blouses, lace tops, silk trousers, capes and jumpsuits as well as maxi dresses and glamorous full gowns. We caught up with Depala to learn of the inspiration behind her fashion designs, her latest collection and hopes for the future.

What led you to start designing?

I come from a textile background. My father is a textile engineer and my mother is a textile designer. Growing up I was inevitably surrounded by fabrics and often went with my mother after school to her textile printing factory. In our free time my sister Natasha and I would print our own fabrics and naturally I was inspired to create my own designs.
Where do you look to for inspiration?
My designs are usually inspired subconsciously and by mundane things. For example, trawling vintage markets and watching people on the street are very interesting to me and often influence my creations.

What is your favorite past time?

Spending time with my children and my family, blog surfing, reading and meditating.

How do you feel about launching your new ready-to-wear line at Harvey Nichols?

I am delighted to be showcasing at Harvey Nichols as its a personal favorite shopping destination of mine because the store sells some of my favorite brands. Showcasing at Harvey Nichols enables the brand to reach out to a wider audience in Dubai.

How do you find the Dubai fashion scene different from that in New York, Paris or London, for example?

For me, Dubai is the melting pot of cultures and nationalities and is thus an amalgamation of various styles from around the world. I look at it the Dubai fashion scene as being a combination of styles rather than a difference in styles.

Does your Indian heritage influence your designs? If so, how?

Yes, of course! I am consistently inspired by India and its craftsmanship and architecture. I am especially interested in the Mughal Period and this influence often reveals itself within my couture pieces.
What plans do you have for the future of your creations?

I am working on retailing the brand in the GCC countries for Spring/ Summer 2013 and a few selected stores in Dubai itself. I will then take the brand out to Europe and Asia subsequently. I also have plans for a stand alone Ayesha Depala bridal service in the near future too.

Ayesha Depala is now available at Harvey Nichols in Mall of the Emirates +971 444098888.

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