Hot Couture: Kao Pao Shu by Naida Begeta Hits Santa Monica

kao pao shu

No, it’s not a dumpling house. Kao Pao Shu is the design house of International designer Naida Begeta, celebrating the Grand Opening of a new flagship boutique tonight.

Begeta is the rare international designer who’s chosen to make Los Angeles her home. Yes, it’s likely you’ll find the dressmaker herself in the shop to greet you most days. Born in Sarajevo, she attended high school in Olympia Washington, before returning to her native Bosnia where she began creating the Kao Pao Shu collection (named in tribute to the late Kung Fu actress and vanguard filmmaker) before bringing it to Milan and Tokyo. She and husband Marco Schilliaci (an Italian commercial director) have lived in LA since 2007… other than during a brief period early last year when they were shipwrecked while sailing from the Cape Verde Islands to Trinidad.

Luckily Begeta and Schillaci survived (thanks to a German research ship), not just for themselves, but for all fans of original Angeleno couture. Her two main collections are Stripe Up Yourself— dresses, jackets, pants, handbags, belts created from ribbons and fabric strips—and Dress Up Yourself— shirts, dresses, tees and pants made from soft Italian jersey, embellished with Begeta’s original drawings. Each piece is, in fact, unique.

kao pao shu

Need the approval of a celebrity? How about Sex in The City star Sarah Jessica Parker, Fergie, American Idol‘s Siobhan Magnus or Style Network‘s Jeannie Mai? Not a dumpy bunch, to be sure.

Comparing her former city and this one, the designed told Los Angeles magazine last month,“In Milan, people buy a piece of clothing because of how elegant it looks on, no matter how it feels. In LA, they go more by how comfortable it is.”

If you want to attend tonight, email

Kao Pao Shu is located at 1906 Olympic Blvd. Santa Monica, 310.453.1919