There are few people in the design world who can work with lace and tulle as impressively as Ana Teixeira de Sousa can. Having created an impressive niche for herself in one of the most competitive sartorial playing fields on the market, eveningwear, the Portuguese designer can thank her hereditary talent for her continued success after being mentored by her grandmother at an early age, (and subsequently naming the brand after her) Ana quite literally grew up surrounded by fashion. Bringing the signature Sophia Kah romantic aesthetic from her London base to the Middle East for the first time as the label launches on Al Ostoura, Bazaar learns how the designer blends personal interests into her pieces and what we can expect from her regional launch...
Beyoncé wearing Sophia Kah to her mother's wedding
Harper's Bazaar Arabia: How has the Sophia Kah woman evolved from your first collection to now?
Ana Teixeira de Sousa: "The Sophia Kah woman is in constant evolution, just like myself - when I started the brand she was very classic, feminine and romantic. Since then, she's evolved into a playful and more sophisticated realm."
HBA: What peaked your celestial inspiration for this collection?
AT: "I’m very much fascinated by energy and the mystical world, so I thought it would make a lot of sense to translate this personal interest into a collection. The cosmic symbols and rich colour palette merged perfectly with the fabrics I wanted to use, a mix of our trademark lace and luxurious velvet."
HBA: You’re about to launch on Al Ostoura, what pieces were immediately picked up by the site’s buyers?
AT: "The 'Galatea' dress as been a universal favourite globally but we have created a special elongated version for Al Ostoura which, is perfect for the party season. Our 'Ophelia' and 'Anthiope' gowns are also popular in the region, both featuring prominent cosmic motifs which sit within this season's space-inspired trend."
Sophia Kah A/W17
HBA: How do you perceive style in the Middle East?
AT: "I love Middle Eastern culture and style, as a region, it truly understands luxury and the quality of design. The Middle Eastern woman is very contemporary in a unique way, she's always up-to-date to the latest trends and it’s inspiring to see how women mix traditional and modern concepts. They are some of the most glamorous women in the world."
HBA: When is the last time you visited?
AT: "I’m extremely fascinated by Middle East so I try to go at least twice a year. As I design eveningwear, I’m always looking to learn more about how Arab women make fashion such a key part of their day-to-day lives, these are the women I want to see wearing and styling my dresses."
HBA: What’s one of your earliest memories of wanting to work in fashion?
AT: "I was literally born in my family factory in Portugal, so fashion has always been natural to me. I used to create my own designs, even as I child. When I moved to London, I realised that it was what I really wanted to do for a living."
HBA: What’s one thing you think people may not know about the design industry?
AT: "I would say the people have no idea how much work that goes into each individual piece, the amount of people that are involved and the extensive design procedure… It’s a long process from start to finish."
HBA: Now you have a regional base, can we expect a capsule collection from Sophia Kah tailored just for the Middle East?
AT: "That's definitely something we will be working on in the future, watch this space..."