Two young women from different cultural backgrounds meeting in the diverse city of London and finding themselves embracing fashion from different perspectives. I was born and raised in Croatia and moved to London three years ago to continue my studies and pursue a career in fashion and Mariam has moved to London from Iraq 23 years ago.
We met in 2016 when she needed an outfit for a private event and wanted me to help her design something which was modest but still trendy and chic. This inspired me to explore Middle Eastern fashion and the influence religion has on it. Finding ourselves liking similar styles but styling them individually led us to collaborate on the EQUALITY collection. This collection is influenced by urban architecture and the multi-cultural city of London whilst largely shaped by modest culture, offering all women the chance to express themselves through fashion.
With fast fashion focusing on speed and inexpensive designs, the choice of textiles and manufacturing implemented by STASA designs focuses primarily on sustainability and environmentally friendly designs. The collection consists of 40 pieces of clothing made from carefully chosen breathable fabrics including bamboo, bamboo silk, polyester and cotton. These items are available in sizes S to XL embracing women of all ages and sizes. Styles include dresses, kaftans, kimonos, trousers, skirts and jackets.
Much attention was paid to detailing and design, emphasising elegance with minimalism. A recurring theme of pleats runs through our collection, these were handmade in a small factory in the heart of London. Simple but extravagant, our long black dress is made with 8 metres of pleated fabric to give it some volume and movement alongside making it feel light and flowy. Similarly, our skirts and trousers contain panels and pleats providing a simple yet unique feminine touch. The trench coats and jackets are timeless and classic designed with sleeve straps to allow adjustable length. A couple of pieces from this collection were designed with additional buttons allowing the attachment or removal of sleeves catering for different events and atmospheres. Two skirts belonging to this collection can be worn in combination or individually.
Choosing to name this collection ‘Equality’ gives women access to the modern world of fashion regardless of age, size, race or religion blurring the divide between lifestyles and culture. We aim to embrace women by making this collection fair and equal.
We would like to give thanks to the team that helped us achieve our vision.
Photographer: Franjo Matkovic
Make-up artist: Kristin Pavlovic
Hair stylist: Tea Grakalic
Models: Tatjana Galic & Indeyar Donaldson Holness