'White Heat'::'Sway'::'Kiss Me Deadly' 

It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you Amira Designs in the lead up to An Old Scholar Fashion Affair being held this Friday night 13 April 2012 at Oh Hello in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Courtney Thorpe chats to Designer Safa Itote and gets the low down on the label...

You worked in fashion retail for several years. What prompted you to make the transition to design?
I’ve always had it in my mind that I wanted a career in the creative industries. I had thought I would be an architect or a graphic designer as my dad is a civil engineer and does a lot of town planning and I used to love looking through his sketches. I think it was when I got older and more interested in clothing that I made the decision to study fashion design. Having a mum who sewed also meant I was able to design my own debutant ball and graduation gowns. Working in retail has helped me to understand the needs and wants of customers, as well as design aspects that work well and others which customers have expressed frustrations with. These are all elements that I always take into consideration when designing.
'Shadow'::'L&L'::'Thieves Highway'
Your label is all ethically and Australian made. Besides this what sets it apart from other brands and makes it unique?
I think the fact that I use all natural and organic fabrics in all garments sets Amira apart from a lot of the main stream labels that are using a lot of synthetic. Even the labels that are using silks in their garments use synthetics linings, which I feel just defeats the purpose of using beautiful fabrics. I think that if you are paying a higher price for a beautiful silk garment, you want the luxury of the silk to extend to the inner of the garment - the fabric which will actually be touching your skin. Not only is it a pet peeve I have picked up from my mother, it has become part of the Amira aesthetic. I also feel that the design aspect is something that makes Amira stand out. As individual items the garments have an elegant and simplistic appearance while at the same time each piece in the collection is versatile, enabling the wearer to create a unique look, making the garments an interchangeable addition to any wardrobe.
'Black Magic'::'Murder'::'My Sweet'
Is there one piece from your current collection that you feel is a must have?
The Sway skirt and the Lost Weekend dress are both favourites. I think they are both not only beautiful and a little bit flirty, but they are also very flattering to any body shape. Being high waisted with a full circle skirt allows the wearer to have the freedom to move and be comfy for a night out – whether it’s a delicious meal and drinks or dancing into the wee hours of the morning. While having the full circle skirt makes the Sway and Lost Weekend styles a great garment to wear on its own, I also think the clean lines and no fuss details make them ideal for layering and changing the look to suit the wearer’s mood or event. Pair it with a collared tee and a statement necklace for a very on trend, preppy glamour look. 
'The Lost Weekend'::'White Heat'::'Notorious'
What type of woman is Amira designed for?
The Amira women is confident in her style and likes to experiment with different layers and perhaps wearing a garment slightly different to the way it was intended to be worn. She appreciates beauty and luxury but is not conceited. She likes to take a little extra time to put an outfit together and make it her own, and in turn tends to be fashionably late.  But she can also throw on a classically simple garment paired with a piece of jewellery and still look confident and stunning. While fashion dominates her day-to-day musings, she doesn’t let looks and vanity consume her. She is adventurous in life and love and that translates to her style. She is polished, yet a little wild!
'Touch Of Evil'::'Out Of The Past'::'Nightmare Alley'
Your current collection has taken mainstream fashion trends to a wearable high fashion level. Can we expect to see the same from your next collection?
Aside from the joy of designing and interpreting trendy and on-fashion pieces, I do also really enjoy translating those ‘trends’ into something ultra-wearable and easy. I want my pieces to be seen as an integral part of any outfit – almost like a second skin. It’s hard to say exactly where the inspiration will take me for the next collection but you can expect to see plenty of soft feminine draping mixed with a tough edge. Think the feisty younger sister of Helen of Troy. Overall I hope that the same effortlessly wearable aesthetic translates through everything I design! 
'Touch Of Evil'::'Out Of The Past'::'Nightmare Alley'
How do you foresee Amira progressing over the coming years?
I hope to see Amira become a successful business and a household name while also being recognised as a label associated with the ethical and sustainable movement. I hope to source and utilise more sustainable and organic fabrics that will broaden the range of styles I design; fabrics that will showcase the vast possibilities to create high fashion and wearable garments using raw, organic and ever recycled materials. In the coming years I would really like to see the label grow and become more polished in all aspects, delivering to the fashion industry classically beautiful garments which will be treasured for years to come!

Tickets are still available, so to purchase - click here



  1. Hi,
    Very good blog post I love your site keep up the great posts......

    Photographer Durban

  2. WLCI Fashion School is one of the largest Fashion design college in India with campuses in 16 cities and offering courses in Fashion Designing, Marketing & Fashion Technology
    Fashion Studies

  3. Thanks so much khutazadesigns, it's always great to get such positive feedback xx


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Body Makeover... REJECTED by my trainer