The Islamic Fashion Design Council (IFDC) strongly believes that the world does not need another fashion week. “We need a concise identity within an event that is most conducive and optimal for the success of the modest fashion narrative,” observes Alia Khan, founder & chairwoman, IFDC. “Sometimes the word ‘modest’ can also be misleading. So, we decided to call our most recent event the ‘Pret-a-Cover Buyers Lane’ that received global attention. We have also discovered some wonderful brands through the Pret-a-Cover Buyers Lane. One such label is Talabaya launched by a designer from Czech Republic who designs Europeanised abayas literally like Chanel coats.”
During an exclusive interview with RetailME, founder Mirka Talavašková explains, “Talabaya is more than just fashion. It is freedom to be different; importantly, it is about respecting every woman’s choice. A combination of my last name and abaya, Talabaya is a Prague meets GCC story. The brand is all about adding western touches to a traditional attire, the abaya.”
Minimalism and modesty are the two highlights of Talabaya. It is a brand that beautifully marries two cultures – western and Middle Eastern – adding diversity to modest fashion. “Around four years ago, one of my European clients from Saudi Arabia wanted me to design an abaya with western touches. What I designed for her was well-received by her Arabs and non-Arabs friends, the latter looked at the abaya as a long dress. That got me thinking, resulting in the launch of Talabaya exactly a year ago,” Talavašková recollects.
Currently, Talabaya’s collections are available at BeYou boutique in Dubai, UAE and Harvey Nichols in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “In addition, we are talking to other retailers of similar genre to expand presence. We will also rollout our e-commerce channel within the next two months,” shares Talavašková.
The brand aspires to go global. In this context, Talavašková emphasises, “Talabaya has a global appeal. Our collections are created to reflect feminism alongside fierce sense of independence and individuality, which make it appealing to women around the world. In this context, the GCC is an important market for us. With countries like the UAE – especially Dubai that is a cosmopolitan city – and the traditional Saudi market, we are able to reach a wide and diverse section of people coming from different cultures and fashion ideologies.”