In just three seasons, the emerging British label Safiyaa has managed to build an impressive distribution network, including such retailers as Barneys in New York, Harvey Nichols in Riyadh and Boutique 1 in Dubai. A further boost came thanks to some major A-lister’s seen wearing Safiyaa in Spring 2014, including both Jennifer Lopez, on the American Idol stage, and Kate Winslet, to the LA premiere of her film “Divergent”, who were seen just days apart wearing both the long and short version of the cap-sleeved Petunia Dress with Gazar Inserts.
The label’s meteoric rise is all the more impressive given that the brand’s founder, Daniela Karnuts, a former producer of “Fashion Rocks”, never planned on becoming a fashion designer. One could describe it as a twist of fate. During a trip to India in 2010, Daniela found herself stranded by the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption and had a local tailor run up a few dresses to tide her over. Upon her return home to London, she fielded so many enquiries about the designs she decided to create a capsule collection.
Despite her lack of formal training, Karnuts notes that she inherited great style instincts from her mother and grandmother. “They taught me that fashion is just as much about how you carry yourself as what you’re actually wearing,” she explains. “I always choose one great piece over several fast fashion items.”