The New York–based fashion brand NAILA launched its 2016 resort wear collection for women, men and children at the exclusive VIP opening of Urban Lounge at InterContinental Dubai Marina by the designer Naïla Chbib. Shweta Bhatia has a tete-a-tete with the young talent.
1. Do you remember the first outfit you designed? If so, what was it?
Absolutely, I think all designers will always remember their first outfit. It is very special.
It was while I was still a student at Parsons School New York. I designed it for the Parsons’ School Fashion show, which featured a selection of the school’s top designers. It was a night blue silk cape, with a silk pants, a leg of moutons jacket and a silk blue bustier.
I worked on the pattern making and stitched the entire outfit myself. It took me days working till 2am on my sewing machine but it got selected for the fashion show, which was quiet special to me.
Till this day, I still have this outfit and will probably keep it for as long as I live.
2. Tell us about your latest collection
We originally were specialized in swimwear for women and men. We are now going towards a more ready to wear collection.
The idea is to have a collection for the entire family from the mother, dad and children. We are now offering ready to wear, swimwear and evening wear. Our evening wear items are for all with an affordable price, great quality and strong attention to details.
We are mixing materials such as embroidery, silk, linen and prints in order to create a unique chic look defining the line NAILA.
We just showed the latest collection at Intercontinental Dubai Marina for the opening of the Urban Lounge around the pool.
It was a great opportunity for us to show our entire collection from beachwear to evening wear.
3. What inspires your designs?
Everything inspires me. It could be a print from a sofa, a painting, a color, a shape, a picture, a decor, vintage clothing or trips I take In fact one of our signature print comes from a sofa I saw in a restaurant. I took a picture and redesigned it. It is now the print of our men swimwear. Everything is a source of inspiration.
4. If you were not a designer, then what would you be?
Good question, I always wondered.
I will never be a banker but I could be a humanitarian, an explorer, a journalist or a PR guru.
5. What is your normal day like?
I think there is not one single day that looks alike. Last week we had a fire in the building, had a pop up store with House of Fraser, attended the Women Award, delivered clients in three different cities. Each days are very different, there is not like a routine which is what I like.
But I usually I would wake up around 6.30am. I will have an early swim at the beach or do some yoga. I prepare breakfast and lunch together as I take lunch at the office or on the road. I like to eat healthy organic food and not take away.
I am very very picky with food.
I get to the office at 9 am. Then the work day could be spend around meetings with clients, organizing production with factories, buying fabrics and trims, reviewing samples, organizing fittings and castings, following with clients’ orders, shipping orders.
I leave the office usually around 8pm. I keep a few cocktail dresses at the office, sometime even in my car, so I will change and then attend an event, preferably a fashion related event. I will get home around 11pm and drag myself to the kitchen to cook a light dinner before going to sleep.