Canella Hostal: The Orient gets a French connection

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Canella Hostal: The Orient gets a French connection
Canella Hostal, the founder of Canella Hostal Couture.

dubai - Canella Hostal's label blends UAE and French designs

By Muhammd Riaz Usman

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Published: Sat 19 Aug 2017, 3:15 PM

Last updated: Sat 19 Aug 2017, 5:17 PM

Born in a creative French family, Canella Hostal, founder of Canella Hostal Couture, dreamt of becoming a fashion designer from the age of 12. During her childhood, she used to play with mannequins and fabrics at her grandmother's business establishment. Gradually, her play turned into a passion and transformed into a thriving business.

"I always wanted to have my own fashion label. That passion runs in my family who launched a fashion school in the Middle East - Esmod Dubai," she says.

Hostal moved to Dubai in 2003 and graduated from Esmod Dubai in 2009. She was awarded the 'Best Fashion Designer' of the year and received the Esmod Golden Needle Award. Through the years, she gained experience by working backstage for Dior, Sonia Rykiel, Balenciaga, Valentino, Giorgio Armani and Madonna's world tour.

Hostal launched her brand in 2012, handling everything herself - designing, making patterns, creating her website, setting prices and finding retailers.

"Now in 2017, we are much more organised and a bigger team across all departments of Canella Hostal," she says.

Canella Hostal collections are stocked in Polette Concept Store in Citywalk Dubai and Ivan Bitton Celebrity Showroom in Los Angeles.

Her label includes colourful and versatile looks crafted in such textiles for women to feel comfortably beautiful all day long. Her collections link textiles and couture details to combine creativity and elegance for today's modern women.

What inspires her?
Being of French descent and living in the UAE for the past 13 years have influenced Hostal's designs and her mixing of colours and styles that reflect both France and the UAE. The design style embodies a nostalgic spirit.

"I believe the influences of different styles, passions and ideas from the many creative people drawn to this region are integral in shaping the UAE into one of the most unique and inspiring places in the modern world," Hostal explains.

Through her globe-trotting experiences in Brazil, Tokyo, Korea, Hong Kong and Italy, Hostal has discovered different cultures and realised the contrast between her known world and the Orient, helping to shape her design vision.

"I don't like to copy others or be inspired by other labels. My inspiration comes more from cultural nuances and traditions of where I was born, where I live and where I travel to," she elaborates.

However, she adds: "Polette Concept Store in Citywalk is a company I am inspired by as it has provided both myself and other designers in the Middle East the opportunity to launch their labels into the market and provide a valuable window into the global fashion arena. It is the first of its kind in the world, a unique retail concept showcasing, marketing and selling the collections of local and international designers."

Patience pays
She believes her work will inspire other aspiring young designers studying at fashion schools. Hostal urges young entrepreneurs to "believe in their dreams and strive to bring their inspiration to the industry, the region and the world."

"Do not rush into anything, enjoy every moment. Do not expect to be rich or famous within six months. Each step can be a positive obstacle that will make you proud of all that you have overcome and achieved," she continues.

Hostal says the UAE market is easily accessible to everyone. However, she says, without professional studies and background, it is difficult to establish a brand. "Customers are very selective and they prefer to follow the trend," she says.

Hostal says His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is her favourite leader.

"Under his leadership, Dubai has consolidated its position as a global business hub. With world-class infrastructure, economic growth, development and ample opportunities for businesses, Dubai is far ahead of its peers," Hostal adds.

She attributes her success to her family, from whom she believes she inherited the passion for fashion and her entrepreneurial streak.

"As I am based in Dubai, I decide to be more presentable abroad. I do fashion weeks and professional exhibitions. By doing so, I have significantly increased my capacity of production and am also looking for agents to expand internationally," she concludes.


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