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The brand has also found fans in Priyanka Chopra, Kate Winslet and Michelle Obama.
Meghan Markle is currently in the midst of wrapping up her final commitments in London with Prince Harry as senior members of the royal family, and boy is she doing it in style. Over the weekend, she attended the Mountbatten Festival of Music in a jaw-dropping red caped gown that set the internet ablaze. Safiyaa, the British brand behind the dress, has become the go-to choice for women looking for an understated and elegant wardrobe since it was founded in 2011. Known for its interesting cuts and drapes, sleek silhouettes and monotone ensembles, Safiyaa has clearly found a fan in the Duchess of Sussex, who has worn the brand on multiple occasions since becoming a royal. Read on for 5 things to know about the under-the-radar British label.
1. It’s an answer to bespoke men’s suiting
Tired of constantly looking for new things to wear in a professional setting while men could just rely on a finite set of bespoke suits, Safiyaa founder Daniela Karnuts decided to launch a service that offered tailored, custom-made clothing for women. Like a bespoke suiting shop, which offers a wide array of styles and colours, she opened a studio in London’s Mayfair district with “eveningwear and ready-to-wear made to order and in multiple colours to choose from.” Named after her daughter, Safiyaa—which means purity—launched with 12 staple designs including jackets, trousers and cocktail dresses and has since expanded to dozens of styles in 60 different shades.
2. Every item is made to order
Everything by Safiyaa is made-to-order in their Mayfair atelier by a team of dedicated artisans. Each item is crafted by hand from start to finish by a single craftsperson, using traditional techniques and detailed embroideries. Karnuts calls it “demi-couture at a ready-to-wear price point.” The brand’s retail prices range from 580 CAD for tailored trousers to 2500 CAD for a cape-sleeved gown.
3. Meghan Markle owns multiple Safiyaa pieces
Royal watchers will recall that the Duchess of Sussex wore a caped gown nearly identical to the red dress while on Fiji for a royal tour in October 2018. Markle wore the dress, in a striking shade of royal blue, to a state dinner hosted by the President of Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel. She wore the brand again—this time, a beaded monochrome dress—to the Royal Variety Performance in London a month later.
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4. Safiyaa has many celebrity fans
Markle isn’t the only loyal patron of the brand. Other famous A-listers to wear the British label include Gillian Anderson, who wore a white column dress to the 2020 Golden Globes; Priyanka Chopra, who wore a chartreuse jumpsuit for a television appearance on an Indian talk show in 2018; Michelle Obama, who wore black and white separates on her Becoming tour in 2018; and Kate Winslet, who wore a sleek red gown for the Divergent premiere in Los Angeles in 2014.
5. The brand now offers bridalwear
After a lot of demand from her customers, Karnuts branched out into bridalwear last year. Offering a sleek, streamlined alternative to traditional wedding gowns, her offering includes column dresses, tuxedos, jumpsuits and tailored separates in her signature stretch-crepe fabric. Embellishments, embroidery and sculptural detailing add a special touch to the otherwise minimalist pieces.