Issa London Founder Quits; Designer Of Kate Middleton’s Engagement Dress Leaves, Company Now Controlled By Al Fayed Family; What Would Princess Diana Think?
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Issa London’s founder and creative director – and the designer of Kate Middleton’s now-iconic engagement dress – has left the company.
Fashionista reports that Danielle Helayel, who founded Issa London and was creative director for 12 days, is leaving during a time of rapid growth jump-started by Kate Middleton’s dress.
Kate Middleton wore the blue Issa dress to announce her engagement to Prince William in November 2010. The dress sold out within 24 hours and gave a major boost to the Issa brand.
In July 2011, Camilla Al Fayed bought a majority share in the company and began expanding the brand.
Camilla Al Fayed is the sister of Dodi Al Fayed, Princess Diana’s boyfriend who died in a car crash with her in 1997.
Issa recently opened a store in Japan and a collaboration with Banana Republic is in the works, due to hit stores August 6. Helayel will stay with the brand through the completion of the collaboration.
Industry sources say that both Al Fayed and Helayel were unhappy with each other and the split was mutual and unsurprising.
“The time has come for me to move on to focus on my art, travel and other interests. Creating Issa has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. I may be leaving, but the Issa girl will live forever in my heart,” said Helayel.
Helayel will be replaced by Blue Farrier, who has worked with Phoebe Philo at Chloe, Stella McCartney, Sandro and Anya Hindmarch.
“I am [pleased] to welcome Blue as the new creative director of Issa at such an exciting time. Her vision and passion will be vital as we expand into new categories and markets and continue the development of Issa into a truly global lifestyle brand,” said Issa CEO Angelina Ypma.
May 24, 2013 10:51 AM EDT