Sister act

effa

When Effa Al Dabbagh, founder and designer of Effa Fashion asked her sister Sumaya Dabbagh, of Dabbagh Architects, to come up with a design for her first store in Dubai, she focused on the brand’s logo of a bright fuchsia flower to create a concept.

Sumaya is a Saudi architect educated in the UK with experience in architecture, interior design and project management spanning over 18 years. She set up her company, which focuses on design aspects such as light, space, and materials ‘in relation to the human scale as well as the human experience of space’, in Dubai, in 2008.

“Effa’s brief was very simple, and simplicity makes the best projects. It was to provide a modern interior that would reflect the essence of the Effa brand,” she said.

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“The space had to accommodate display rails and shelves for womens’ ready to wear, abayas and accessories. Changing facilities, a back office and storage space was also required.”

The flower, symbolising beauty and femininity, became the focal point for the space, in the form of a custom made carpet as a centre piece. Gold, the brand’s colour depicting rays of sun and illustrating luxury was translated into vertical fins that form the structure of the display units. The circular arrangement of the display unit in the space reflects the soft, feminine aspect of the brand.

The result is a contemporary interior that is faithful to the philosophy of Dabbagh Architects as well as the essence of the Effa brand.

“As soon as the location was established, the countdown of a three month period started,” added Sumaya.

“Meeting such a challenging deadline was made possible by the clear and well-formed vision of the client.

“The design was completed in six weeks, construction in another six. “From a retail point of view, it is essential to present the merchandise in the most attractive way possible to maximise sales.

“Important considerations such as lighting and product placement were, therefore, carefully studied.”

According to Effa, founder and designer of the fashion brand, her aim in opening her first boutique was to provide an enjoyable shopping experience for her customers.

“It was important for the design of the boutique interior to reflect the Effa style philosophy, and Dabbagh Architects did an excellent job in translating this style architecturally into a retail space,” she said.

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