House of Fraser has acquired premium women’s brand Issa as part of its strategy to offer a more distinct brand offer at the department store.
The brand, which was founded by designer Daniella Helayel in 2003, shot to prominence when it was adopted as a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore a sapphire blue wrap dress to mark her engagement to Prince William in 2010.
Helayel subsequently spoke of the double-edged sword of the publicity and demand that followed and the brand, which was known for its jersey print dresses, struggled to finance the additional production. Camilla Al Fayed, daughter of former Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed, subsequently acquired it in 2013 and Helayel left (she went on to open her own label Dhela). Al Fayed closed Issa in 2015.
It has now been sold to House of Fraser for an undisclosed sum and its first new range will be showcased at the department store next week and will go on sale in the autumn with ready to wear prices ranging from £79 to £199.
“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Issa to our portfolio of exclusive brands. It is such an iconic premium British fashion label, with a strong reputation amongst fashion focused customers. It truly epitomises confidence for women, something which resonates well with our customers,” said Maria Hollins, Executive Director for Buying and Design at House of Fraser.
“The design and buying team have worked extremely hard over the last 10 months to develop a range that was true to the Issa brand, by keeping the luxury element of the clothing yet offering a modern twist. Customers will recognise the iconic Issa prints which we have developed within the range as well as the iconic styles coveted by so many,” added Hollins.