Colour, Colour Colour is what Effi Samara is about. Boasting a clientele of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst and Alicia Keys, the half Greek/half Scottish designer appeals to the known and unknown, dresses 18 – 80 year olds and has a knack for combining the 18th & 21st Century. With the backing of a dedicated team the label has managed to grow from strength to strength and if past achievements are anything to go by then there is no doubt that the future for Effi Samara is bright.
How did the label begin?
Effi has always been interested in fashion through the ages, particularly Elizabethan corsetry; Ancient Greek garments and having been a show jumper as a teenager any kind of equestrian womenswear.
After graduating with a degree in Law, Effi decided to spread her creative wings and started to create her first collection which incorporated her Scottish roots by deconstructing tartan into many different forms: bias cut, diagonal in jackets and in combination with lace and skins.
You don’t have a PR agency representing you however you’ve managed to make a name for yourselves amongst many celebrities. How have you been able to spread the word at a time when PR is so important to the fashion industry?
Many designers give clothes to celebrities for free, but luckily we have never needed to! Effi Samara designs tailored clothes that are just so wearable that they are instantly appealing to women, some of whom happen to be rather famous! We let the clothes speak for themselves and then I suppose word of mouth does the rest.
Effi Samara provides a “colour couture service” whereby your clients can personalise the colour of their purchases. What encouraged you to offer this option?
Demand! Working with our clients on the shop floor allows us to respond to their needs and really push the boundaries of simply buying a garment off the rail. We offer normal women the opportunity to enjoy a fabric and colour couture service without charging a couture price and that really is a unique selling point giving the customer an opportunity to be involved creatively with their garment is an added bonus.
How would you describe the type of woman who wears Effi Samara?
It’s very difficult to categorise as there is not typical client. We recently sold a corset for an 18th birthday and the same week made to order a wrap over dress for an 80 yr old who wanted to impress her fiancï¿½! Effi Samara dresses ladies who lunch, busy city executives, surgeons’, musician’s mothers, daughters and the odd famous actress!
What our customers have in common is their love of great tailoring, bold use of colour and a shape and structure that is very feminine and subtly sexy.
What would you like to achieve within the next five years?
We have many international clients, so continuing to build on our loyal following by branching out to New York would be the next logical step for us. We would love to see an Effi Samara in Manchester and Glasgow too.
A children’s line is in offing so in the next 12 months or so look out for miniature double breasted gabardine/wool coats, velvet jackets and cute trouser suits in the signature Effi Samara palette of colours.
How do you manage the day to day running of your shop as well as overseeing the design and production?
It takes an enormous amount of dedication, no holidays and obsession with perfection!
What do you have in store for us design wise for Spring/Summer 05.
Lots of frills and bows, printed chiffon, boned corsets, severely structured Victorian jackets.
Finally what’s the most important piece of advice you’ve been given?
Always go with your gut instinct. Do what you want to do – be true to yourself and make up your own mind.
For further info and to buy contact
15 Dover Street
London W1S 4RT
Tel: +44 20 7409 1155