Sabirah: The Eco-Luxe Culturally Inclusive Fashion Brand
While Deborah Latouche worked as a fashion stylist and writer for Italian Elle, the irony was not lost on her that she herself struggled to find occasion wear that met her requirements. Particularly as a Muslim woman. “I’d discover a great dress – which was difficult enough as a tall, plus-size woman – then I’d turn it around and it would be backless. There was always something revealing, which meant I’d have to cover up with another layer,” she says.
Frustrated with the constant compromise and seeing the lack of culturally inclusive brands that catered to fashion lovers like herself, in 2020, the London-based Latouche launched the luxury modest wear brand Sabirah. The made-to-measure collections – a nod to ‘patience’, the Arabic translation of Sabirah – feature candy-coloured floor-skimming dresses, throw-on crepe kaftans, exquisite cinched-waisted silk blazers with matching tailored trousers and so much more. It has been lauded by influential fashion editors such as Sarah Mower while also attracting a fanbase that includes Muslim model Ikram Abdi Omar and non-religious clients such as Ciinderella Balthazar and MNEK.
An ethos of slow fashion and sustainability is a thread that runs through the brand; the materials used are all leftover couture fabrics and vintage buttons sourced from Italy and Paris. This is why you will never find Latouche encouraging her clients to buy newness for the sake of it. Her capsule collections are introduced as something to work with a piece you already own. “We think about how women use their wardrobe. Just because you bought something two years ago, it doesn’t mean it has to be excluded from your current wardrobe,” she says. For 2023, Latouche is planning to expand her market to the Middle East simply because, “I believe in the elevation of all women, regardless of size, race or religion.” And Sabirah is a testament to that.
Yelena Grelet is a London-based multimedia journalist and filmmaker