LONDON — Daniella Helayel, the founder and creative director of Issa London, which made headlines when the Duchess of Cambridge revealed her engagement wearing one of the label’s dresses, has left the company.
An announcement is expected today.
Her departure comes two years after Camilla Al Fayed, a daughter of Mohamed Al Fayed, the former owner of Harrods, took a 51 percent stake in a new company set up to develop the Issa brand globally. Helayel was the minority shareholder.
Angelina Ypma, who took over last year as chief executive officer of Issa London, said: “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.”
Helayel will leave the business to pursue other interests, starting at end of the year. “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.”
Industry sources said that Helayel left the company by mutual agreement, and the split was not acrimonious. A source familiar with the company said that both sides had been unhappy for a while, so Helayel’s departure was not a shock.
The company confirmed that Helayel would fulfill Issa’s collaborations with Banana Republic and C&A in Brazil.
As reported, Issa is collaborating with Banana to produce a 40-piece collection that launches on Aug. 6. The line will be carried at more than 450 Banana units in the U.S. and about 700 stores globally, as well as online.
The company said that Issa London achieved record sales in the first full year under new ownership, and continues to grow strongly across all key markets. Al Fayed remains its majority owner and chairwoman.
The brand recently opened its first freestanding store in Japan with others planned to open in the near future, the company said. Issa London now wholesales through 350 stockists globally.
The brand is best known for its figure-flattering jersey dresses in bold solids or bright prints, and shows during London Fashion Week.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)