Suhad Shtayyeh
Amman, August 30, 2016
by Suhad Shtayyeh

Edelina Joyce Issa || Truly, Madly, Deeply A Fashion Designer

Today is Edelina Joyce Issa’s big day, showcasing her personal fashion collection at Amman Design Week. A passion she has worked tirelessly on for over a decade. As the visitors of the exhibition take in her designs, I am sure they will get to know her also. For she is truly, madly, deeply a fashion designer… Her precision and vision will emanate from the silhouettes, her ambition showcased in the unabashed creativity, and her respect for fashion design reflected in the cohesive, sophistication of her collection.

Dressed in head to toe black; trés London fashion scene, the Anglo-Jordanian fashion designer takes time out of her hectic last minute preparations to meet me for a coffee. As she walks into the café she is simply as suave as her Victoria Beckham cross body handbag. No drama or emblazoned Gucci-esque logo, she is as calm and collected as the discreet embossed VB logo. She is self-assured and confident in her understanding of fashion. Her conversation is gentle yet her vision crystal clear, as streamline as the handbag’s design. Edelina’s collection was completed a few weeks ago, as with everything she is organized which any successful person will tell you, is the only way to be if you want your creativity to flow, and flow it has! Not surprising that one of her favorite quotes is,

‘Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.’

The one thing Edelina knew for sure since the age of four, was that she loved fabric. Falling in love with her father’s plum silk shirt was the start of her love affair with textures and materials. The fact that the shirt was Valentino possibly helped! She loved to put pieces together, to create something entirely her own. This individuality has stayed with her over the years, with her college professors saying to her, ‘can’t you ever design ordinary clothes? Can’t you just take inspiration from flowers or something?” Her answer always was a flat out “NO”.

‘Can’t you ever design ordinary clothes? Can’t you just take inspiration from flowers or something?” Her answer always was a flat out “NO”.

But then again there really isn’t anything ordinary about Edelina Joyce Issa… I genuinely believe that people may evolve over the years but their principles remain the same. She has always loved fashion, and as with the fabric that she played with in childhood, she pieced together a career in the industry, slowly but surely… 'Fashioning' for herself a respectable career in one of the most competitive style capitals of the world, London. Edelina was thrown in the deep end when she enrolled at fashion school in the UK. At a time when fashion education was considered an uncertain career path in the Arab world, she moved to London where the fashion business was competitive and serious business. For six years she worked day and night on her education.

“It is a tough industry, and the bar is high, really high. I started from the bottom of the ladder up, working in 3 high street houses before I could even become an unpaid intern at a major fashion house. It was difficult to achieve, but I worked hard it paid off.”

Yes it paid off with some serious recognition… She graduated top of her class, she was mentioned by name in the graduation ceremony, her final collection was chosen to showcase at Graduate Fashion week and she became a finalist for the Fashion Innovation Award! When I asked her who the woman was that she dreams of designing for, she shared,

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