City Pulse

By Yasmin Jorge

Urbana Chappa launches her new eclectic line, Maison de Urbana, to make women feel sexy and empowered in their own skin. The designer is intrigued by the burqa – how this simple cloth that covers the entire face, except the eyes, can make women both mysterious and alluring. Chappa incorporates the burqa and veil throughout her collection, and they indeed enhance the looks of her killer, bright, both body hugging and voluminous dresses, skirts, pants, jumpsuits, hoodies and tops. She embraces color, patterns and prints well!

I sat down with Chappa pre-show to discuss Maison de Urbana. Here’s the scoop on the celeb stylist and mother of two small children who now adds ‘cutting edge designer’ to her list of accomplishments.

BN: What is your inspiration for Maison de Urbana?
UC: I am part Middle Eastern, Black, and Hispanic. I wanted to explore my Middle Eastern heritage and was inspired by the burqa, which is thought as powerful since women tell a story with their eyes. Eyes are more powerful
than words.

BN: What type of woman wears your clothes?
UC: I want to design for all women and real women – with curves and bigger than a size 2, and they’ve had children. (For example, Chappa has clients who no longer can wear Dolce & Gabbana if they gain weight.

Her celeb clients include fuller figured Natasha Henstridge, in attendance at her runway show, and
Diane Warren, a vegan who dresses more tomboyish and never in girlie dresses.)

BN: Your favorite piece in the collection?
UC: The Dara, a yellow dress because it’s rich and my favorite color.

BN: A staple in your wardrobe?
UC: Printed pants.

BN: Is there a celebrity you’d like to dress?
UC: I’d like to help Rita Ora, as it’s so important at the beginning of your career to figure out who you are. Is she like Rihanna? Beyonce? Prefers vintage Chanel? I’d also love to dress Jennifer Lopez. She has the right body type for me. She takes risks and is sexy.

Runway Details:
Make-up: Melanie Mills
Hair: Aubrey Loots

** All photos by Yasmin Jorge

Originally published February 2013
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