Caped crusader - Kabira launches its collection
Kabira Allain's label Kymaia was born out of practicality. The designer's professional background was originally in the financial services. She worked part-time after having children, but once they started school, she decided to use some of her newfound spare time to study fashion.
She wanted to design clothes that were versatile; that were smart enough for a professional; suitable for after-work events, but then could also be styled to be worn more casually as well. It was a tall order for the French woman, who has been living in Ireland for 16 years now.
"It was hard because I'm somebody who loves different styles, so it was hard to be defined by just one style," Kabira says of establishing her brand's aesthetic. "But one thing I really wanted was something versatile. I was working in banking; I was a mother; I did different things at different times. So I just wanted something that travelled well to different areas of my life."
In her own work wear, she had always avoided the suit wardrobe that so many corporates opt for, instead preferring timeless pieces that could be dressed up or down.
"The whole idea was to create pieces that are classical, that are investment pieces; and things that you can style differently," she says. Since launching in 2015, the ethos and the aesthetic of the collection have remained the same - "simple, contemporary pieces with creative details in the design".
Now, in keeping with what her core customer wants - something a little bit different from the traditional dress - Kabira has launched a collection of capes; pieces that, she says, can be worn with jeans, or to a wedding.
While she dresses women of all ages, her most regular customers are women in business who are, she says with a laugh, like her: in a way, less easy-going about what they want from clothes. These are women who want quality, interesting finishes or details, versatility, something a little more unique than the high street; as well as good fabric, quality and comfort. They want clothes that can be dressed up or down with a change of accessories.
"It's probably my French background coming through," she says. "Because in France when we go to special occasions, we don't dress up as much. We wear pieces that we will use again."
It's a philosophy we can get behind.
Photography by Anamaria Meiu
Styling by Sarah Corcoran
Words by Liadan Hynes
Fashion edited by Constance Harris
Sunday Indo Life Magazine