Launched in 2019 by British born Ghanaian designer Emefa Kuadey, the luxury ready-to-wear clothing and accessories brand redefines minimalism through structure and bold femininity. israella KOBLA was created for the confident woman with a distinct sense of style. She stands out, effortlessly.
Inspiration for the Toronto based brand comes from a juxtaposition of the designer’s interests; fashion and a past life as a civil engineer. israella KOBLA pieces highlight an appreciation for architecture and timeless design. Ultimately, the goal is to redefine the way we look at minimalism and modern fashion.
One of Emefa's guiding design principles is to focus on the technical construction of each garment. She believes that a unique item of clothing should be able to attract one's attention even if its made using plain fabric. If she uses printed fabric in an outfit, it is specially designed to accentuate the style, but not be the only interesting element in the garment.
Emefa's fashion journey officially began in 2012. After her brother's untimely passing at the beginning of that year, she took the semester off from her civil engineering studies. She went to her motherland, Ghana for a period of time and spent about most days with her Aunty learning the basics of pattern drafting and sewing; something she had always wanted to do.
She found the techniques easy to pick up and after returning to Canada she found herself letting her creativity flow and building on the basics her Aunty had taught her. While completing her engineering degree, she would create custom outfits for her friends, just for fun.
Two years into her career as an engineer, something triggered her to give her long time dream of becoming a fashion designer a real go. By the start of 2018, she had moved to Toronto to attend fashion school at George Brown College. Throughout the 18 month program, she conceptualized two collections, one of which she debuted at Vancouver Fashion Week in October 2019.