In our quest for inclusive clothing, Samanta Bullock found an ally in dress-maker Nasim Rua Luja. Today, we are very honored to announce that together we designed an inclusive fashion line for Rua Luja.
Rua Luja first started working as a lawyer in the UK after obtaining a law degree. However, her passion for making classy dresses finally changed her career path into the fashion field to finally pursue a fashion career of her dreams. Nasim is mostly inspired by her mother, who would sew dresses for her and her sisters when she was younger. The signature style of the garments she creates comes from her unique way of mixing the fabrics of the Eastern culture with the Western designs. Her ability to combine motherhood, work and travels makes her clothes perfectly adapted to a modern woman.
Feminine and elegant, her creations are the result of many years of experimenting with fabrics and designs. Made from high-quality fabrics which are locally sourced by her local fabric businesses. The pieces are sophisticated made with handcrafted details in their small studio in the UK. With close attention to fabric association, every piece is designed and created with the fabric in mind. Every item can be adapted to women of all shapes and sizes because everyone deserves to be able to dress elegantly and femininely. Their product selections include interesting jewellery pieces, in order for the customers to be able to create total looks.
Rua Luja’s creations are extremely modern as they take into consideration the multi-cultured societies we live in and offer options that can be adapted to every woman’s lifestyle. Consequently, inclusivity was the next step to take for the brand and we are glad they are taking it with us.
Samanta Bullock is glad to announce that we will be collaborating in the near future with London-based brand Contessina. After 2 years of friendship, fun photoshoots, we thought it was the right time to join forces and make a positive change in inclusive fashion.
The high-end brand creates products with a modern design while basing their process on traditional craftsmanship, achieving a special and elegant finish. Feminine and boho-chic, the items are easily statement pieces, ideal to dress up every outfit. Also art inspired, the brand collaborated with various independent artists on collections for the brand as well as for museum boutiques. They designed costumes for performance arts too. In a quest for quality, they embrace traditional skills with handmade pieces, crafted by struggling independent artisans, mostly in Greek family-owned studios. Their production is one of big importance for the local communities.
Clara is a multi product fashion designer with 20 years of professional experience. She has studied Fashion Design & Marketing, Costume design, Human Centred Design, Art History, Interior design and French Literature. Her collections can be found online, in selective boutiques in the UK and abroad, Museum Art shops and Art galleries. She has also designed jewellery for Opera North.
The brands’ values align perfectly with Samanta Bullock’s, focusing on issues like inclusivity and sustainability while keeping a high level of aesthetics. Contessina aims to create a positive impact with a meaningful shopping experience. They place social and environmental awareness at the core of the brand.
“Inclusion” for us is about consciousness, ethics, sustainability, integration, collaboration and Human Centred Design.
Clara met Samanta at a popup event in London in 2016. There was instinctively a mutual fondness and connection with her.
Consequently, she modelled for Contessina London very first photoshoot in Hyde Park and has been a close friend to the brand ever since.
Having been a wheelchair model from an early age, Samanta has always felt frustrated by the lack of luxurious clothing available for disabled people. Working as an advocate for inclusion within the fashion industry, Samanta has decided to join forces with some of the most innovative emerging designers to develop her brand, ‘SB’ – a unique line of clothing based on the principle that “its not about being disabled, but about feeling beautiful and comfortable whilst in the siting position”.
Born in Brazil, Samanta moved to London 10 years ago and has since dedicated her life to improving the lives of people living with disabilities. She hopes that her collection will open people’s minds and hearts.
“We must be seen to exist” – Samanta Bullock
Meet the team – 8 different designers come together to work in an inclusive way, in partnership with Samanta Bullock.
Contessina is a family fashion brand established in 1958 in Athens, Greece. Today, the brand is also based in London. Clara Poulantza is the designer of the collections and founder of Contessina Inclusive, whereas her sister Agi Poulantza-Pamoukoglu is running the head company in Athens. Contessina London and Contessina Inclusive, apart from being a quality fashion brand, it contributes positively to our society, through its socially and environmentally concerned practices.
Amaella was founded in 2016 by two friends Julie Kervadec and Lara Miller, who shared the vision of creating a fashion company with ethical and sustainable values. Amaella produces lingerie classics that are kinder to the skin and the environment, being also better for farmers and their communities.
Peter Twiss is a London based women’s wear designer who spent much of his childhood in Assam, North East India. Peter draws on inspirations from his childhood roots which are reflected in his collections and provides him with his unique signature style.
Peter has helped raise funds to improve education and medical facilities along with bringing water and electricity supplied to a small rural village in Akuman, Nagaland. He returns to Nagaland twice a year where he has a studio and manufacturing base.
RUA LUJA design their own signature look designs using high quality fabrics that are carefully considered from local businesses. Each garment is made with exquisite fabrics and hand-crafted details of skill and sophistication. All garments are made in their small studio in the UK.
Nasim Rua Luja from a young age, had a dream of sharing this love of turning beautiful fabrics into elegant dresses to show off to the world.
The London Organic Beauty shop sells a range of natural organic skincare products that have been developed only by using the purest ingredients. They don’t contain any parabens, sulfates, preservatives or artificial chemical carcinogens that have been shown to lead to cancer and long-term health issues. The organic lotions and treatments that they sell nourish the skin to a healthy, beautiful you.
BeKoffee is a project that aims to take advantage of spent coffee grounds to produce composites that are used as raw material to manufacture decorative and personal pieces. The Bekoffee pieces are handmade, have a slight coffee aroma and have a unique design, inspired both by nature and human activity.
Created by an Italian Designer Carola Del Celo and produced in the UK, Caroline London is the newest revolutionary concept brand designed to give you greater freedom to express yourself and to dress in a distinctive and ever-changing way.
It’s all about two-part garments, using a multitude of styles and fabrics that can be mixed and matched with colourful designer zips by YKK to create your own unique look.
Gunda Hafner was founded in 2016. Their personal experience with intolerances made them aware of the importance of products used in everyday life, particularly garments. In order to create individual and unique pieces, they work with natural fibres like wool, silk, linen, cotton, yak, alpaca and cashmere depending on the season. It avoids the use of plastic. The style is sporty, current, elegant, sophisticated and urban. The line aims to be accessible, refreshing and uncomplicated, yet clean and versatile.
When I did my first fashion show I was only 8 years old. I loved it so much that I always knew what I wanted to be in life. I can’t record that I wanted to be anything other than a model. Even a tennis player that I already was at that time, I didn’t want to be. This was something that ‘accidentally’ happened later on. I would say I like to play tennis as I would like to play handball and I was good at both of them. Coming back to my dream, to be a model was what I wanted to be.
What to say to a 14-year-old when she became disabled that the thing she was doing wouldn’t be possible anymore? That she wouldn’t do this, that she couldn’t do that.Yes, I was sadder I couldn’t walk on the catwalk anymore than to walk on its own. I would mind being disabled if I could walk in the catwalk and to come back to my wheelchair afterward.
The fact was, no one was doing, we didn’t have it, It would be a dream, even a dream, it wasn’t a possibility. How could you be a model 30 years ago if you were disabled? Are you crazy? …
Two months after my accident while I was still in the recovery process I got a call from an agency in Sao Paulo in Brazil asking me to model for them in Italy. The fact was I couldn’t even fight at that moment as disabled people didn’t have any representation in the fashion industry.I and never seen a disabled model on the catwalk or in magazines. Even today who is the model you have in mind when we talk about disabled models, maybe those with a minor disability, the ones the industry accept, but really who do we have as a role model? We are not even there yet to have a name that will be in your mind, maybe a few, but the name that the world know at the top of the tongue as Gisele, Naomi… many years of beautiful work that these girls are doing? It was taken from me, and I was not allowed to model again ( at that time).
I would like my legacy to make the world more inclusive, to have a new generation of models and influencers, and to give visibility to disabled people. I don’t want another me at 14 years old frustrated because she (or he) couldn’t be what she (or he) wants to be.
The option should be there. We should rediscover ourselves, make us feel beautiful, to feel relevant.
I am asking you to be open to the new concepts of beauty. We are here, we exist, we can’t be ignored. Also, the world is craving for more reality, for more acceptance and greater representation.
Sorry to tell you the Pandora’s box has been opened. We won’t come back and we won’t be quiet. From here on we only can move forward.