Abu Dhabi style blogger Soraya Hennessy launches collection of bags
Style blogger Soraya Hennessy has taken her passion for fashion to the next level by launching a collection of handcrafted handbags.
The peppy pieces by the Venezuelan fashionista, who lives in Abu Dhabi, feature woven festival-style silhouettes and are decorated with embroidered motifs, colourful pom poms and catchy phrases such as “yalla”, “viva la vida”, “fiesta” and “habibi”.
The 26-year-old bagged herself the new venture after she created a clutch for herself and posted the pictures online.
“I started wearing it on my social-media channels,” she says. “I wasn’t sure how people were going to react – but sure enough, my followers loved the bags.”
Shortly after successfully testing the waters with her clutch design, Hennessy flew to Venezuela to meet a group of indigenous Wayuu women specialising in hand-weaving and embroidery techniques.
She spent that time designing each piece in her collection, handpicking the colours, accessories, straps and materials, and giving the artisan women phrases to work with, including “habibi” and “yalla”, that represent a reflection of her own culture and life in the UAE.
“The bags share fun messages in different languages and hopefully bring a few smiles to faces,” she says.
Hennessy moved to Abu Dhabi in 2014 from Chicago, where she spent six years studying hospitality management and working for the Hyatt Hotels group. Before that, she lived in Venezuela.
In the United States, she started blogging at chicflavours.com, and continued to blog after she moved to the Middle East.
“I remember moving to the UAE with less than 2,000 Instagram followers and not knowing anyone in the fashion industry,” says Hennessy. She now has 50,000 followers.
“I can say that hard works pays off – driving back and forth to Dubai for events and meetings and establishing relationships with PR companies has made a big difference. ”
From conception to creation, it took Hennessy about six months to complete her debut 100 per cent-handmade collection, which includes mochillas, or bucket-bag styles, and clutches.
• The bags are available at S*uce on Sea at JBR in Dubai and www.sorayahennessy.com. Prices start from Dh1,065.
Updated: October 15, 2016 04:00 AM