XELA un jour……XELA toujours

The Designer

Nora Sahraoui   

Spontaneous, curious, and passionate about everything that I do, I am forever open to the world’s experiences. I seek to understand the differences of the cultures that I encounter and to grow from the experience.  Like many, I am a woman of many layers and complexities. I live with my demons and I am a work in progress. I need for unrestricted freedom. I am often insecure but I continue to build confidence so I can face life’s challenges and surprises.  At times I find myself in a dark place filled with sadness. I use this place as a source of inspiration and replace the blackness of my despair with the brightness of an optimistic future. The optimism changes my sadness to joy and the desire to live each day as if it was my last. I am now free and able to take charge of my life and do what I want to do.

Over the years, I have found that when I, and other women, wear black, we are often in a dark and sad place or have something to hide. We are dressing so that we are not seen; we are invisible. However, when I add color to my dress, I have a brighter outlook and a new and positive mood. Xela is the rejection of the dark and a desire for the world to see and appreciate who we are and our colorful optimism. What has inspired me as the person is what has inspired the design of Xela Fashions.

I am wholly French and wholly Moroccan. The influences of these contrasting cultures combine in me and are evident in my life and in Xela fashion. Morocco is a vibrant land with proud people, flavorful food, pulsating music and an abundantly rich culture. France is a land of haute couture fashion and an elegant and refined style. These counties are the fertile ground from which I discovered my love for fashion and are the spirit behind Xela Fashion.


Why I Design

I was born full of dreams and ideas and have grown into a strong and opinionated woman. I rejected the traditional path of marrying young and starting a family for the option to make my way in the business world. My path of personal and professional growth has led me to many places from my home of Marseille. My fashion career has allowed me to live and travel to Italy, Paris, London, Hong Kong, Dubai and Miami. Each of these cherished places has left its imprint on who I am today and the inspirations for my fashion designs.


 A fortunate twist of fate allowed me to find my life’s passion. While studying finance I took a position with a local shoe designer. He was designing a line for young woman and in between my accounting work, he would asked me for input on his designs. I began giving more input and helping with the design and together we created a new shoe line. The line was far more successful than expected and he saw that I had a talent and an eye for fashion. He also told me that I had a fashion sense for knowing the next trend and what customers would want. With this, I accepted my life’s calling to the medium of fashion and its complex mixture of fear, mystery, desire, seduction and magic.

I became the protege of the designer who taught me more than I could ever had hoped to learn about the industry. From the initial design, sourcing materials, working with vendors, and sales , I learned it all. Eventually I designed my own line working with manufacturers in Italy and Asia. With pride and excitment, I represented our line at Paris Fashion Week as well as other fashion capitals in France, Italy, and the U.K..

I then went on to work with designers in London continuing to develop my craft when trip to Dubai again changed my direction The effervescent blend of cultures and wealth gave birth to a need to create my own collection. So I created a company in partnership with my family. From there I opened my first store of ready to wear shoes.

One day a client told me that she loved my work but needed a special dress for her daughter’s wedding in Switzerland regardless of price. I was inspired by the new challenge contacting high-end fabric suppliers, using crystals, gold thread, and having all the work done by hand. The client was not only happy, but began to spread the word about my work to other wealthy clients with the need for one of a kind couture dresses. Because this first project, I now have numerous special clients in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Morocco, Tunisia, Switzerland and London.

The next stage of my personal and professional life brought me to Miami. The exciting night life, melange of cultures, and joie de vivrewas the prefect place to launch my own line of ready to wear fashions, shoes, couture and specialty dresses for today woman. I and proud to present tomorrow’s designs for today’s woman with Xela Fashions.


One response

  1. Tarek

    Congratulations for the lauch of your dream, wish you the best and many many stores all over the world


    April 30, 2011 at 5:55 pm

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