Mike Parker

Meet Ema Koja

Friday, January 20, 2017 at 2:46 PM

The ancient city of Tirana where Ema Koja grew up, was strategically situated in the central region of Albania. Ema was raised under one of the most repressive communist regimes the world has ever known; an upbringing not typically considered conducive to sparking a career as one of the world’s most fascinating couturiers. Fashion in her home country was not exactly catwalk-ready. It was “flat,” Ema says. “You were expected to be part of the group, to embrace the herd mentality.”

Fortunately, Ema was blessed with strong relationships with aunts who were skilled seamstresses, and who passed their inherent sense of style on to her. Ema’s father, a volleyball coach, was a national sports legend. He recognized Ema’s own remarkable athletic ability and instilled in her a relentless work ethic, uncompromising discipline and fierce independence.

The collapse of communism in her native Albania precipitated a family move across the Adriatic Sea to Italy, where Ema embarked on a career as a pro volleyball player. Ema’s athletically proportioned frame caught the eye of fashion industry insiders and she soon found herself in demand as a fitting model for such brands as Blue Marine, PARAH and Off Limit. When a shoulder injury ended Ema’s volleyball career, she was well situated to plunge headlong into the fashion industry. She embraced the process with the same fierce tenacity that served her as a professional athlete. She studied pattern making, fabrics, raw materials and artistic design. She embraced change and adversity, treating both as stepping stones and blessings in disguise. She took a year to travel the world, to feed her soul with art, culture and beauty, ending up in the vibrant, multi-cultural melting pot of Miami, Florida - a city where delicate fabrics, exotic colors and fervent artistry were embraced and celebrated. Ema knew she was home.

Ema Savahl Designs opened for business in 1996 and has been making women look and feel beautifully unique ever since. And since each dress is individually hand molded or hand painted, no two are are exactly alike. Every Ema Savahl design is a singular, wearable work of art. Celebrities from Katie Perry to Roselyn Sanchez have graced the red carpet in Ema Savahl couture. And it is no wonder. Once you see an Ema Savahl Design, you want one. Once you wear an Ema Savahl Design, you never feel the same.