What’s in my travel bag - Essa Walla

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Voted Grazia Middle East Designer of the Year for three consecutive years, award-winning UAE fashion designer Essa continues to pursue his creative passion despite gaining an MBA in marketing management and economics.


His handpicked materials and selected vintage textiles sourced from Asia and Europe meld perfectly, placing his brand amongst the most sought after in the GCC and Levant region. Essa’s designs consistently weave together the traditional and the modern with his eclectic mix of fabrics that are unique and flattering.

“Hong Kong is my favourite place for so many reasons,” he says. “I love the pace of the city and the incredible resources they have for the fashion industry – everything related to garment manufacturing is readily available. I love the food and the city’s atmosphere. It’s always alive, and it feels like no other city for me.

For a long time, I always travelled with a really big old vintage duffel bag, but then I got spoiled and bought myself a nice Tom Ford travel bag, which has become a firm favourite. It’s just perfect and everything fits in it. It’s made of really good, beautiful leather, and I just love it.

Generally I don’t like to fill up my bag, and I consider myself to be very organised when it comes to travelling.

Diary:I like to travel with my diary. It’s the most important item in my bag.

Soft, comfortable clothes:I love to travel with soft, comfortable clothes because it makes me feel happy and relaxed on my trip. By comfortable I still mean fashionable, as I don’t like to dress down when I’m abroad. I’m always keen to be comfortable yet look trendy; I wear practical things that are well put together.

Jewellery pouch:I take a small pouch in which I put all of my jewellery. I don’t take much whilst travelling because I don’t feel at ease doing so, but it does depend on the occasion.

Body oils/scents pouch:I keep another small mini pouch with me, which has all sorts of things to keep me comfortable and soothed, like mini perfumes and nice-smelling body oils.

Travel documents:I don’t like to have my wallet on my body, so I keep it in the zip compartment of my bag with other travel documents.

Guidi trainer shoes:My favourite trainer shoes are from a brand named Guidi. They are boot trainers that look so fashionable and go great with my travel look.

Black sunglasses:I can’t travel without my black shades. I don’t buy designer glasses but rather pick from vintage stores or simple accessory stores. Plain, solid glasses make me look and feel like a movie star, so I just love them”.

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