Dancer-turned-designer, Martina Cancio, has recently swapped the dance floor for the sketchbook after being influenced by the style of both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Brazilian state of Bahia, her hometown.
A fascination with the two different styles led Cancio to create a fusion of them both – an abayana. The abayana blends the traditional middle eastern abaya and the vibrant style and colours from Brazil.
“Abayana is an open abaya that differs from the traditional ones, which are black and front-closed. The colours came from the Senhor do Bonfim wrist ribbons, which come in all colours but black”, explains the dancer and now fashion designer.
Cancio claims that her revolutionary idea came from wanting to please women from all nationalities.
“The women like them. I want to design something joyful to please non-Muslim foreigners but like the elegance of the abaya, and also to please the Arab women, who use the black abaya in public but that can wear the abayana in their private parties, and the young women that already use the more open black abaya”, she says.
There are currently three different styles being sold, with more in the process of design and manufacture.
Cancio’s designs are sold in UAE for the retail price of approximately £100.
Photo Credit: ABAYANA