Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? “As a little girl, I loved to make paper dolls and design clothes for them. I started designing when I moved to London in June 2000. I became obsessed with prints. I knew early on that print would become my signature.”

Kate Middleton catapulted Issa into the spotlight but you left the label. How did you cope with that? “At first, it was a huge shock to the system. Issa was my baby for 13 years. I grew up with it, working with my favourite people in the world and loved every minute of it, so it was definitely an adjustment. However, everything happens for a reason and I’m stronger than ever now and glad to be back.”

What lessons did you learn during your two-year hiatus? “Having founded a globally successful com­pany at Issa, I am in a stronger position to deal with all the challenges that will come with Dhela. Nothing beats expe­rience and I’ve seen every part of the process, from the first mood boards of a collection to the shop floor. However, it is important to remember that the world is changing rapidly and we have to keep up.”

How does Dhela differ from Issa? “It is still my style and design DNA, but it is an evolution and the next step. With Dhela, I’m interested in developing knitwear styles and working with technology that didn’t exist while I was at Issa. My design philosophy when I founded Issa, in 2001, was to create well-cut, timeless clothes that would empower women. This has never changed and never will. I design for women to feel the best version of themselves; to look glamorous, beautiful and elegant while being able to get on with their lives.”

Tell us about the autumn-winter 2017 collection. “My mind wandered to South America – specifically Peru and the rocky, ancient glory of the Andes. I found inspiration in the bright, tribal colours worn by the indigenous people and in the wild beauty of the landscape. The collection’s palette reflects this in brilliant, vivid oranges and bright reds through to more rustic, natural colours like navy, burgundy and cream.”

What other fashion designers do you admire? “I love Yves Saint Laurent and his whole aesthetic and sense of colour and silhouettes. I constantly look at him to get inspired. Also Coco Chanel, for being such an audacious woman.”