Rita Ora Is the New Heart of Escada

Rita Ora Is the New Heart of Escada

The euro icon and German brand have formed a heartfelt union.

The euro icon and German brand have formed a heartfelt union.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

The glamour of Escada campaigns circa the early to mid ’90s cut a statuesque, color-saturated vision of working womanhood—one that, even after she grew up to be a global pop star known for her tireless work ethic, looms large in Rita Ora’s imagination. “Those advertisements made a big impression on me,” she says. “It was always a powerful woman, with broad shoulders, who looked like she was on a mission.” Recently appointed Escada’s house ambassador, Ora channeled those early visions for her first collaboration with the German brand—a florid take on the classic Heart bag.

While poppy and accessible on its monochrome leather surface, the red bag represents the core of Ora’s famous vim: her mom, Vera. “The [article of clothing] that first made me love fashion was this silky red slip dress my mom had,” she says. “My mom is very glamorous [but she also] works really hard. She was kind of the inspiration.”

The symbolic weight of the bag extends to hard-working women around the world—particularly those of Ora’s native Kosovo. A portion of the bag’s proceeds will benefit Women for Women International, an organization that funds classes and training programs for women in conflict-bruised countries like Kosovo. And while economic opportunities for women in Kosovo may be far from a fairytale, the U.K.-raised singer hopes her prolific work will inspire future Kosovar girl-bosses. “I recently spoke to the prime minister, and a lot is happening, but [economic] progress is also slow; it’s a fresh war,” says Ora, also a UNICEF ambassador, of the Kosovo War’s aftermath. “All I can do is bring awareness to it, and do something to help them get back on their feet.”

At the new Heart bag’s launch last night, Ora certainly spread the good word, greeting guests like Winnie Harlow, Leomie Anderson, and Anna Trevelyan with her heart on her sleeve—and her shoulder.

Winnie Harlow and Rita Ora attend the launch of the ESCADA Heartbag by Rita Ora on March 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for ESCADA)

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