Ema Koja

“Ex Nihilo”... Out of nothing. It is an attribute ascribed to those rare few for whom creativity comes as naturally as breathing.

Twenty years ago, Designer Ema Koja, created the concept and technology of strategically, hand painting artwork onto garments to produce three-dimensional textures and manipulate body shapes with optical illusion. A unique identity in fashion was born.

The artwork itself is conceived by Koja, who then applies it to the silhouettes that she also designs. This marriage of her imagination, exquisite taste and attention to detail, has earned her a significant reputation among celebrities including Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez and stylish women worldwide who covet these wearable works of art. In fact, Koja considers every woman to be an individual work of art, who deserves to be framed in an equally original work of art.

This work is unlike anything you have ever seen, because it never existed before—created, ex nihilo, from the mind of Ema. And yet, not precisely, ex nihilo. Creating these garments requires far more than vision. It is the tension between the creator and the craftsman, the master and the apprentice. It is precisely here that Ema shines brightest, for she is at her most creative when awakening the creative power in others.

“Nothing excites me more than mentoring young people to design with the right side of their brain,” Ema confesses. “I urge, cajole, and encourage emerging designers to know yourself, express yourself, create out of imagination, and bring forth that which has never existed before!”

Ema is the first to admit, it is not an easy process, and it cannot be done alone. It requires a team of seamstresses, pattern makers, and artists who all have a role in making each unique garment to produce the collection

Ema was born in the ancient city of Tirana, Albania. One might think that growing up under a repressive communist regime may not be conducive to sparking a career in fashion. But she was blessed to have been close to her aunts, skilled seamstresses, who passed on to her an inherent sense of style and the ability to sew. Her father, who was a national legend as a volleyball coach of the national team, recognized Ema’s own remarkable athletic ability and instilled in Ema a relentless work ethic, uncompromising discipline and fierce independence, Ema soon started to compete.

The collapse of communism in Albania precipitated a family move across the Adriatic Sea to Italy, where Ema embarked on a career as a professional volleyball player. Ema’s athletically proportioned frame caught the eye of fashion industry insiders and she soon found herself in demand as a fit model for such brands as Blue Marine, PARAH and Off Limit. A shoulder injury ended Ema’s volleyball career, but offered her the opportunity to plunge headfirst into the fashion industry. She embraced the process with the same fierce determination that served her well as a professional athlete. She studied pattern making, fabrics, raw materials and artistic design... 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.

Each garment, twenty years later, is still handmade and intricately hand-painted. From cocktail dresses to bridal parties, Ema Savahl Couture is worn by women of every age. All garments are proudly made in the U.S.A, pack easily, travel well and are hand washable.


Ema Savahl…making the world more beautiful one dress at a time.