As we have only just started out with the O-Concept Store blogging platform we thought it only appropriate that we should interview our creative force and owner Omar bin Khediya. In this informal Q&A session Omar outlines the O-Concept, concept, his inspiration and some other interesting tit bits.
Q – When did you first become interested in fashion?
A – Since I was old enough to remember I have always taken a great interest in fashion and art in all its many forms. In my formative years I would spend hours looking through the many magazines that my family would bring home from abroad. My father opened a fashion store when I was a child and he would take me with him and I was happy just to sit there and watch people trying on the different outfits.
Q – Your store is located in Jumeirah 1, how did you choose this particular area for your shop?
A – Jumeirah has a place in my heart as it was where I was brought up. The building where O-Concept Store is located is where our old family home used to be.
Q – Can you explain the choice of shop name?
A – I find a real beauty in the shape of the circle and its infinite nature. The “O” also represent the first letter of my name.
Q – How did you first get into the retail business?
A – As mentioned previously my father used to own a fashion store so it was logical for me to open my own.
Q – What is the central theme of O-Concept?
A- O-Concept is a life style store where u can find items that are unique and different from other stores within Dubai.
Q – What inspired you to create O-Concept?
A – Dubai has sought to be a pioneer in so many facets of life and this inspired me to come up with a new style and concept for the way people experience shopping. I included the cafe within the same space to allow to relax and feel comfortable with their shopping experience.
Q – Your selection of merchandise ranges from skin care, art, furniture and young emerging designers. How do you put together this heterogeneous choice of objects?
A – Dubai is a very cosmopolitan city and people from different genders and ages lives here. With this diverse demographic and the experimental nature of our customers we aim to provide as diverse a choice as possible each season.
Q – Who are the people you most admire in the fashion industry?
A – There are so many I could name but essentially I admire designers who takes chances to create something new and different.
Q – Emirati designers feature heavily at O-Concept, what do you think the future holds for the Emirati fashion business?
A – With the media and education that we have here i think Emirati fashion is going to be global very soon. Many Emiratis travel the world and experience many different cultures that they then bring back to the UAE. Dubai has already established itself as an excellent tourist destination and shopping has become pivotal to that experience for visitors.
Q – Do you have plans to extend the store to other Emirates in the UAE?
A- Actually I have been approached to open in stores in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and even as far afield as France. I consider O-Concept to be my baby and at this stage I feel it is too early to expand. Further to this I prefer to keep O-Concept in one location to maintain the magic and to keep it special.
Q – What are your favourite places to visit in Dubai and overseas?
A – There are too many locations overseas to mention but I always like to visit Colette in Paris and the Opening Ceremony stores in New York and Los Angeles.
Q – How do you choose to spend your time when you are not at the store?
I always make time for my family and for dinner with friends. I also love to travel whether it be for work or pleasure.