Annalisa, Store Manager at O-Concept Store

Introducing Annalisa, Store Manager at O-Concept Store Dubai

Following on from our Q&A with O-Concept owner Omar we wanted to provide our customers (and readers) with more information about the people who work for O-Concept Store, Dubai.

In this blog we will be interviewing Annalisa, our Italian Store Manager, and finding out more about her background and her role at O-Concept Store.

Annalisa, Store Manager, O-Concept Store

Annalisa, Store Manager, O-Concept Store

Q – Which country do you come from?

A – I am from Italy.

Q – How long have you been in Dubai and what made you move here?

A – I have been living in Dubai  for 5 years and I moved here because of my husbands job.

Q – How do you find Dubai as a place to live and work?

I find Dubai an amazing place to live and work. It has an amazing atmosphere, it is safe, and the people you meet in Dubai are polite and gentle. Dubai makes you feel like you are in a new and comfortable dimension where you can enjoy luxury and simplicity at the same time. It has a lot of opportunities for those  want  to develop in business but only if you remain true to yourself and you never forget where you come from.

Q – What is your fashion industry experience? (where have you worked before, etc)

A – I worked for one of the largest fashion wholesaling companies in Italy. It is involved in the import/export, research and distribution of fashion throughout 7 showrooms in Italy and across an extensive worldwide network. This group has represented over  100 fashion brands inclusive of  Moschino, Donna Karan, Valentino, Bulemarine, Blugirl, Replay and Tara Jarmom.  They continue to scout for  new emerging designers.

 I was a buyer for the group’s flagship store which is a pioneering  concept store. It quickly became the trendiest fashion location in Milan. As a buyer my role also included the research of new designers and brands during the most famous exhibitions in Milan such as Milan fashion Week, Micam/Mipel, White, Pitti. I was also frequently travelling abroad to London and Paris to scout for new talent.

My fashion passion started when I was 15 years old. In the summer months I used to like to make fashion displays and I worked in a small boutique in the city where I  was living.

Q – How long have you worked at O-Concept Store?

A – I first heard about O-Concept in 2010 through a friend of mine who used to display his collection there,  and when I saw the place I immediately fell in love. I  initially started  by displaying a few Italian brands that I was distributing in Dubai, then in March  2011 I began to work  for  O-Concept, and it has been my honour to do so ever since.

Q – How do you select the designers we see at O-Concept Store?

A – When I select designers for O Concept I look for the passion they put in , I choose them knowing  the background, the inspiration  and I love to know the fabrics they use come from.  I like simple things with character and everything for O-Concept has to be original.

Q – We love your “look of the day” pieces on YouTube, how do you put your “looks” together?

A – I love fashion and I love elegance as much as  mixing colors together, it depends on the mood I am really.  I am also certificated as a visualiser and I combine this with my experience in the industry.

Q – What is going to be big in fashion for Ramadan  in your opinion?

A – Ramadan  is the holy month and we should not forget that is it is a very important time for many and it should be respected to the max. I feel what ‘has to be’ in fashion during Ramadan  is the simplicity and elegance which  makes you feel like the atmosphere we will breath in Ramadan.

Q – What can we expect to see at O-Concept Store for the rest of the year?

A – More casual styles with that touch of elegance ( as always). O-Concept will always carry items that tell a story about you when you wear them.  

Q – Who is hot in fashion right now in your opinion?

A – In my opinion those is in the fashion industry right now are the ones who have the courage to be his or herself. My personal quote about the fashion world is  Fashion is not about wearing it,  it’s about expressing yourself.”

Annalisa, Store Manager at O-Concept Store

Annalisa, Store Manager at O-Concept Store

 

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Question and Answer with Omar bin Khediya – The Inspiration behind O-Concept Store Dubai

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.

Omar bin Khediya

Omar bin Khediya

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.

A look inside O-Concept Store Dubai.

Inside O-Concept Store Dubai.

So What is an O-Concept Store Anyway?

The Scottish band Travis once sang “what is a wonderwall anyway?” as an ode to the song of the same name by Oasis. Many people have asked us “what is an O-Concept store anyway?” so we thought this would make for a great introductory blog. O-Concept store was the brainchild of our Emirati owner Omar Bin Khediya. The original concept was to create a lifestyle store combining elements of fashion and art with the goal being to attract young and passionate designers and artists from all over the world.  At O-Concept Store you can find everything from accessories, shoes to tops, perfume, aftershave, menswear and dresses in addition to unique pieces of furniture and paintings.

At the time of writing this blog O-Concept has 29 different men’s and women’s fashion collections available, some of these being exclusive in Dubai to O-Concept.

In addition to retail items across the disciplines of fashion, art, furniture and accessories O-Concept also boasts a cafe where tired shoppers can indulge their taste buds.

So “what is an O-Concept store anyway?” well it could be original concept store, or opening concept store,  but actually it’s Omar Concept, as it was his idea, simple really.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be writing about every element of the O-Concept business to give you, the reader, a greater insight into what we are all about. From our cafe to the buying process and the designers we bring to O-Concept Store we will try to provide more details of the day-to-day operations.

Till the next time, stay original.

A look inside O-Concept Store Dubai.

Inside O-Concept Store Dubai.