Whenever the topic of a conversation turns to regional style, Dubai is never far down the list of cities to applaud and, indeed for some, to denigrate. It’s a city that divides opinions. For us, if you know the right places, it’s an environment of the most refined and contemporary of tastes.
One store we always make a point of heading to is O Concept Store on Jumeirah Beach Road. Opened in 2012 by Emirati entrepreneur Omar Bin Khediya (above), for the past four years he’s covered clothing, accessories and even food from the most stylish and unique of perspectives.
Who better to get a view on the bigger picture on style than from Omar?
Style is an often-ephemeral concept. But what, to you, defines the essence of true style?
True style comes from within. We can all dress from head to toe in expensive brands but unless we exude from the inner core, what is on the outside is pointless in my personal opinion.
And what is the style essence of O Concept Store. What style message do you endeavor to reflect?
O Concept is a multi brand high-end boutique and we endeavour to reflect a sense of peace, calmness and an enjoyable shopping and eating experience.
What’s exciting you most amongst your new brands for Fall 2016?
We are honoured and excited to have exclusivity with a leading Italian brand called Tom Rebel. This line for men and women is highly popular and brings an edgy feel which is in great demand in the ever evolving UAE fashion scene.
Which are the Kuwaiti brands that you stock?
We love Kuwaiti talent and are constantly on the lookout for up-and-coming as well as established designers in association with PR Passion, namely Tara Sillery. Last season we stocked the popular Kuwaiti designer, DesignME by Mashael Al Mutawa and look forward to announcing more leading Kuwaiti designers for the coming season.
How do you assess the region’s style sense? Are we leaders or followers?
The UAE is a very transient country with many nationalities and is a hub for fashion designers and fashion trendsetters. I believe the region for sure is a leader within the industry and this is clearly evident by the number of International Designers who approach us on a daily basis. Many of our clients are from all around the GCC as well as locally and are definite leaders when it comes to making an impact in the fashion industry.
Does the region generate its own style, or do we today reflect a morphed global style?
I believe we reflect our own style. Despite our Emirati culture of wearing local attire, you can see how stylish the women are with their shoes and handbags and the men with accessories. It’s also very well known that Kuwaiti women are one of the most stylish groups of ladies in the world.
How would you define your own personal style?
Whilst I love wearing my national attire, international fashion is a core element of who I am as a person. I love wearing clothes to match my mood and obviously due to travelling so often to buy for the Boutique I always have a great opportunity to try different styles and colours. My style is somewhat conservative with a twist of adventure and an element of “going outside of the norm”, within reason of course!
Food is one of today’s biggest style indicators and O Concept Store has a great café. What are the hottest items on the menu? What will be 2017’s kale and quinoa salad-beater?
I don’t need to think about that ! Home-made Pain Brioche with mixed berries and Nutella! We are known for our love of sweet things in the UAE and this for sure is a best seller. We are also very renowned for our signature coffee; Nanacino. We are continuously following food trends in the market and endeavour to bring a more organic feel to the menu for 2017.