Frankly speaking

We sit down with fashion designer Haya Jarrar to have an honest discussion about the fashion industry.


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We are celebrating our honest issue; can you give us some truths about the difficulties of becoming a fashion designer?

I haven’t been given a lot of this experience in school, the basics of running a business. What you learn in a design school is at times not enough to apply to your own business. It’s a big challenge. Creativity on its own is not enough to launch a fashion brand.

Is there a secret you can tell Emirates Woman that you don’t usually share?

I am currently working on a brand extension that is very close to my heart and that I will be revealing very soon!

Who is your style inspiration and what do you think gave you the aspiration to become a designer?

My main inspiration is ‘beauty’.  I find certain designers talented and admire their work, however my muses have always been people I engage with. Every person I meet has something beautiful about them which, in most cases, they aren’t aware of. This is when I realised I would like to design pieces that made individuals feel confident and attractive in their own way. If you observe my first collection, the jackets I have designed can be worn differently by all types of women, however result in the same feeling of beautiful.

Do you feel people take this region seriously when it comes to fashion?

To be very honest I don’t feel people take this region seriously at the time being. However I truly believe that we are working towards that. Arab women are some of the most exotic and beautiful women in the world. Our style is very unique and embodies a mixture of rich culture with a modern twist. There are a lot of designers in the region that truly deserve global recognition and I have no doubt that one day they will!

What did you dream you would become when you were a little girl?

I always dreamt of becoming a model. I got several opportunities to pursue my dream when I was living in London, but I decided to create art by launching Romani.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty is anything that has a pleasing effect on people. Beauty to me is both inner and outer beauty, since both have the potential of pleasing my heart!

Do you have days when you feel like you can’t do it all? If so, do you ever admit it?

It’s been hard and I’ve had moments where I almost gave up. However, my belief in myself and the fact that I can’t ever imagine doing anything else other than creating kept me going.

How important do you think Instagram is or do you feel sometimes it has a negative impact on young people?

Very important! It allows designers such as myself to put my creations out there for the world to see. The doors it opens are endless.

What is your favourite thing about working in fashion?

Apart from the fact that I enjoy all aspects of designing, there’s always something exciting to look forward to.

Is there anything you wish you could change, if so, what would it be?

I wish the region would support more upcoming talent who do it from the heart, and not just international luxury brands. There is a lot of talent here that is going unnoticed.

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Media: Emirates Woman, Instagram