O concept store is one of Dubai`s most unique fashion destinations and the brainchild of Emirati entrepreneur Omar Bin Khediya. The concept combines fashion and art and attracts young, passionate designers and artists from all over the world. You can find everything from accessories, shoes to tops and dresses in addition to unique pieces of furniture and paintings. Attached to the boutique, the Oconcept cafe is a perfect location for a cup of signature Italian cappuccino and a light snack. Oconcept Boutique and Cafe is located on Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai.
Dubai Fashion Tour had the opportunity to meet and interview Omar Bin Khediya and got him to share his experiences in the Dubai Fashion Industry.
DFT – Can you give us a small introduction about yourself and O concept store?
Omar – I am Omar Bin Khediya – founder of O concept store which has been up and running for seven years now. I am so proud to say that it started as a hobby but over the years I was overwhelmed to see how fast it grew. Basically it’s a lifestyle store with fashion, beauty, gadgets etc. for both men and women.
DFT – When did you become interested in fashion?
Omar – Fashion has always been a part of my life. My father started a fashion store in the seventies where he used to sell pieces from Europe and it was he who inspired me to start my own fashion store.
DFT – How did you get your start in the fashion industry? How did you come up with such an interesting name?
Omar – I always wanted to start something of my own. I travel a lot and I am always on the lookout for something new and unique. Initially I was keeping it all to myself then I decided to share it with Dubai. ‘O’ is the beginning letter of my name. Also I like the shape of the circle as it reminds me of infinity and the world. So I kept that concept in mind and started O concept store.
DFT- Your boutique design is AMAZING. Can you tell us about it?
Omar – I like simplicity with a twist. I add this concept to both my house and store design. It represents who I am.
DFT- What and who influences you when you are buying for your store? How do you choose the designers and pieces that you showcase?
Omar – In the beginning the door was open for all the designers as I was new to this industry. But over the years I began to be selective and now I showcase only what interests me.
DFT- Do you have some local fashion brands in your store?
Omar – Yes. Dubai is diverse with Emiratis and many other nationalities. I have local brands and I am proud to showcase it.
DFT- What do you think about the new and upcoming designers?
Omar – I used to travel to other places to see the fashion shows but now there are celebrities coming to fashion shows here because of the new and interesting designers. I am happy to see fashion becoming a big part of Dubai.
DFT- What has been your most favorite experience to date as a fashion boutique owner?
Omar – I still see the faces of people when they walk into the store. They go WOW! And say they haven’t seen anything like this. And that excites me as a fashion boutique owner.
DFT- What was the most difficult aspect of opening your boutique in Dubai?
Omar – When I opened it was the crisis period in 2009. It was a tricky time. And the next challenge was to bring something different every time to the store. People cannot be easily surprised anymore. I am constantly working on bringing that element of surprise to my customers.
DFT-What are some major setbacks that you’ve had in this particular business that you had to overcome?
Omar – Summers are usually the time I face some setbacks in business. People tend to leave the country to travel during summers. Of course people visit Dubai during summers but it’s less in comparison. So I make sure i travel a lot during Summer to find some unique and new products and pieces for the store.
DFT- What is your advice for upcoming fashion boutiques in Dubai?
Omar – The space is available in Dubai. But you should be careful regarding the quality as the competition is too much in this widespread industry. Always look to what is beneficial for the customers. I have customers walking into the store after they search online for unique or conceptual stores and I am happy about it.
DFT – What types of marketing and promotions have worked best for you?
Omar – It used to be word of mouth. But now social media works the best for marketing. Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and all types of social media helps. In my business the designers are attracting more people to come visit and shop from my store.
DFT- How does Instagram or social media affects your brands choices?
Omar – I am keeping my same set of mind while choosing pieces for the store. I do keep a tab on the latest trends and celebrity styles but I don’t follow them when it comes to brand choices for the store. People still find what they want in my store.
DFT- Who is your favorite fashion designer around the world?
Omar – Tom Rebl is my favorite designer from around the world. We recently collaborated with the international superstar Waed from Saudi Arabia. I like her design and collection too. Both these collections are available at O concept store.
DFT- Who is your favorite fashion designer in Dubai?
Omar – I like this brand called House of NOMAD run by couple of guys. It has international standard though it was started just a couple of years ago. I love the quality and their designs very much. Also there is a brand called AAVVA Fashion and I am really impressed by their work as they are dedicated to style and quality. They don’t follow any trend, they do their own thing. I like that.
DFT- What do you think about Dubai fashion industry? Do you think it will become the next global fashion capital?
Omar – Without any doubt the fashion industry in Dubai is booming in comparison to the previous years. Within a short span of time Dubai has reached a stage where it has multiple branches of numerous boutiques. I am so happy to say that I live here and I have seen how my city and country has developed and grown in the right direction. This is beautiful and amazing. It will become the next global fashion capital.
DFT- Is there anything exclusive you would like to share with Dubai Fashion Tour?
Omar – To me O concept store is my baby. I have been asked for exclusive pop ups in New York and Paris but as of now I am concentrating only on this store. I am going to bring something totally different and new to Dubai which has never been bought to Dubai or anywhere else in the world before. I am very proud of it as Dubai is going to be the first in the world to do something like that and it’s going to make Dubai proud as well. It will be disclosed eventually and you can get all the details if you follow the store on the social media platform.
Dubai Fashion Tour had an amazing time chatting with Omar Bin Khediya and wishes him all the best for his future ventures. For more information regarding O concept store and their amazing collection visit – www.oconcept.ae