A revered name in Oman's growing fashion industry, Amal al Raisi views the pandemic as a period in modern history that many of us have not experienced before. It is a very challenging time that pushes almost everyone, including businesses to rise to the new challenges and think out of the box, including the industry which she falls under.
"We as human beings are going through a phase we have never experienced before. I must say it is challenging. When it comes to business, I am someone who plans ahead of time and has my goals set for the coming year but Covid-19 changed everything," she shared during an exclusive email interview with Oman Daily Observer.
Amal added, "From doing yearly goals to narrowing it down to daily goals has been tough but I am learning to embrace the beauty of taking each day as it comes."
From Amal's viewpoint, the fashion industry, too, has taken a very alarming downward trend.
"There had been many changes in the fashion industry during the last two years. Yes. it had a huge impact on the fashion industry. Personally, I take part in fashion shows regularly across the globe and I miss that," she said.
"Although I must say that social media has played a major role in uplifting local and regional brands during the pandemic, to run a successful business, part of what we do is understanding the buying behaviour of our clients which is extremely important. I think the pandemic taught us to take up new challenges and push ourselves to think out of the box," she added.
Amal noted that people are still trying their best to have a sense of normalcy in their day to day activities despite the day to day challenges.
"I believe that people dress up for themselves and if it brings them joy and happiness, then why not? I think it's important to stay strong and happy during such tough times for our loved ones," she said.
Just as any other business, Amal has taken the opportunity to venture into new things amid the pandemic realising how important it is to keep going despite the challenges.
"I introduce new products that cater to the current needs and I am happy that I did. I think my most remarkable achievement during this time was introducing my Resort Line which is the perfect stay at home relaxed loungewear that everyone can wear. I curated the resort line catering to the needs of my clients in the current scenario," she said.
"My latest collection is Autumn Winter 21 which was inspired by Wakan Village. It is dedicated to resilient women and I've looked into the strong layers embedded in each woman to come up with the pieces to stay true to my inspiration. With flowy silhouettes and feminine aesthetics, this collection is as dreamy as the Wakan Village," Amal said.
She explained, "The collection offers trendy collars and balloon sleeves which are embellished with the signature style of the Amal Al Raisi brand along with a variety of cuts suitable to all body types."
Asked how Wakan plays into the collection, Amal uses the summary of her lookbook saying, "Similar to the Sakura blossom in Japan, when the apricot fowers of Wakan Village are in full bloom, the village turns into a paradise with white fowers that are visible from miles away. These flowers symbolise change and new beginnings which is captured in the latest collection through the signature embroidery of leaves and flowers."
She added, "Strong hues of grey and black which signify fortitude and power are fused with hints of turquoise symbolizing emotional balance and femininity while pale rose expresses grace. Together these colours offer a meaningful colour palette. Playing with hard and soft fabrics in this collection depicts how underneath the tough exterior that women portray, there lies a delicate side."
Amal hopes "things will go back to normal in the coming months with borders finally opening up and everything falling back into place."
"I think the pandemic taught me, perhaps everyone, the importance of staying healthy leading a healthier lifestyle. For our followers and the community in general, I hope we all find the positive side of our grave situation. This is a very difficult phase we are going through but once all this ends, I am hoping it will be a beautiful time because the pandemic taught us to value every little thing in our life," she said.