How a 17-year-old artist turned her talent into a clothing brand

BY MOUJ HIJAZI

Fouz Hussain is an Omani artist and student, who was only sixteen years old when she started her own clothing brand, WYN designs, back in 2019.

Fouz graduated from The Sultan’s School earlier this year, with an International Baccalaureate diploma. In order to achieve this, she had to think of a self-initiated project, so she decided to combine this with her passion for art. Hence, the concept for WYN came about.

What makes WYN unique is that every single piece of clothing is individually hand-painted, adding a personal touch to each item and originality. Much of the profits have also been donated to charity.

The name of the brand is an allusion to Fouz’s name, which means ‘victory’ in Arabic, WYN being a play-on-words of ‘win’.

Before deciding on clothing, she was struggling with how she wanted to share her artwork.  “I realized that art accounts have been done before and I wanted to find something that’s more personal and accessible to everyone.”

“The idea of people wearing your art sounded really cool to me and I haven’t seen it done before, especially not individually painted,” said Fouz.

“So I thought, why not introduce something different into the Omani art scene?”

Fouz’s first collection was a realistic heart painted on a black T-shirt, inspired by her fascination with the heart and biology. 50% of the profits from these shirts were donated to a heart health charity.

“I know that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Oman, and I thought it’s important to raise awareness [and] funds for this cause,” she said.

But how does a student balance schoolwork and a business, especially one that requires thorough attention to detail?

“I spend at least say 5 hours on each individual piece and produce more than 40 for each collection, so it is very time-consuming and I had to [improve] my time management skills, which is why I plan each collection months before,” explained Fouz.

Fouz mentioned that having something productive to do other than schoolwork proved beneficial.

“When I find myself overwhelmed with school I tend to use WYN as a creative outlet for stress. It removes the guilt of procrastination because it’s actually something important.”

Fouz made it a point that she doesn’t do everything by herself and gives credit to others who have supported her.

“I have a very strong support system. My friends model all my pieces for me, my siblings manage my finances. They help me with the deliveries and orders, and so do my parents. They give me ideas, finding phrases and new concepts,”, said Fouz.

Save for a few critiques on pricing, the community’s reaction has largely been positive, allowing WYN to start shipping internationally.

“I found my account being shared on stories and reaching so many people and that was just how it started.”

Artists with much bigger followings have reposted WYN. “Omani artists support Omani artists and that’s amazing,” said Fouz.

“The fun thing about WYN is that it’s not strictly one type of art; anything goes.”

With no prior knowledge of marketing, she turned to her friends for help with modelling and sharing. “I’m very grateful that my friends are willing to support me.”

However, the challenges that come with this business are significant. “Our pieces get sold out in 30 minutes usually, which is amazing and our followers are very supportive, but it just it’s a lot of pressure.”

WYN’s second collection features black sweatpants with the words “everything is temporary” written in Arabic calligraphy.

For her next collection, Fouz will collaborate with her sister Farah, who will release her own line in January 2021. Fouz will also release some 70×100 canvases.

In terms of other plans, Fouz aspires to have an art gallery/lounge showcasing Omani artists, continue to produce more collections and expand her reach.

To order, message @wyn.designs on Instagram.

 

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