By Lubna Hamdan
Rami Al Ali also says local designers need to earn consumers' trust with high quality products
Consumers have little trust in local fashion products due to the UAE’s history in relying on imports for products in the sector, according to Dubai-based fashion designer Rami Al Ali.
Speaking to Arabian Business, the founder of Rami Al Ali Couture said it is challenging to change people’s perceptions to believe in regional fashion products.
“It’s very difficult to change the formula in this region because it’s been an importer for a very long time, since its existence. We’ve been importing everything including fashion, so it’s very difficult to change the perception and mentality to believe in local product,” he said.
Al Ali, who has dressed the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé Knowles, said educating customers on local talent is key to encouraging them to buy fashion products made by regional designers.
“I would say education is the first thing and the belief and support from the region for local talent is the second thing,” he said.
He added that local products also need to be at a high level of quality to earn customers’ trust.
“Also, you have to be able to produce a product that is as original and high in quality as a foreign product that is available in market, in order to earn the trust of local consumers,” he said.
Al Ali said earlier that young fashion entrepreneurs in the UAE require more support in terms of lower set up fees and other aspects of commercial obligations.
“They need more support from the government in terms of fees. The commercial obligations they go through when they start their business is a big load for someone who is not earning enough to cover them,” he said.