As we continue to face the impactful waves of a global pandemic, there’s never been a more important time to support Middle Eastern brands. Here, MOJEH talks to Yasmin Al Mulla, an Emirati fashion designer and the co-founder and creative director of Dubai-based ready-to-wear label YNM, to discuss the impact of the crisis on a regional business, how to stay positive during times of turbulence and moving forward by working together.
Before the coronavirus lockdown came into effect, what were you working on?
We were finalising the last stage of our capsule collection in collaboration with Tiffany & Co. Thankfully this still happened, we just pushed back the dates by two weeks. We had other big collaborations with high-end brands which we’ve had to suspend for the time being and reintroduce once everything settles down.
How has coronavirus impacted upon your business?
I am a very positive person, so I am handling this situation by reviewing all aspects in this industry. This is a global pandemic which requires us to work together, and most importantly we need to be patient. This crisis effected all sectors, starting from fashion, real states and everything in between. However, the best thing to do during this period is to rearrange your goals and business plan to be able to recover once this is over.
What’s your strategy for business now?
We’ve taken time to pause and have stopped everything for now, but the great thing is that we were preparing for our current collection ahead of time (production wise). Our capsule with Tiffany & Co. is still something our client needs at the moment. With or without the lockdown — the caftans are essential elements even for dressing at home. And we’re also launching our first RTW abayas.
Post-crisis, we will continue to study the market, observe, and introduce the missing gap in this field. Expand in the right direction and proceed with sustainable products.
What advice could you give to others in the industry upon getting through this crisis?
You are not alone. We are in this together, and we can get through it together. Take this time and think of from a positive perspective, rearrange your business plan, use your time to get inspired, and prioritise your tasks based on the given circumstances.
Can you tell us about your personal interest in wellness and how this has helped you to stay optimistic?
As a long-term advocate of health and fitness, I believe that optimal eating is a sustainable and beautiful lifestyle. I have maintained a gluten, dairy, and refined-sugar-free diet for many years now, and that’s in addition to my workouts and strength training, yoga, and meditation. I’ve been focusing on nourishing, nutritious and wholesome food and believe that consuming everything in moderation is key — this is the ethos I practice in my daily life.
Finally, how are you trying to stay positive during this difficult time?
By believing that we are in this together. Let’s stay positive and optimistic. It is our opportunity to contain and prevent this epidemic from spreading — for our parents, families, and our loved ones – to help our community, our country, and our beautiful world.“This is, above all, a humanitarian crisis that calls for solidarity.”