10 minutes with fashiondesigner Romani
Romani a.k.a Hay a Jar ra rs its down with Emirates Woman for an honest chat
We are celebrating our honest issue; can you give us some truths about the difficulties of becoming a fashion designer? I haven’t been given a lot of this experience in school, the basics of running a business. What you learn in a design school is at times not enough to apply to your own business. It’s a big challenge. Creativity on its own is not enough to launch a fashion brand. Is there a secret you can tell EmiratesWoman that you don’t usually share? I am currently working on a brand extension that is very close to my heart and that I will be revealing very soon! Who is your style inspiration and what do you think gave you the aspiration to become a designer? My main inspiration is ‘beauty’. I find certain designers talented and admire their work, however my muses have always been people I engage with. Every person I meet has something beautiful about them which, in most cases, they aren’t aware of. This is when I realised I would like to design pieces that made individuals feel confident and attractive in their own way. If you observe my first collection, the jackets I have designed can be worn differently by all types of women, however result in the same feeling of beautiful. Do you feel people take this region seriously when it comes to fashion? To be very honest I don’t feel people take this region seriously at the time being. However I truly believe that we are working towards that. Arab women are some of the most exotic and beautiful women in the world. Our style is very unique and embodies a mixture of rich culture with deserve a modern global recognition twist. There and are a I lot have of no designers doubt that in the one region day they that will! truly What did you dream you would become when you were a little girl? I always dreamt of becoming a model. I got several opportunities to pursue my dream when I was living in London, but I decided to create art by launching Romani. How do you define beauty? Beauty is anything that has a pleasing effect on people. Beauty to me is both inner and outer beauty, since both have the potential of pleasing my heart! Do you have days when you feel like you can’ t do it all? If so, do you ever admit it? It’s been hard and I’ve had moments where I almost gave up. However, my belief in myself and the fact that I can't ever imagine doing anything else other than creating kept me going. How important do you think Inst agra mis or do you feel sometimes it has a negative impact on young people? Very important! It allows designers such as myself to put my creations out there for the world to see. The doors it opens are endless. What is your favourite thing about working in fashion? Apart from the fact that I enjoy all aspects of designing, there’s always something exciting to look forward to. Is there anything you wish you could change, if so, what would it be? (be honest) I wish the region would support more upcoming talent who do it from the heart, and not just international luxury brands. There is a lot of talent here that is going unnoticed.
“I take it one circumstance at a time. I continually remind myself that it will get better and whatever tough time I’m going through, it shall pass”
Joan, welcome to January! Are you a big or small goal setter? I am a big goal setter. It takes more time and patience but the outcome pays off. The reward is worth the wait. And it teaches you determination. It’s extremely rewarding when you accomplish your long-term goal. It’s almost like a wish come true. When you first entertained the idea of being a model, what kind of response did you get from your friends and family? I entertained it when I saw that models are able to travel the world, get paid for doing it, and having the freedom to choose your schedule when need be. My family was wondering how can I make a living off of it. Nothing about fashion made sense to them at the time. But I had their full support and love so it made it easy to stay determined. Did you yourself always know you could do it? I was always hopeful, but challenges along the way made me doubt myself at times. For the most part I remained optimistic in knowing I would make my own mark in the industry. I’ve been fortunate to have a group of people in the industry that saw something special in me, and helped me develop. What do you tell yourself to keep going when times are tough, both professionally and personally? Remember why you started. And the hardships make me stronger. I take it one circumstance at a time. I continually remind myself that it will get better and whatever tough time I’m going through, it shall pass. Now you’ re at the top of your game. How do you stay true to yourself and your beginnings? I stay grounded and remain
focused with family. I don’t think of myself as being at the top because then there’s no further growth. I remain humble and push myself to go further and strive for my dreams. Tell us about your Puerto Rican roots – where and how do you bring your culture into your everyday life? Being Puerto Rican has always been a pride and growing up inclusive of all races since we are a mix ourselves has been part of my DNA in everything I do. So, it’s been normal to me to see people for who they are and not their cultural background. To remain open minded is how I intergrate my cultural beliefs into my everyday life. What would you like to change in the modelling industry?
Is there anything that has affected or has affected you? To have a social responsibility when deciding the message they put out to their consumers and not just do it because they are riding the wave of trends. Also to have transparency in jobs/ contracts – it has become much more than just showing up. There are so many variables that I think agencies should be more direct and honest in some instances. What’s the most honest thing someone can be or do to be a good person? To stay true to themselves and do good by others. Have a good heart and be kind. And finally, what’s the one resolution you have kept? Or if you don’t have one, what is the one resolution you would like to keep? To eat less sweets. It’s a hard one to keep because I have like four sweet tooths. I need to meditate more often and I’m looking forward to making it a daily routine for 2019.