Jenny Hewett meets British designer Anoir Houmou, the man behind new Dubai-based online menswear label houmou.com to find out what it takes to launch a fashion label on the web.
For many fashion hopefuls the dream of seeing your name on clothes you crafted from scratch takes years if not decades to fulfil. At just 26, and only six out of London College of Fashion, Dubai-based British designer Anoir Houmou is well ahead of the pack. He launched his label here last month and as well as selling his personal designs, the website offers a home or office tailoring service with stylists and image consultants on hand to assist. Here, he tells us more about his edgy online-only menswear label HOUMOU and why he chose to launch it over here in Dubai.
How did you get started in the world of fashion?
I’ve been a lover of fashion ever since I can remember. I always wanted to own a fashion label, but with so much competition, it was difficult to do.
Why did you decide to launch your first collection in Dubai?
Since moving to Dubai permanently last year, I noticed a huge gap in the market for truly stylish, affordable menswear, and always found myself flying to London to shop and keep up with the latest trends. That’s how HOUMOU was born.
And why online?
The ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic in Dubai means people don’t always have time to go shopping. With houmou.com you can have everything you need delivered straight to your door within 24 hours.
How would you describe the label’s aesthetic?
It’s the perfect marriage of street life and the art of bespoke tailoring. This fusion of soul and style is an integral part of the brand’s DNA.
What inspired the first collection?
London, where I grew up. London is a very cosmopolitan city and I love seeing this diversity expressed in the way that people dress. I wanted to bring some of that edge to Dubai. It’s definitely what’s missing here.
Who are your biggest influences and why?
Tom Ford. What can I say, the man is a legend. Gucci wouldn’t be Gucci today if it wasn’t for him. Between 1995 and 1996 when he was made creative director, sales at Gucci increased by 90 percent on the strength of Ford’s collections. The man is true style.
At the moment it’s a London-based designer called Miko Spinelli. He does amazing jackets and is a rising star.
If you could choose one celebrity to wear your clothes, who would it be?
Scott Disick – I love the way he carries himself. He’s always confident in what he wears.
How has the label been received?
The most feedback I’m getting from customers is about the polos. They’re made from breathable cotton so they are perfect for this part of the world.
What trends should gents look out for in autumn?
Tonal outfitting – multiple garments in similar shades of the same colour being worn at the same time. Statement and printed wear – we’ll be seeing colour blocking and bold prints across multiple silhouettes. Bright colours – especially for the region, bold shades are now much more acceptable to use all year round, which means you can begin to utilise key pieces during summer and transition them through to autumn.
Three online stores for women
Stocks ultra embellished dresses for every occasion from US designers including Laundry and Cameron Blake.
Sells locally-designed accessories and furniture.
Vintage-style pieces from the ’40s and ’50s available for women with real figures.