It’s been only two short years since Dubai-based Jordanian designer Haya Jarrar launched her brand, Romani. Her head-turning designs are, however, already a huge hit with the region’s “It” girls. Her edgy designs have made their way into some of the most fashionable closets, including those of influencer Karen Wazen and designer Amina Muaddi.
The Dubai-based brand recently hit the reset button on its website. As the reimagined website goes live, Savoir Flair sits with Jarrar to discuss the brand, its inspiration, and the latest Fall/Winter 2020 collection.
Can you please explain the story behind the brand name? What does it stand for?
Romani is the language of gypsies, a unique group of people that never identified themselves with a territory. The Romani identity is bound up with the ideal of expressed freedom.
I have always been fond of the Romani culture and wanted to bring this essence to life with the formation of unconventional pieces that allow women to express themselves freely.
What prompted the recent relaunch?
We created a new website for the brand to offer better services for our clients and with the launch of the new website, we relaunched the brand and the new Fall/Winter 2020 collection.
Who is the Romani girl/woman? How would you describe her?
The Romani customer is fearless, confident, wild, and feminine. She is a woman that loves to stand out. She wants people to turn and look at her when she enters the room. She is someone that values quality and unique designs. She wants to dress to impress all the time. She is a global trotter and trendsetter.
What is the inspiration behind the Fall/Winter 2020 collection?
Our Fall/Winter 2020 collection is inspired by soap operas from the 80s, with a modern twist. Starring big shoulders, sparkly details, and big feather sleeves, the collection features pieces with a strong character. It features eye-catching pieces that emulate strong characters, just like the leading ladies of the 1980s television show Dynasty.
What are the key components of your design ethos?
Quality, edginess, flattering designs, uniqueness, and playful cuts and materials.
Your collections are often described as edgy and feminine. What does femininity mean to you?
To me, femininity means power, strength, edginess, and beautiful simplicity.
The pandemic has pushed us all to work remotely. What were the challenges that you faced in designing, producing, and launching the collection through the pandemic?
The pandemic definitely delayed the launch of our Fall/Winter 2020 collection. Production and sales slowed down significantly. However, it was a beautiful time for us to take a step back and breathe.