We interviewed Bader Barqawi, Owner of Stache in Saudi Arabia:
What inspired you to start your company?
Lack of cool concept stores in saudi arabia focusing on the western/arab pop culture lifestyle.
Describe your average customer.
Our average customer is a local who either lived/resided, went to college, continuously travels to the US/UK who is trendy, middle to high end social class, updated with fashion and music industry searching for cool clothing/accessories to shop in saudi arabia.
You said your clothing lines are "inspired by the casual yet hip styles of the American pop culture." Can you talk about the blending of Western and Arabic cultures in the fashion world?
Arab pop culture has been a big thing recently but still in its baby steps. There is great appeal to the audience for this movement and support of designers. Alot of arabic designers come showcase their fashion/lifestyles and express their artistic designs through cool apparel and accessories. They pick up alot of concept applied in the US and other western countries and then apply it to the arab pop culture by tweaking in some arabic styles and caligraphy. An example of such replicas are all the painting of celebrities, cool iconic landmarks, music icons, and some funny western quotes arabized. The arab pop culture is still in its baby steps and the appeal of this movement.
Favorite color? Green
World Cup Team? Germany
Favorite city to visit? Los Angeles
Cats or dogs? Dogs
Anything else you would like to tell us about Stache?
Stache is the new fresh urban boutique/concept store; representing and supporting local and regional arab designers. Our goal is to grow in the main cities of saudi arabia and eventually spread to Dubai, Beirut and other regional cities by collaborating with talents.
Here is a great interview from our California friends at West of Camden:
Tell us a little about the birth of your company and how you got to where you are today.
I formerly worked in the fashion industry and decided a couple of years ago that working my tail off for someone else’s dream wasn’t what I wanted, so with the support of my already entrepreneurial husband, we created West of Camden. The name refers to Camden Market, London, where I studied abroad in college. We went to many of the markets and I just loved how eclectic they all were, you could find anything under one “roof”, and I wanted that for the store concept.
We opened a kiosk at Fashion Island for the holiday season in 2012, then started westofcamden.com and set up booths at different art walks in Southern California.. then gained enough of an online following to start looking for the brick-and-mortar, which is where we are lucky enough to be today!
You’re located in Corona del Mar, South of LA. Why is Corona del Mar the place to be in Cali?
CdM is great because it’s nestled in between other great beaches: Newport to the North and Laguna to the South… Plenty of foodie goodness and gorgeous ocean views from the cliffs.
We love your style and wide array of products—from rugged Chaser Tee’s to adorable Cruciani Bracelets--Studio Manhattan Art + Design is in good company on your shelves. How do you decide what brands to bring into your store?
Thank you! It’s a pretty simple criteria: If we like it, would sport it, would recommend it to others, feel it’s fairly priced and great quality, we go for it.
Why do you think customers are drawn to Studio Manhattan products? Which of our products are your favorite and why?
Everyone loves a photo that reminds them of a moment in time, somewhere they’ve been or want to go etc, and all of your products give that to the customer. My fav product has to be the credit card holder because that’s what I bought my first time in New York from you.. again, if I like it for me, I want it for others!
We love following you on social media. Do you prefer Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter? Why?
Instagram. Who doesn’t love taking pictures for “work”?
Speaking of playing favorites, tell us which of following you like best...
Sunbathing or surfing?
Clippers or Lakers?
Laker hopeful more than faithful
Enchiladas or Tacos?
Red or White?
Venice Beach or Santa Monica?
Hmmmm which has less traffic on the way there?
The OC or 90210?
Are we talking Real Housewives now? hehehe Orange County..minus The Housewives
Anything else we should know about West of Camden?
Look for us to expand our own brand with more in-house designs, as well as an artist series of local photography on our favorite soft cotton tees and tanks for both guys and girls!!
PS> we love you Studio Manhattan!!
At Studio Manhattan, we're always on the lookout for stylish citizens who know how to rock our accessories with flair. That's why we're teaming up with fashion guru Elle Fure of Elle's Empire State to bring you fresh looks from an artful eye. Her first assignment? Strutting her stuff down the streets of Manhattan with our newest bag, The Waverley Backpack! Read on and stay tuned for more of Elle's ensemble experimentation to come!
Our Vice-President Emily Guggino sits down with Studio Manhattan Founder, Photographer, and President to pick his brain. Up for discussion? Topics range from the American Dream, to an interesting run-in with former President Bill Clinton, and even advice for living meaningful life. Read on. It's worth your while.
We're so excited to be in our new space on Fulton Street! Here are some pictures of the office and store space (still under construction and in progress), plus some pictures of our new neighborhood. Stay tuned for more progress pics soon! #studiomanhattan #fulton #street #south #seaport #office #headquarters #store #progress #pics #getexcited