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Tailored to Fit: Arbor for Fashion

Women’s clothing is an especially nuanced sector particularly when taking into account the local customs and complexities of Gulf culture. Fashion is a world where designers like Tom Ford write and direct Oscar-bait thrillers, and particular articles of clothing can function as uniforms, social chains, and personal statements… simultaneously.

Wisaal recently had the pleasure of working with a women’s fashion start-up. The project, under the wing of a prominent local benefactor, has been in development for some time. Recently it reached an important crossroads with key pieces having fallen into place: the partners were aligned and the designers selected. All that’s left was for a brief to be prepared by the company to be given to the designers. However, a fluctuating vision and mission had made it difficult to set aesthetic and functional directions for the clothing line. This was only compounded by conflicting opinions in the numerous focus groups conducted by Wisaal to assess market demand. In the end, we were asked to step in to purify the waters.

To address the very specific challenges facing the company, Wisaal tailored an intensive half-day version of the Arbor programme to ruthlessly zero in on the specific challenges of the company: honing in particularly on the vision, mission, and values, and opportunities and threats.

Four hours and several charged discussions later, the Wisaal team successfully threaded the daring ideas of the start-up’s leaders into a powerful and cohesive mission statement from which all future designs could be drawn. Though not our specialty, we enjoyed the insights into an industry that, in many ways more than any other, is shaped by its environment. Working with the company to produce an identity and goals that were simultaneously immersed in the local environment, and transcendent enough to be identifiable in any design regardless of who, where, or why was a particular pleasure.

Stay tuned for news on developments of the company that we will share here as they unfold. For more information on Wisaal’s Arbor strategy workshop, please go here:

What do you think the role of women's fashion is today in the Gulf? Are aesthetics or functionality more important? Can fashion be a conduit for change in the region? Share your thoughts!

*Arbor: an axle or spindle on which something revolves; a garden structure on which plants and vines can grow.

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