Designer Reem Buqais on what it takes to succeed in fashion

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“Anyone can design,” says Reem Buqais during an interview after the 2nd Annual Leading Women in Business Forum at The Capital Club Bahrain. “But if you want to be original, getting the proper education” is critical to understanding what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry, in the Middle East and beyond.

After moving to Bahrain having graduated from fashion school in New York, winning the Bahrain’s Top Stylist competition gave this 24 year-old her start in the fashion business. The prize winnings included the opportunity to produce and sell her designs in a boutique in Bahrain; once she had this push, as she describes it to Wamda’s Nina Curley, she didn’t have a choice not to continue.

Transitioning to the Gulf’s limited fashion infrastructure from the swirl of New York has been a challenge for the young designer, but having to adapt to difficult conditions has only made her stronger, she says.

Buqais’ tip for success? “You have to really want something,” she concludes, “you’re the only person who can make it happen.”

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