Omar Masbout

Omar Masbout

Nine questions with the Managing Partner at Eligo Milano, a custom-made menswear brand

How do you typically start your workday?
Every day is different. Sometimes, we have an early meeting, appointment or photoshoot which requires me to be out the door at the crack of dawn. If I could, I would love to start my day with a workout or some cardio, but the reality is far different. On slower days, I'd like to catch up with the latest trends and styles over a fresh cup of coffee.
Describe your work in a sentence.
Given that Eligo is still at its infancy here in the UAE, my job includes a bit of everything. Business development, liaising with suppliers, marketing, promoting, conducting photoshoots, HR and admin - all to ensure awareness and recognition for the fashion brand.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
There are lots of fun things about this job, but if I have to choose one, it would be working and collaborating with so many creative professionals. My education and previous background were in finance, which isn't well-known for creativity. Now I get to collaborate with photographers, designers, influencers, digital and PR marketing teams and other fashion aficionados that are passionate and dedicated to their jobs.
What has been your most challenging experience to date and how did you resolve it?
While bringing a new brand to the Middle East has been exciting, it has also had its challenges. The majority of the built-in cost of producing our suits is in the quality of the Italian fabric and the work of the Italian tailors, who have been passed down the art through generations. This is what our customers are paying for. Going through that journey with our customers has been a challenge, however, we are resolving it by putting our suits where our mouths are.
What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Enjoy the moment and the journey. Every moment is beautiful as it is. Of course, one needs to plan for the future but it is futile to stress over matters you cannot control.
How do you maintain a work:life balance?
I'm clear about what my priorities are outside work, which are maintaining healthy relationships with my family, friends and significant other as well as exercising and being healthy. I set aside time in my weekly schedule to ensure that I don't jeopardise these priorities.
Any advice for youngsters just getting into the professional arena?
Remain curious and creative, network, be honest with yourself and remain humble.
A person you think would make for a good role model - and why?
Anyone who represents values and qualities I aspire to embody is a role model to me. Author Deepak Chopra has always been a voice of tranquility to me in an otherwise chaotic world
What would you say is your greatest dream, professionally?
The reason I entered this business is because I felt dissatisfied with my purchase of suits in the region. It was either too expensive or the quality was lacking for the price paid. I want to push brands into more transparency of their production cost and quality - from fabric to craftsmanship. Whether you pay Dh1,000 or Dh10,000 for a suit, the price should reflect the quality of the product rather than include astronomical markups due to strong marketing.
- Staff reporter

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