Yahya Stapic

Founder and CEO of United Designers
Yahya Stapic
Yahya Stapic

Showcasing the talents of fledgling local and international designers, this 22-year-old entrepreneur has proved you really can compete with the big boys in the world of fashion.

Tell us about the success of United Designers.
This is our first flagship store in Mirdiff City Centre, showcasing the work of over 30 local and international fashion designers. To be honest, 2012 has been an uphill battle, often daunting, yet very exciting. We’ve worked tremendously hard competing with the big names on the same level in terms of customer growth in our first year. But we’ve done it!

What are the challenges you face within the fashion retail business in the region?
It’s so competitive, dominated by international brands, leaving little homage to locally grown fashion brands and retailers. Not to mention the high capital requirements to start and sustain a ready-to-wear, fashion-driven business model. I could go on…

What is the ethos behind your business?
To expose UAE audiences to fresh, exclusive creations that are filled with individual personality, while providing the springboard needed for local, independent designers to begin realising their dreams.

You’re only 22. Did you ever think you would be in this situation at such a young age?
Never. But belief, drive and, most importantly, courage took me to places I never imagined I’d be at.

What advice can you give other young entrepreneurs?
Take a leap of faith.