Women Empowerment can take different forms and can be practiced in many fields of life. While many people think that the fashion industry limits women in various ways, many designers prove the opposite! This designer in specific shone in the fashion's world by creating versatile designs, and extending the grace of success to other women by training and hiring them.
Jordanian Designer, Petra Orfali, sets the pace for women empowerment in fashion with simple yet elegant designs that reflects the oriental fingerprint with a modern twist.
The queen of Jordan so casually attended one of her duties in a @petraorfalidesigns today, with hair clipped back and everything and I don’t know how to strategize & verbalize this excitement and all the love vibes & support messages we have received ❤️❤️❤️??? #LoveLoveLove #ProudlyJordan #YaaaaasQueen #Repost @queenrania with @get_repost ・・・ مكان يجمع بين طابعه التراثي وتشجيع ثقافة القراءة، من زيارتي اليوم الى مكتبة كون في مادبا. حديث عفوي وغني بالافكار والنشاط مع المتواجدين من الشباب. #الأردن #حب_الأردن From my visit to Kawon Bookshop in Madaba – a cultural space brimming with a shared love of reading! Enjoyed a casual conversation with the young men and women I met there today #Jordan #LoveJO
Petra knew her way around scissors at a very young age as she was brought up in an artistic family. Sewing up a bright future for less fortunate women has always been one of her passions.
We spoke with Petra about her work, her life, and how she empowers other women to follow her suit.
1. You’re known as the young Jordanian designer whose designs are inspired by the Jordanian heritage. But away from the fashion world, how would you describe yourself?
Well, yes I do twist some modern elements with old traditional ones. I love Jordan and I tend to reflect that in most of my designs. I just like to be unique by designing things that are not available anywhere else.
Away from the fashion world, I do sometimes get inspired by certain things going on around me, but I definitely don’t follow what’s trendy and cliche as others do. My unique taste will be the first thing you’ll notice when you see my pieces.
2. What’s your motto in life? And how does it help in nurturing the brand?
"There are no rules in anything related to creativity.. just spread those wings, get ready to fly, create and enjoy life."
This empowers me to create more and be as unique as I can be.
I believe that only empowered women can empower other women.
3. How does Petra Orfali, the brand, empower women?
Well, I believe that only empowered women can empower other women. I was so lucky to meet a group of ladies in East Amman eight years ago whom I trained. That enabled me to delegate the production part and move directly to design. At first, I failed big time! I even had to close the workshop after a six-month-long series of failures. I had to work on improving myself, trying to see where things went wrong.
This technique worked! all our hard work paid off and we were rewarded by opening our second workshop after just four months. I managed to pass all my knowledge in many aspects (skills, taste, art knowledge, sewing, even psychological advice) to my team. I’ve seen many success stories and experienced happy and sad tears with them, I witnessed life-changing moments and it means the world to me.
4. Do you agree with the proverb that says “If your circle doesn’t inspire you, then you’re living in a cage.”? And who are the fashion idols that inspire you the most?
No. I think that you can create your own circle, you build it and you live in it... it’s all up to YOU!
There are many designers that inspire me! For example, Coco Chanel’s story is a bit similar to mine in a way, and she did it all alone. She was a trendsetter and created something from scratch in the middle of a fierce war!
I believe that such challenges make you think out of the box to reach what you seek.
5. A rainbow can’t exist without the rain. What obstacles did you have to face as a young female designer before you started seeing the rainbow? And how did you overcome them?
I definitely had so many struggles along the way. For example, we struggled with the fact that we only had access to very limited sources of raw materials and supplies. I had to work on many levels to achieve what I want, for instance; My last winter/fall collection was all made out of furniture fabric.
Anyhow, I believe that such challenges make you think out of the box to reach what you seek.
6. We see a lot of young Arab designers paving their paths in the fashion industry. What makes Petra Orfali as a brand stand out among the others?
Being unique. That’s all!
Just being creative ??I can work with anything I put my hands on, even leftover fabrics! Actually this is my favorite part. when I finish any collection, I use leftover fabrics to create one of a kind piece that looks like no other in the collection.
7. What people might not know is that your designs aren’t solely inspired by Jordanian heritage. What other universal heritages inspire Petra? And How is that cultural mix evident in your brand identity?
Well, originally I’m Turkish from Utah and half Syrian. So coming from rich cultures helped me produce more original pieces.
8. Where do you see Petra Orfali, the brand, in 5 years from now?
I see five branches around the world, and one mega factory where we can produce our own fabric and patterns.
9. What’s your advice for women who aspire to pursue a similar path to yours?
Just be unique and standout with whatever you are doing, and just remember that there is nothing called impossible.
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