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Five minutes with.. Latifa Al Gurg, founder, Twisted Roots

Five minutes with.. Latifa Al Gurg, founder, Twisted Roots

Latifa Al Gurg is bringing her high-end fashion brand Twisted Roots to GCC retailers, with international markets to follow

What was your inspiration for Twisted Roots?

The concept of Twisted Roots was born in 2012. As an electrical engineer working in construction, I found myself struggling to find suitable clothes to travel with that were coordinated and of a certain quality. I would always be running around finding tops from one place, trousers from another, and then struggling to find coordinating scarves. From that the idea behind Twisted Roots came to be. Twisted Roots is a one-stop shop for a women’s travel wear needs. A place where you can pick up a few tops, a couple of trousers, a jacket or two and matching scarves and be ready to go.

The name has complex roots. It comes from my mixed heritage (Danish and Emariti) directly, but also indicates how, as we travel, we grow different roots that twist and become part of us. You can also think of it as a pun for Twisted Routes.

What have been some of the key challenges in starting your own business?

Starting up is always difficult. One of the biggest challenges has been in sourcing suppliers that are able to deliver the quality and quantities that we are looking for.

Do you think there is a lack of high-end fashion for those looking to dress more conservatively?

There is definitely a gap in the market. Especially in this part of the world, I think sometimes it’s easy to overlook the fact that women travel very regularly. So I think Twisted Roots addresses the need for comfortable yet stylish attire for the woman who is always on the go.

Is it challenging for local high-end brands to stand out among international competition in the region?

Yes. I think the fashion industry by itself is a hard market to crack. So local brands, high-end or not do face serious competition from international contenders especially in the region. People are skeptical of the sustainability and quality that a local high-end brand would carry. Having said that, I believe that there is a growing acceptance of local brands and Twisted Roots is trying to introduce a new concept of travel-wear that is untapped in this region.

What are your initial rollout plans for the brand?

We initially are retailing through department stores and online retailers throughout the GCC region.

Do you plan to make the brand available in other GCC countries or other regions?

Yes, definitely. We have extension plans for the GCC initially and will soon expand internationally. Since our brand is all about the traveling woman, it only makes sense to be available globally.

What is your leadership style?

We are a startup so I think it will take a while for a style to become apparent. As of now, it’s all hands on deck so you could say it’s more leadership by example.

Are you hiring?
We are a young, dynamic company. So yes we are looking to hire people who share our vision and passion for where we are headed.

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