Umar Kamani is a fashion retailer, business man, restaurant partner, entrepreneur and all round Manchester lad. Business Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University gave the foundations, platform and knowledge to follow his dream. A few years on and he now runs one of the most successful independent fashion sites in the UK, boohoo.com.
We grabbed a quick chat to find out what he’s all about.
What does the term ‘Manchester Fashion’ mean to you?
There isn’t necessarily a way of pinning down Manchester Fashion. As a city I would say that we are certainly moving forward in terms of fashion, however sometimes it feels like people are scared to experiment in Manchester because they will be judged. When you walk around Shoreditch for example, there’s a great sense of freedom because everyone wears what they want and to me that is fashion. I see fashion as a form of art, and a way of expressing emotions words can’t describe through styling and colours and shapes. Fashion is a great thing.. and Manchester is a great city, so together they work well.
Is there anything about Manchester that influences what you do at boohoo?
I for one personally LOVE Manchester. As I travel a lot I always miss it a lot, and there is no better feeling than landing in Manchester after a trip away. We as a company are incredibly proud to be from Manchester, and we try to encourage that within the business too. For example the recent looting that went on around the country, the next day in Manchester we got involved in the clean-up and went around supporting the ‘I LOVE MCR’ campaign more recently.
How would you describe your personal style?
Ha! If my friends read this they would be crying with laughter. I personally wear what I want. If that means red pants, with a green top and yellow bobble hat, then so be it. I’m quite mad and adventurous, I love experimenting with fashion and seeing people’s reactions is also a lot of fun. The more my friends mock what I wear, the more I want to wear it. Crazy.. I know! I love fashion, everything about it, and personally I don’t like to follow generic fashion I prefer to twist things up a bit. But everyone’s different and I respect everyone’s personal style, I just have a lot of fun with mine.
Quickfire Manchester 5:
Fav Manchester Bar– Lamars
Fav Manchester Restaurant– Rosso
Fav Manchester Club– Sakura
Fav Manchester Band– Simply Red
Fav Manchester Legend– Alan Carr