With the arrival of the most awaited Dubai Shopping Festival, one of it’s signature events, Market OTB returns once again with it’s 5th edition between 11th to 20th of January,2018.
INTERVIEW WITH DUBAI TOURISM
For Market OTB 2017
Dubai, 24 January: Craftsmanship. This is one of the key motivators behind Ryokō, a Dubai-based venture that makes hand-stitched leather goods. The company is participating at its first Market Outside The Box, the 10-day entrepreneurial showcase event held at Burj Park between January 19-28 as part of the 22nd edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival.
“Starting from scratch, we learnt the beauty of the various types of leather, visited tanneries in different countries and learnt the traditional way of craftsmanship from artisans,” said 34-year-old Anirban Basu, who started the venture with his wife, Noon. “As the initial months passed with excitement and discussions, our sketches on paper transformed into beautiful leather goods that we could touch and feel. That's how, in early 2015, Ryokō was born in Dubai.”
What helps set Ryokō apart from other leather goods in addition to the craftsmanship is the company’s ability to listen to its customers.
For Mr Basu, inspiration comes from many places and in several different forms. For him, it is a combination of what he has seen and what he has experienced. Often it is the different places both he and his wife have visited – such as a quirky café – or a book they have read. “It is also the people we interact with who share their needs and requirements which give direction to our future designs.”
Ryokō perfectly fits the bill of a local emerging brand. The company is taking its first tentative steps onto a bigger stage with some well-known brands. For instance, Ryokō designed and made camera hand-straps for the FUJIFILM X-Series collection. They have also introduced their leather goods through a few partners in Australia and Singapore, he said.
Despite their strong potential, this is their first time taking part in Market OTB. They had heard about it, and wanted to be a part of the 2017 event.
As a Dubai based start-up, Ryokō is perfect for Market OTB. It is “the ideal platform for us to introduce our work to a wider audience,” he said.
Such an event could also help with the long-term plans, which are to increase exposure in Dubai as well as around the world. Mr Basu said he would like Ryokō’s leather goods to reflect the company’s passion and its dedication to design, while also being of a very high quality.
“One of the key unique characters of our goods is that they are made from full-grain leather, which is the very top layer of the hide. This makes them incredibly durable while still maintaining their natural features,” he said.
The company wants to make great products and produce them the right way. “We strive to give our best to Ryokō, which means doing a lot of the little things right.”
Note to editors: The video campanion piece can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/fRtMzkVVlKM"
An informal chat with Sawsan Abdillahi, owner of Shay Madhboot, which is a popular shop in Abu Dhabi that specializes in serving karak tea and brunch.