TWO young Bahraini fashion designers are finding themselves in the spotlight for the right reasons.
They are among the top three winners at a mega event in Tunisia that showcased innovative creations.
Asma Al Najdi and Omaima Al Sayed along with a third from the host country were declared winners at the second edition of the 2020 Intellectual Property Olympiad held in Tunisia last month.
The initiative of the National Institute of Standardisation and Industrial Property (INNORPI) targeted students and young graduates from all over the world who wished to set up their own innovative company.
Asma showcased the idea of integrating solar panels and a power bank into clothing to provide backup energy for mobile devices, while Omaima designed a mobile app that gives accurate readings of physical measurements for apparels by taking a personal picture.
The women were awarded at a virtual ceremony with a reward and valued by INNORPI and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Omaima said her app – which gives physical measurements and translates it into Arabic and English – aims to facilitate online shopping and eliminate the need for trying apparels, which limits the transmission of diseases and infection.
“I am searching for an entity that can support and fund my project and place it in the market as soon as possible, as it is a crucial need, especially during the pandemic,” Omaima told GulfWeekly.
“I am planning to register the intellectual property rights of my idea. I also want to make this application available for individuals and sell it for businesses who will find it useful for their customers, to upload it on their websites.
“As a fashion designer, the idea came to my mind when the world was exposed to the pandemic.
“The process of taking measurements for customers was forbidden by the government to prevent the virus spread.
“I saw the difficulties customers experienced to take their own measurements with the traditional measuring tape, and it made me think of other solutions that can help in these circumstances.
“Thus I came up with this idea.”
She said designers must get creative and think of intelligent solutions to help communities and protect the environment.
“Also they should be aware of the importance of registering the intellectual property rights to protect their ideas and innovations.”
Meanwhile Asma said she was “overwhelmed by the joy of victory” and expressed her gratitude to everyone who supported her in the achievement.
“God willing, the next is more beautiful and bigger,” she said.
“My aim is to spread a new fashion culture, combining elegance and technology.
“And my constant and never-ending desire is to raise the name of my country Bahrain high.”
She added that her “love for fashion and technology” pushed her to find “a link between the two.
“I knew the task is difficult, but not impossible.
“I also drew many ideas from civilisations and cultures inside and outside Bahrain.
“My message to every designer and to everyone who has an idea is – your small idea today is your big success tomorrow.
“So, strive to implement and develop your idea, and do not forget to document your rights with the Intellectual Property Authority.”
Asma is a graduate of the Bahrain Fashion Incubator (BFI)’s Dilmun Star programme, while Omaima is a fashion designer and businesswoman who owns Odesign fashion brand. The designers acknowledged the support of the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry.
The Bahraini women could also be among the first to be members of the pioneer Intellectual Property Rights Institute for Women in the Arab region, which is expected to be launched soon.
The event was themed ‘Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property’.