“Fashion is a strong statement and can have a great deal of impact on a woman’s self confidence,” maintains fashionista Yonelle Coetzee, one of the founders and creators of a Luxury Children’s Boutique ‘Amira La Petite Couture’
Like most things in life, even fashionistas, it appears, are born, not made. Yonelle Coetzee certainly exemplifies it. In her words: “I have always been into fashion…fashion is in my genes.”
She was inspired, early on, by her great grandmother who was a fashion designer in South Africa, and a stylish one at that. “Even in her old days she always dressed to a nine. I used to go through her photos when I was young and dream of wearing the same high heels, perfect makeup and hair…and oh those dresses!” she recalls, pointing out that she, in fact, found an avenue to explore her interests for fashion designing through her.
Her granny used to have a suitcase full of cut fabrics from her clients and Yonelle, who was then in grade 1 and 2, would hand-sew these to make fashionable dresses for her Barbie dolls. “All my friends used to be so envious of my Barbie doll clothes – I had the most exquisite casual and evening wear Barbie doll clothes…” she reminisces.
Soon Yonelle developed her own unique sense of style and recalls that she would never leave the house without looking stylish. In fact, she would dress up even when she had no plans to go out and her mother would enquire, ‘Where are you going looking so fine, if I may ask?’
Describing fashion as a form of art and expression, she says, “Fashion is all about making it your own and owning that look. Fashionistas/stylists know which clothes suits their personality, what works for their body type and what doesn’t.” To her, fashion is an extension of personality. “You can immediately see if a person is creative, serious or insecure by looking at what they are wearing. Fashion is a strong statement and can have a great deal of impact on a woman’s self confidence,” she maintains.
Talking about her fashion foray in Oman, she points out that she first visited the country as a tourist in 2009, and made it her permanent home in 2012, becoming one of the founders and creators of ‘Amira La Petite Couture’, a luxury children’s boutique in Shatti Al Qurum, Muscat. In February this year, the team presented a fashion show at the ‘Oman Bride Show’ exhibition, wining an award for outstanding fashion show. “It was a huge milestone in my life to have started such an amazing venture in Oman, as an expatriate, and being only 25 years of age at the time of starting the company,” she notes.
However, in June 2017 she sold her shares in the company to start a new and exciting venture on her own, which is due to be launched in 2018. “I have so many exciting plans and ideas for the future… I never stop dreaming, for I am a go-getter and always think of new business opportunities. Failure does not scare me; I will get up and fight until I reach my goals. I am excited to launch my new company in the coming year, which I expect will be my dream come true; it is what I have worked hard for all these years of learning and growing,” she states.