Fashionably suited with Faris Al Talhouni, COO of FORM

Fashionably suited with Faris Al Talhouni, COO of FORM

Faris Al Talhouni, COO of FORM

Faris Al Talhouni, COO of the Talhouni Group, has a passion for fashion and a knack for business. Here, he talks about his concept FORM, the leading designer and manufacturer of uniforms in the Middle East.

How did you start FORM and what have been some of the major challenges you’ve faced?

In 1989, Samia Gedeon-Talhouni founded Modern Fashion Design, marking the inception of FORM’s journey as an haute couture house in Jordan. During its early years, the company encountered several challenges.

The company started with a team of French designers, pattern makers and tailors. It imported all fabrics from Europe and gained prominence by dressing high-profile clients, including Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan. Furthermore, the transition to corporate couture began in the early 1990s. The pivotal moment unfolded as the company crafted fashionable uniforms for the five-star Movenpick Hotel in Petra. This marked a significant shift in the company’s direction. Moreover, transitioning to corporate couture presented challenges as FORM ventured into new territory. Thus, pioneering the fashion uniform segment in the region. This shift was a turning point, setting the stage for its current direction and success.

Recently, you introduced the New Wave collection. What can you tell us about it?

The New Wave collection from FORM is a unique blend of style and functionality. Moreover, it is designed to meet the specific needs of culinary professionals. This line is a hybrid of a show jacket and a performance jacket. It is crafted to be a showstopper while ensuring comfort and breathability. Furthermore, the collection stands out for its modernity; it allows chefs to look their best while performing optimally. Key characteristics encompass a sleek silhouette for a modern, professional look, with clean lines providing sophistication and subtle elegance.

In your opinion, why is it crucial for hospitality staff to embody a fashionable appearance?

Fashion in uniform design, particularly in the hospitality industry, is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it enhances the brand image. Fashionable uniforms reflect a modern, sophisticated brand, appealing to guests’ aesthetic sensibilities. Secondly, they contribute to staff morale and confidence. Employees wearing stylish, well-designed uniforms often feel more professional and valued. This positively impacts their performance and interaction with guests. Fashionable uniforms in hospitality are not just about appearance but also about embodying the ethos and values of the brand.

At FORM we prefer the term corporate couture over uniform. Our designs integrate the latest fashion trends and showcase our inimitable design identity across all our collections. Furthermore, at FORM, we don’t just create garments; we craft an image. A well-made, stylish garment instills pride in the wearer. Ultimately, that sense of pride is our goal.

What are the latest uniform trends?

The latest trends in uniform design center on functionality, comfort and style. Moreover, there’s a growing emphasis on eco-friendly materials and sustainable practices. So, comfort is key, with more breathable, flexible fabrics being used. Furthermore, in terms of aesthetics, there’s a shift toward minimalist designs with clean lines and subtle branding. Moreover, personalization and customization options are increasingly popular. Thus, allowing companies to align uniforms with their brand identity. Consequently, these trends reflect a move towards uniforms that are practical, stylish and socially conscious.

Considering the distinctive preferences of the MENA region, how does the company assess and cater to the market?

FORM conducts extensive market research to understand regional tastes and cultural nuances, ensuring client satisfaction. This includes analyzing fashion trends and considering cultural sensitivities. Feedback from regional clients is pivotal to aligning designs with local expectations. Moreover, customization is key. FORM has additionally developed a wide-ranging catalog to suit diverse styles and tastes. For truly bespoke needs, FORM offers a bespoke design service. Thus, creating unique pieces that consider the venue’s look and feel. This approach ensures a tailored fit for the MENA market, blending regional preferences with modern uniform design.

What are your plans for the company?

As FORM celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, we are excited to unveil our ambitious expansion plans. Our headquarters in Amman, Jordan, alongside our established office in Dubai and new presence in Riyadh, showcase our expanding regional influence. Furthermore, this growth reflects our commitment to broadening FORM’s presence both regionally and globally. Notably, we boast an impressive catalog that showcases a diverse range of designs, catering to sectors including hospitality, F&B, spas and corporate clients. Moreover, this variety and our commitment to quality and style position us well for this growth and continued success. 


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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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