Back Luxe emirateswoman.com DHS25 RO2.70 BD2.60 KD2.10 SR25 A MOTIVATE PUBLICATION MARCH 2023
THE STYLE ISSUE Laid
C M Y CM MY CY CMY K
Obaid Humaid Al Tayer
MANAGING PARTNER AND GROUP EDITOR
EDITOR/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Amy Sessions email@example.com
SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Olga Petroff
FASHION EDITOR Camille Macawili
JUNIOR DIGITAL STYLE EDITOR Sarah Joseph
GENERAL MANAGER PRODUCTION Sunil Kumar
PRODUCTION MANAGER Binu Purandaran
PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR Venita Pinto
CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER Anthony Milne
GROUP SALES MANAGER
Chaitali Khimji firstname.lastname@example.org
SENIOR SALES MANAGER
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GROUP MARKETING MANAGER Joelle Albeaino
WEB DEVELOPER Firoz Kaladi
Albeaino, Izzy Turner,
Mathew, Ahmed Abd El-Wahab,
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Classique 8068 A Classique
Breguet watch is the exact opposite of programmed obsolescence. It is designed not only to masterfully tell but also withstand the test of time.
1. a particular procedure by which something is done; a manner or way.
2. a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.
Welcome to The Style Issue.
How you do anything, is how you do everything. In this issue we champion those exceling in their respective industries thanks to their particular, and often exceptional style of executing.
For our cover we are very proud to have partnered with FENDI, a brand which goes from strength to strength under the helm of Kim Jones, whose style is unmistakable in precision and cool in Another Level on page 20.
HOW YOU DO ANYTHING IS HOW YOU DO EVERYTHING.
We discuss personal style and championing emerging talent with Megan Reynolds, Fashion & Marketing Director at MATCHESFASHION in Style DNA on page 62, Founder of BRÛLÉ Kenzie Burke tells us what it takes to build a new brand with a focus on attention to detail and an unmistakable
aesthetic in LUXE for the Long-Haul on page 58, and Fox And Vamp’s Founder Talitha Price speak on beauty, building a brand and balancing it all in Serious Style on page 94. We also compile the best edit of what to invest in for the season ahead in The Runway Report SS23 on page 36. Wellness wise we speak to Jamie Clements of The Breath Space on why we need to breathe better in order to heal and grow in And Breathe… on page 96, Charlie Wright, Founder of Humantra discusses the merits of hydration and how to optimize output in The Hydration Hack on page 102 and Helen Pleic, RTT and NLP Coach, discusses what it takes to do the work in Transform Your Mind on page 98. The confidence that comes from learning, growing and knowing yourself is the coolest style there is.
Amy Sessions EDITOR / ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER
THE HERO BUYS
Oversized tumbled-leather biker jacket Dhs5,442 Raey
Jodie mini knotted intrecciato leather tote Dhs9,400 Bottega Veneta
Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser, 120ml Dhs247 111SKIN
Belted cotton-twill tapered cargo pants Dhs2,482 Sacai
Bronson acetate aviator sunglasses Dhs1,245 Tom Ford Eyewear available at MATCHESFASHION
UAE | KUWAIT | OMAN | BAHRAIN | KSA | QATAR NEW COLLECTION NOW IN STORE & ONLINE #startwiththeshoes dunelondon.me
12 emirateswoman.com THE MONITOR Monitor News p.16 Social Listings p.18 Another Level –Cover Shoot with FENDI p.20 16 CONTENTS MARCH 2023
The Edit – The Essentials to take you anywhere p.34
LUXE for the LongHaul – Lookbook: BRÛLÉ p.58
Style DNA – We discuss personal style and championing emerging talent with Megan
Well Leathered – Lookbook: LOEWE p.74
Reynolds, Fashion & Marketing Director at MATCHESFASHION p.62
A Stylish Sleep –Interview with The Nap Co.’s Siobhan Dudley on the style, balance, and starting her dream brand p.64
Hidden Depths –Bottega Veneta’s Ramadan collection dives deep into the purest of pigment p.66
Dressed for Success
– Maison D’Angelann’s Anna Chybisova on the power of the right dress p.72
Creative Flow –Interview with Qatarilabel 1309 Studios Founder Ghada Al Subaey p.80
Dopamine Dressing –Interview with Never Fully Dressed Founder Lucy Aylen p.84
Hot New Buys p.86
The Runway Report SS23 p.36
Summer Scent p.88
Interview with Fox And Vamp’s Talitha
We speak to Jamie Clements of The Breath Space on why we need to breathe better in order to heal and grow p.96
Transform Your Mind – We speak to Helen Pleic, RTT and NLP Coach, on what it takes to do the work p.98
The Hydration Hack –Interview with Charlie Wright, Founder of Humantra p.102
Beauty Shelf –Nadja Saveska, Co-Founder of 11/11
Aesthetic Clinic p.104
AM to PM Beauty with Lucy Aylen, Founder of Never Fully Dressed p.106
Superlative Design – We speak to the Founder of ONE 52, Sasan Mostajeran, on why investment pieces are the smart choice p.110 108
The Pad p.108
Undisturbed Desert – An interview with Nicolas Vandenabeele, Founder of Terra Solis p.114
Artistic Flair – Interview with eco-artist and philanthropist Natalia Kapchuk p.118
Personal Space –Inside the office with Sonia Leretz p.122
Fine Artistry – The Cake Boutique p.128
Global Gastronomy – Ida Garphagen, General Manager at SUSHISAMBA, on what it takes to stay relevant in an everchanging industry p.130
An Elevated Eye –Hotel Café Royal London p.132
The Wanderlust –‘The Nest’ by Sonara takes camping to the next level p.136
Swept Away– Slow Living at Maldives p.138
The Power Players –Interview with Sharare Hau of Embody Fitness p.100
Wool Top, Wool Skirt, Peekaboo Iseeu Petite With 3d Roses, Patent Leather Boots, all Fendi
The latest launches, new openings and hero buys
The new season calls for timeless signature styles with a daring twist. Magda Butrym champions clean-cut silhouettes juxtaposed with ultra-femme detailing for the perfect finishing touch.
THE HERO BUYS
THREE TO OWN
16 THE MONITOR – NEWS emirateswoman.com
Sabrina 18kt Single Earring Dhs14,341 EÉRA available at MYTHERESA
COMPILED BY: CAMILLE MACAWILI
Baccala Linen Jacket Dhs4,240 Jacquemus
Tortoiseshell Sunglasses Dhs1,377 Magda Butrym
T-Lock Clutch Dhs3,820 Toteme available at MODA OPERANDI
Neutral 3D Printed Wavy Fruit Stand
Punta Nappa Leather Pumps Dhs7,650 Bottega Veneta
Hydro-Bound Hyaluronic Acid + Niacinamide Serum 30ml Dhs214 Face Gym
BY THE BEACH
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A contemporary brand that honours the planet.
A curated guide of all the stylish accounts to #follow this month
18 emirateswoman.com THE MONITOR
@shopbrule Quality, sartorial pieces made to last.
complete electrolyte formula for optimum hydration.
An independent journal dedicated to the label.
A magical oasis situated in the Dubai desert.
@neverfullydressed Vibrant prints and wild designs for those who feel bold enough.
@embodyfitnessdxb Transforming lives at this award-winning ﬁtness destination.
@hotelcaferoyal London’s modern grand hotel in the heart of the West End.
@thenapco Luxury sleepwear and loungewear designed for the day dreamer.
COMPILED BY: SARAH JOSEPH
EXPLORE THE MRM HERITAGE COLLECTION BY LA MARQUISE JEWELLERY DESIGNED AS AN ODE ITS LONG-STANDING HISTORY
Accentuated by the Maison’s unique design pedigree and craftsmanship, La Marquise and the MRM brand join hands to bring to life the first-of-its-kind collection. Inspired by the archaeological site of Saruq Al-Hadid, situated in the heart of Rub al-Khali desert, the pieces bring its
wearers closer to the remarkable discoveries that date back 3,000 years.
The circular motif designs have stood out and served as an inspiration for their first jewellery collection, making it a part of the EXPO 2020 logo emblem. First discovered by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the site is an ode to the different forms of jewellery design
and craftsmanship practiced there during a bygone era. As a reference from these findings, the pieces are an imperial amalgamation of hand-cut and polished gemstones and 18K gold. Designed with vibrant gemstones and white diamonds, the collection naturally pays homage to the creativity and craftsmanship practised onsite. Ranging from everyday fine jewellery to exclusive necklaces featuring hand-cut and polished gemstones, the styles are a true essence of its rich heritage.
The MRM Heritage Collection is exclusively showcased at the La Marquise boutiques in Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates open from 10am to 11pm on weekdays and 10am to 12pm on weekends. For more information visit lamarquisejewellery.com
WORDS & CREATIVE DIRECTION: AMY SESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHER: GRE G ADAMSKI
Fendi delivers laid back luxe for SS23
Ribbed Cardigan, Silk Cargo
Pants, all Fendi; Left page: Ribbed Cardigan, Silk Cargo Pants, all Fendi; Right page: Silk Dress, Peekaboo Cut Medium in Pink, all Fendi
Both pages: Silk Dress, Pink Leather Slides, all Fendi
Left page: Fendi First Earring; Right page: Knit Dress, all Fendi
Both pages: Ribbed Cardigan, Silk Cargo Pants, Peekaboo Iseeu in Green, all Fendi
Both pages: Wool Top, Wool Skirt, Peekaboo
Iseeu Petite With 3d Roses, Patent Leather Boots, all Fendi
FASHION EDITOR: CAMILLE MACAWILI; MAKEUP & HAIR: MELANIE MEYER AT MMG; MODEL: VICTORIA FERREIRA DA COSTA AT MMG
Both pages: Wool Pullover, Satin Mini Skirt, all Fendi
V-Sei Rockstud aviator metal sunglasses Dhs2,316 Valentino Eyewear
Cropped Long Sleeve Top Dhs459 Éterne
Samba OG suede-trimmed leather sneakers Dhs371 Adidas Originals
Santos de Cartier Automatic 35mm medium stainless-steel watch Dhs25,600 Cartier
THIS PAGE: ÉTERNE, FRANKIE SHOP; OPPOSITE PAGE: VALENTINO EYEWEAR, BOTTEGA VENETA
WORDS & STYLING: AMY SESSIONS
The Essentials to take you anywhere
Gelso oversized TENCEL Lyocell-blend blazer Dhs1,560 Frankie Shop available at NET-A-PORTER
Frida leather and PVC slingback pumps Dhs4,400 Saint Laurent
Jodie mini knotted intrecciato leather tote Dhs9,400 Bottega Veneta
Gelso pleated TENCELblend straight-leg pants Dhs801 Frankie Shop available at NET-A-PORTER
THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
WORDS & STYLING: CAMILLE MACAWILI
38 emirateswoman.com FASHION DOLCE&GABBANA
It’s time to rethink low-slung waistlines. Returning in elevated form, Jacquemus and Dolce&Gabbana made a fresh proposition that saw drop waistlines lean into a feeling of downtown. Off-duty, without compromising on polish. At Miu Miu, a laid-back and rebellious spirit was evident, that gave way to a wearable look.
39 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
MIU MIU SPORTMAX
Alaïa and Dolce & Gabbana deployed crisp, steel-cool tonal looks beckoning to be worn – a runway highlight: Prada’s strapless mini dress with a pronounced fold detail that evokes undone femininity.
40 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
41 emirateswoman.com FASHION PRADA
Power player silhouettes took center stage this season. Recapture the drive and determination of the decade with unforgettable pieces seen at Saint Laurent who captured the mood perfectly with hooded floor-sweeping cuts in soft chiffon. Note: oversized padded jackets – optional.
42 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION
43 emirateswoman.com FASHION SAINT LAURENT
A spectrum of kaleidoscopic hues shone across runways this season. Missoni, Ferragamo, and DSquared2 all harnessed a full-spectrum approach to deliver next-level dopamine dressing.
44 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
45 emirateswoman.com FASHION SPORTMAX
Head-to-toe monochromatic looks in intense fiery reds sizzled at Valentino and Ferragamo. Bold, modern minimalism with fever-pitch energy.
46 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
Ultra-feminine yet decidedly modern, silk and satin in raw edge finishes have a year-long appeal. For SS23, Fendi, Burberry, and Sportmax championed this trend in chic, chalky hues.
47 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
Feminine silhouettes, frilled detailing, and raw-edge silk dresses are at the aesthetic’s core with Miu Miu, Givenchy, and Sportmax runway looks taking center stage.
48 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
THE WHITE TANK
Embrace the inimitable insouciance of a white tank top. Simplicity at its best, this wardrobe essential is the cool-girl’s hot ticket to off-duty summer dressing. Invest in quality.
49 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
Ultra-luxe, oversized pieces were seen at Saint Laurent, Dries Van Noten, and Proenza Schouler. Tough girl chic never looked so cool.
50 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
DRIES VAN NOTEN
Sharp cuts make for cool strides this season as seen at Bottega Veneta, Valentino, and Versace.
51 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
52 emirateswoman.com FASHION
Bottega Veneta, Prada, and Versace had us seeing double with layered bags providing proportion play and practicality.
Italian fashion powerhouses
53 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
From Simkhai to Saint Laurent, sunglasses took on a futuristic feel while others played the retro card.
54 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
55 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
MAX MARA SAINT LAURENT
An updated iteration on the early 2000’s staple leans into a laid-back, luxe feel.
56 emirateswoman.com FASHION THE RUNWAY REPORT SS23
57 emirateswoman.com FASHION CHLO É
LUXE FOR THE LONG-HAUL
58 emirateswoman.com FASHION
WORDS: AMY SESSIONS
Kenzie Burke, always a dauntless creator, moved to Los Angeles when she was 18, working fastidiously as a retail associate and styling assistant while working many other jobs simultaneously to make ends meet. She then grew a love for wellness and used her entrepreneurial energy to create a few ventures in that industry. Her name caught wind in the wellness world, and she grew a powerful online platform. But, despite her success within that industry, she felt compelled to expand and use her gusto to launch one of her lifelong passions, a clothing line. BRÛLÉ is a result of a culmination of years, manifestation, and hard work.
As the designer of BRÛLÉ, Kenzie aspires to evoke a timeless aesthetic into every article of clothing she designs, adhering to “quality over quantity”. Inspired by the rugged allure of the California coastline, Kenzie’s line of timeless basics and sexy separates mirrors the landscape – where unbridled natural beauty is tempered by stately design. Each collection is a time capsule, drawing on inspiration, art, and elevated spirituality to imbue each piece with undeniable energy. All BRÛLÉ pieces are made in the USA – produced locally in Los Angeles. BRÛLÉ places the quality and longevity of their clothing above all else. The result is a style that is, at once, as undone as it is refined.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine? I am a very routined person. How you start your day sets up the success for the day ahead. First, I drink water, make my bed, and then sit on my meditation cushion while doing an 11-minute Wim Hof Breathwork meditation. I ice roll my face, dry brush my body, and jump in a freezing cold shower.
I never want to get into that shower, but ice-cold water is a powerful stimulant that gives me an insane energy boost and zaps any racing thoughts and ‘high’ cortisol right out of me. Jumping in cold water is a shortlived discomfort that trains your mental resilience. I get ready for the day, make breakfast, have a coffee, and check in with work – e-mails, social media, etc. Off to Pilates, and my workday officially begins! What are you daily non- negotiable wellness
rituals? I have many. Hah. I put caring for my body and wellness at the top of my daily list. It is my number one priority. And that plays a massive role in being able to create the life I am creating for myself. My non-negotiables would be, first and foremost: Food. I eat well and am mindful of what I eat and how I eat it. Food is a key that we can easily use to uplevel the quality of our lives (and bodies). Beyond food, I meditate/breathwork daily, move my body, and train my mind to strengthen and grow daily. I love cold showers, the sauna, good sleep, and the list goes on. My entire life is made up of rituals that support my mind, body, and life to be at its most abundant state and flourish. How has meditation changed your life and was it a key aspect of bringing BRÛLÉ to life?
I committed to doing a Dr Joe Dispenza meditation (where you visualize, feel, and embody your future self) every morning for six months straight without skipping one day. This played a key role in bringing BRÛLÉ to life. We all have our own limited ceilings, fears, and doubts. And I had to move through my own blocks to create this business. So, these meditations helped me immensely. I love using meditation as a tool to empower myself in any area of life I need it the most. While creating BRÛLÉ I needed to teach myself to believe that I could create a new reality. And I did. Did you always know you wanted to launch a brand and how did you define the DNA? I am a dreamer and a schemer. I always have been. I have to slow my own roll because if I had it my way, I would ride out every idea that comes to mind… and there is simply not enough time for me to keep up with myself! That said, I never sat down and defined the
DNA of BRÛLÉ. It has naturally been unfolding, and the DNA is beginning to speak for itself. Creating BRÛLÉ has been simple – clothing based off what I have personally have looked to find in a brand. Over the years, I searched for timeless, quality, comfortable, classy clothing. I like to dress simply yet refined, and I love to make a
59 emirateswoman.com FASHION
Kenzie Burke is the business brain behind BRÛLÉ , an elevated approach to timeless basics with a focus on quality over quantity
statement. When I get dressed, I want to feel sexy and comfortable in my own skin. I look for clothing that has a mix of masculine and feminine silhouettes. Unfortunately, I was never satisfied with what I found...
When I design for BRÛLÉ I design based on my desires that have not been fulfilled. However, when I find an article of clothing I love, I wear it on repeat. Therefore, I infused BRÛLÉ to embody the ability to wear these timeless basics repeatedly in many different ways. And, as far as the branding and presentation – I love a good branding moment. I brand everything. It is my favourite part when it comes to creating and running a business. The brand’s energy is what people will buy into, and it is essential that the branding is on the money. For BRÛLÉ, I went with simple, black and white, timeless. I want to ensure this brand never goes out of style, so I did not go too crazy with the branding. Instead, I went for classy. With the ability for the brand to evolve into anything it wants to grow into. Why BRÛLÉ – what does this name mean for you? The name BRÛLÉ stems from its definitional association with fire. So, when I saw the definition ‘life after a fire’, I knew that my next business would be BRÛLÉ.
From a very young age, a theme in my life has been the phoenix rising from the ashes. I have been on the path of constant evolution, but until recently, I would burn the past (jobs, businesses, places, people, things) and thrust myself into a re-birth to the point where it started to feel unhealthy. This theme was on repeat in a way that no longer felt like it was serving me or the life I wanted to create. I wanted a foundation. Therefore, I declared that BRÛLÉ was going to be my foundation. In this one for the long run. BRÛLÉ is my new life after a series of many fires.
How did your previous roles support you being able to launch your own brand and how did you know it was the right time? I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I am big on the ‘compound effect’, which means that what is present in your life today will grow into tomorrow, which turns into the next month, next year, and five years from now. I have been financially supporting myself from the age of 12 and solely relying on income from my own businesses for four years. I have a natural hustle within me. It has not always been sunny skies and butterflies. I have made many mistakes, especially when it comes to being an entrepreneur. My first rodeo at running a business was wild. I made a tonne of money very fast and burned through it even faster. I hired too many people, started too many projects with no plan, and made choices that could have been smarter. I learned the hard way, but it gave me the knowledge and baseline to do what I am doing now. So, I am
forever grateful for the lessons I have learned and the experiences I threw myself into so that I could learn.
How did I know it was the right time to birth BRÛLÉ? It was after I took time and space to reflect after the storm of my last business. I faced myself and had to learn to love myself for who I was and not what I was doing. It looked a little like this: First, I had to surrender to loving myself for who I was and not put my worth into what I was doing or the money I was or was not making. Then, I had to become clear on my desire to create a foundation that would unlock the life I have dreamed of. Finally, I promised myself I would be in this one for the longterm win; then, it was time.
How challenging was refining the manufacturing process and ensuring consistency in fit and fabrication? The most challenging part was beginning the entire process for the first collection. Breaking into any new industry is never easy, and it felt like a guessing game when it came to picking how I would manufacture, where I would do it, and who would assist me in making sure I did it right.
It was and is very simple for fit and fabrication as I go into each design, knowing exactly what I want. I only make something if it’s a piece that I am clear on. I know the type of fit, quality, and fabric I want for each style. If I don’t know, I don’t make it yet. Everything is simple when you are clear. Where do you produce your pieces and how have you had to adapt as the brand has scaled? Currently we produce locally here in Los Angeles. For the foreseeable future, we will be here.
How do you balance the creative and commercial sides of the business, and do you feel more drawn to one than the other? Balance? Sounds nice... hah. I would love to get there. BRÛLÉ launched five months ago – I am knee-deep in the start-up phase. Right now, I do everything. I don’t love the commercial side of the business and am grateful that I have been forming a co-founding partnership and creating companies and ventures with my best friend, Cibelle Levi. I bring this up because Cibelle and I have different strengths, and we balance the different roles it takes. It makes a world of difference.
I love the creative. I could go one million miles an hour if I were solely creative. The commercial side definitely slows my roll because I am not *in love* with it. I expect to put the work in in every area I need to until we get big enough to scale and I can hire where my weaknesses are. For now, it’s good to learn everything, so I know the business like the back of my hand.
How many people are in your team now and did you start out alone? My best friend and business partner (we are co-hosts of a podcast, co-founders of another brand launch-
ing later this spring and forming what our long-term roles will be with BRÛLÉ) is the only person on the team right now. I started alone, I have done everything alone until recently where Cibelle and I have decided to form a partnership. We go at it. We are hustling right now. Everyday feels like a hustle. As mentioned, start-up phase. This is what it takes. I work from the moment I wake up until bed… weekends too. It’s not a longterm thing, I know. But, for now… this is where we are at.
What have been the biggest challenges to date and how did you overcome them? The biggest challenge thus far has been learning how to scale a brand with no investors and having patience for the time it will take to get this brand to the level I want it to be at. I am very impatient and have to teach myself how to trust in the power of time. I have yet to overcome either of these challenges, but someday, I will!
How have you found social media in terms of supporting brand growth? Yes. Social media (Instagram specifically) is everything for the brand right now. I am fortunate enough to have a larger social media platform and many friends who are of influence online. I don't know how I would have started this without that. The goal is to enable the brand to flourish without relying heavily on social media… Someday, I would love brickand-mortar and to be in other stores. Social media is where we are at in the world now, and I don't foresee how we would ever be able to not rely on it in some capacity.
What advice would you give to your younger self? I advise my younger self (and presentday self) not to be so hard on myself. I felt so much pressure to ‘figure it out’ that I put so much of my self-worth into what I had or hadn’t done. Or what my life did or didn’t look like. I have started not to be so serious about life. Letting life play out, bringing in more joy, not gripping so tightly, and opening to ʻreceiving’ doesn’t make me feel like the world’s weight is on my shoulders anymore. Opening up to partnership and letting go of feeling like I have to hold everything and do it on my own has brought much more lightness and joy into my life. Plus, I am having more fun. I would also advise trying all the flavours. Try as many things as your heart desires – as I have. But love yourself for trying it all. Don’t judge that it may ‘look’ messy. This is The Style Issue – what does style mean to you? Style plays a large part in the way you present and express yourself. Style – may it be what you wear, how you style your home, etc., plays a role in the energy surrounding your aura. It’s cool because we can choose our style. And that, to me, shows that we each have a choice. That choice is that we can each decide to be exactly who we want to be.
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IMAGES: CIBELLE LEVI
WORDS: AMY SESSIONS
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like/your morning routine? My morning routine is vastly different to what it would have been 18 months ago, now the first 30 minutes of my day are reserved for my son. He wakes up at around 5:30 am, we go downstairs to make tea together and read some books back in bed until we are ready to get dressed for the day.
What is the DNA of MATCHESFASHION style wise in terms of buying, editorial and how you approach the industry? MATCHESFASHION is the destination for the most credible, directional edit from established designers and a place to discover new and emerging design talent. We also have the most sophisticated and interesting clients across the globe. We know that their lives are multifaceted, having interests in not only fashion but also culture, art, travel and food. This is reflected in our editorial and community building by highlighting the intersectionality in all of these interests.
How challenging is it to define which brands to support each season both emerging and heritage? The Buying and Marketing departments are very connected on our approach to each season so when we collectively believe in a brand it comes with a commitment to highlight across our content as well. That clarity comes with the incredible experience that we have in house here at MATCHESFASHION. When we see a brand that is delivering a collection that is unique and authentic, we feel it immediately. How do you approach challenges? I am a natural sceptic so when I am presented with a challenge, my instinct is to dissect the issue and really dive deeply into understanding every inch of the problem at hand. Once I build my knowledge base, solutions become clear and I can embark on a plan of action. Have you had any mentors and if so, what advice did they impart? I am so lucky to have incredible mentors – all women, all at different phases in my life. Aside from instilling great confidence in me, I have learned a lot from observing them which is great advice in itself. Be aware that the people around you are impacted by your actions, good or bad. Take an active role in the energy you are exuding every day as each one is an opportunity to improve your surroundings. The best piece of directly delivered advice is “The sign of a great manager is how proficient their team is in their absence”. Because women have had to work so hard to prove they deserve a seat at the table, I think that has come with a level of protectiveness and information hoarding with the goal of validating our individual worth but it’s 2023 and its time to share, to build others up and to use our experience to train the next generation of leaders which is what my mentor meant in that advice.
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We speak to Fashion & Marketing Director at MATCHESFASHION, Megan Reynolds on championing emerging talent and staying true to your personal style
What advice would you give your younger self? Stop being so hard on yourself – todays mistakes are what will make you better tomorrow.
This is The Style Issue – what is style to you? Style is not only how you put things together but conﬁdence in how they will make you feel. Knowing what suits you and experimenting within the parameters of what makes your style personal to you.
How long did it take for you to ﬁnd your own style DNA and what is it? Does it di er from day to night? I am still on my journey ultimately but my 20s were certainly for experimentation. Now in my late 30s, I am honing in on the investment pieces that I will have forever and what I want to be synonymous with my aesthetic, so it deﬁnitely takes time. I am very consistent day to night – I love classic pieces that I can put my own spin on. Strong tailoring, a fabulous coat, perfect ﬁt jeans and a great bow blouse are all examples of building blocks I reach for time and time again.
Do you have a favourite piece you’ve bought and what is on your Wishlist? My most trea-
01. Grand Ocean Ensemble diamond & 18kt gold ring Dhs95,872 SOPHIE
BILLE BRAHE available at MATCHESFASHION;
02. Horsebit leather loafers Dhs3,580 GUCCI available at MATCHESFASHION; 03. Andiamo small Intrecciato-leather shoulder bag Dhs14,988 BOTTEGA VENETA available at MATCHESFASHION;
04. Simone Rocha bomber dress hybrid
sured pieces are Prada, many of which are skirts. I also reach for my investment blazers from Balenciaga and Margiela time and time again.
Which brands are ones to watch? In terms of up-and-coming talent, I think there is such great design coming from London. I absolutely love Chopova Lowena, S.S. Daley, Super Yaya & Ashlyn – all so di erent but extremely true to themselves and o ering customers something exciting for di erent purposes within their lives.
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“Style is not only how you put things together but confidence in how they will make you feel.”
01 02 03 04
WORDS: CAMILLE MACAWILI
What do the first 30 minutes of your day, your morning routine look like? I think a successful day always starts early with a clear goal to achieve that day. I love to wake up before the rest of the house comes alive, pour myself a tea, wash my face and double check my schedule for the day. I then always like to take some time to exercise, whether that’s Pilates or walking my dog. What are your nightly rituals? Bedtime can be busy and hectic with a one-year-old, but once my daughters have gone to sleep I like to take a hot bath or shower and get into my The NAP Co pyjamas. There really is no better feeling! I also like to make a next day list so I’m ready to attack the day as soon as I wake up. It helps me relax and put the day behind me so I’m not going over everything I must do the next day in my head and helps me sleep more deeply. I also like to try spending time away from my phone each night before bed. However, this is easier said than done at times!
Why did you decide to focus on sleepwear? I’ve always loved being at home and I’m a cosy girl at heart. When you get home, you want to feel comfortable but also still chic and put together, so I love designing sleepwear that still allows for that ultimate comfort whilst looking amazing too. I feel like sleepwear really is more than an outfit or something to lounge and sleep in and is a form of self-care. Having our customers feedback on how our
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Siobhan Dudley, founder of The NAP Co, on style, balance and starting her
pieces make them feel will forever be the core of the brand and community.
What drove you to start your own sleepwear brand? I was a Medic in the Royal Air Force for 10 years, serving away from home quite regularly. The first few trips away I was always home sick and wondered how I could take a piece of home away with me. I started investing in good quality sleepwear, and sleep sprays that I’d use back home. I found that every evening when I returned to my bed, even whilst away, the feeling of putting on my sleepwear that smelt like home allowed me to relax and sleep better. This is where my love affair with sleepwear began. I noticed a massive difference between pyjama prices, with nobody offering quality and chic designs but in a price range that was not super luxury. When I left the RAF, The NAP Co was born from noticing this gap in the market.
Were there any fears when you were starting out in the business – and how did you overcome these?
Yes, it nearly never began because I was so apprehensive to put my idea out there and see how it would do. My career in the RAF was incredibly different, and when I’d tell my idea to colleagues and friends that I was starting a sleepwear brand, it wasn’t always met with words of support, so that was placed on hold for a while. Around 2019, I spent a year sampling different manufacturers and fabrics before launching our first PJ set in May 2020. I made my first few orders on a credit card and a dream, which looking back was a huge risk, luckily it paid off.
Your first collection launched in 2020 and sold out after 24 hours without any advertising and marketing activities. How has social media helped you in scaling the brand? We were so grateful to our customer base when this happened and knew we were onto something. For us, social media has really helped us to gain the trust amongst the customer community and confidence for us in what we’re doing. Seeing all the customers in The NAP Co and talking positively about us really helped gain that momentum and open doors we could only have dreamt about.
Since starting out, what has been your favourite moment to date? There truly have been so many amazing moments, but the one that stands out the most, is being approached by Selfridges buyers within a year of launching to stock our products and seeing my products in store. It’s always been one of my favourite stores and I love the shopping experience they bring, so every time I walk in and see The NAP Co stand, I get butterflies!
Where did you get inspiration for the new collection? I find inspiration pretty much everywhere in everyday life. It could be a colour palette that catches my eye in a beautiful hotel interior or when I’m out on a walk. I find that turning off my phone and walking down the river next to our house inspires me.
What are your goals for the next five years? We want to continue the growth phase we are currently in and build our community outside of the UK, as well as continuing to grow our relationship with our customers, as they are truly at the heart of everything we do. We’d
love to be a household name within five years for everyone’s go-to for beautifully made, but affordable personalised sleepwear and underwear. As a mother and a beauty entrepreneur, how do you find your focus and create work-life balance? I feel like since becoming a mum, I’m even more focused than I’ve ever been because I have a little girl looking up to me as a role model, and I truly want to show her that women can have it all. However, time management and lists are crucial as every second counts as an entrepreneur and a mother. Take time out religiously every evening for your family to reset and I always make sure I turn off for a few hours each night to be present and grateful in the moment. What elements are key for a good sleep? Go to bed at the same time every night with good sleepwear, bedding, and a book!
This is The Style Issue – what is style to you? Style is the way you hold yourself – the way you talk, move, and how you express your inner being outwards to the world.
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“Style is the way you hold yourself – the way you talk, move, and how you express your inner being outwards to the world.”
P HOTOGRAPH Y :
Bottega Veneta’s Ramadan collection dives deep into the purest of pigment ABDELWAHAB
WORDS: CAMILLE MACAWILI
Who is the Maison D’Angelann woman and what is the DNA of the brand? The Maison D’Angelann woman is elegant, confident and loves clothes that make her feel and look good. Our DNA is to create remarkable, iconic dresses that also feel like showstoppers. How do you define your roles in partnership with your business partner and do you feel more drawn to the creative or commercial side of the business? My business partner and I make a great team – we complement each other perfectly. While she is running the commercial aspect of Maison D’Angelann, I am working on the creative side. I inadvertently cultivated my passion for creative design over time, it was an organic journey. I always believed it was possible to create an incredible brand on a
DRESSED FOR SUCCESS
global scale and Maison D’Angelann as the physical representation of this belief. How does social media as a platform support scaling the business? For us, social media is where we connect with the Maison D’Angelann woman. It is a space that we use not only to communicate our newest creations but to also engage with our community of women who celebrate and inspire each other. In today’s world, there is no scaling without communicating on a human level with your customers, and we at Maison D’Angelann love to do this, especially through our Instagram channel. How challenging was it to source the best material and work with the best production globally? Quite challenging. Fashion and luxury supply chains have never had it so hard. The pandemic, extreme weather events, and geopolitical uncertainty –combined with growing demand for sustainability – have constrained supply, increased costs, and made responsiveness much tougher to achieve.
We have a valuable network of producers and suppliers who we see as a vital part of our business, and building such relationships took endless energy and effort. I always knew that building a top-quality network of partners would not be an easy job. However, thanks to our brand’s reputation and business ethics we can proudly say that we work with the world’s leading manufacturers and handpick the highest quality fabrics.
What has been the most rewarding aspect since launching for you and why? The first one was when we started seeing growth in the customer base. The second one was seeing that Maison D’Angelann women were returning to buy from us every season. It was a clear signal that our customers loved how our creations made them look and feel. For a founder, there is no greater satisfaction than seeing her vision embraced by thousands of women.
Have you had any mentors in your life and if so, what knowledge did they impart? My family has acted as mentor and as inspiration. My mother especially has been the person who helped me grow and shine and has guided me in difficult times. She is a source of inspiration and strength for me. What advice would you give to your younger self? Work hard because everything you dream of is possible.
This is The Style Issue – what does style mean to you? Style to me means being yourself effortlessly in every choice. I see style as an outer expression of a person’s inner world and individuality.
How would you define your own style? I would define it as classic and elegant. I am fascinated by elegant cuts and timeless creations.
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Anna Chybisova shares the challenges and achievements of launching Maison D’Angelann and the power of the right dress
PRAGMATIC SILHOUETTES, FLAWLESS LEATHERS, AND EXCEPTIONAL ARTISANAL SAVOIR-FAIRE. LOEWE’S JONATHAN ANDERSON DELIVERS ELEVATED PIECES WITH UNIQUE TWISTS IN A FRESH AND TIMELESS SEASONAL PALETTE FOR SS23
WORDS: CAMILLE MACAWILI
ALL AVAILABLE AT LOEWE
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WORDS: JOELLE ALBEAINO
Founder of 1309 Studios, Ghada Al Subaey talks us through the creative process and building her brand
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What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine? I try to avoid using my phone for the first hour as I have a busy day ahead running two companies. It is extremely important for me to clear my head and centre myself. Something else I do is to stick to a daily meditation practice for at least 10 minutes and then journal. Journaling helps me out a lot as it gets all the noise out of my head and on paper, this enables me to welcome the day with a clear mind. Also, a gratitude journal is a practice that is miraculous and life changing, I religiously do that every morning.
What inspired you to launch 1309 Studios? I began exploring my personal style around the age of 15. I always found myself buying fabrics and taking it to the tailor to create styles that weren’t available in Qatar at the time. When I was at university, my love for fashion grew and I would mainly wear clothes that I created myself. This was when I started designing kaftans for my friends and family. I was designing and running it all from home, there was no advertising around it. Eventually, I started to get a lot of orders due to word of mouth and that was when I started conceptualising and working on launching my own brand.
Where did the name 1309 Studios come from? 13/09 is my mother’s birthday. The brand is dedicated to my mother as she is my style inspiration. When I was younger, I used to watch her stitch and cut, and this is where I learned all about fabrics and stitching. Your signature prints are the hallmark of the brand. How do you choose the prints? Our inspiration has always been nature, spirituality and women. Our designs and motives are always driven from nature and the flow of nature, that’s why we have a lot of organic patterns and prints and organic lines specially in the curvy swirls that we keep on using in prints and cuts to mimic the flow of life and the waves of the sea. We are very inspired by astrology which is very apparent in our designs. The women of 1309 and how she evolves, and changes inspire us to innovate and create new innovative ways to dress. The spirituality inspiration is in the
or wear separately. This offers women several options to integrate 1309 into their day-to-day outfits as well as special occasions. 1309 is known for their trench coat abayas and we experimented and developed a subtle upgrade from previous styles this time around.
What is the hero piece of this collection? Tassels are a 1309 signature embroidery element, and the Cher abaya is beautifully hand embroidered with beaded palm tree tassels on an hourglass silhouette. This is definitely one of the most unique pieces and the highlight of this collection.
What advice would you give to women wanting to start their own brand? As a fashion designer, the most important aspects are creativity and balance. Putting effort into designing and choosing the fabrics and textiles involves a lot of dedication and hard work. However, seeing your designs come to life is always extremely rewarding.
You started 1309 to create a safe and supportive place for the female community of Qatar; can you expand this? The idea behind the 1309 studio woman is to create a safe place for women where they can come together to empower and uplift each other professionally and emotionally; to develop a platform where women feel free to speak up and take a moment to heal from the daily challenges of life in today’s fast-paced technological world. The clothes they wear should not be a restraint. The fabrics, colours, and cuts that I choose make the girls feel fun and alive. It should feel like an outfit, rather than a covering for an outfit. The fabric we use at 1309 is meant to complement all various body types and shapes. The latest collection “Eternal Unfolding” represents the 1309 woman. What does it mean to you to be a modern woman today?
poetry and the message that we embroider on the abaya while making sure to use sustainable fabrics and adopt an ethical approach in our designs. What is your opinion on the abaya, and how would you style one? There is usually a stigma around abayas, and I want to change that. I would love for abayas to become as respected globally as kimonos. I want to see everyone around the world wearing them as a fashion statement, not necessarily to dress in a modest matter. Abayas should not be seen as “less than”. Our aim is to modernise the abaya. Every designer in the world has made a kimono, and it seems like something that is fashionable and celebrated. I would love for my ideas and inspiration to create change. Whether it is about applying sustainable approaches in our work or utilizing environmentally friendly packaging, I want the brand to continue to make a positive impact towards the community that we have built for women. I would like to expand globally and represent the Arab world in a global fashion space. Talk us through the creative process behind the collection.When designing for this collection, I was always seeking for new ways to be innovative and distinctive in the designs. We developed pieces that you can put together
A modern, 1309 woman is a carefree, daring woman who stands out. In today’s world, women are comfortable enough to be their true selves. Women have become more daring and are showing more interest in wanting to try designs and embrace new ideas and new ways of dressing. They are looking for unique designs and became more courageous in choosing colours and cuts.
This is the Style Issue – how would you define your own style? I would say that I don’t have a specific style. I take on everyday how I feel, and this is presented through my designs as well – having a huge variety for different women. I wouldn’t categorise my style as sophisticated or edgy because it all depends on how I’m feeling on the day, what errands I have to run, and I dress accordingly. Enclothed cognition is a theory that is backed by science, and it is basically how clothes affect and influence psychological matters in the human. So, for me, my clothes support my needs and tasks for the day as well as how I want to feel that day. If I’m feeling soft then I try to choose materials and colours that reflect that whereas if I’m feeling powerful, I go for something sharp with dark colours.
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“Our designs and motives are always driven from nature and the flow of nature.”
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Founder of Never Fully Dressed, Lucy Aylen on creating effortlessly feminine pieces designed for a nuanced approach to daily dressing
WORDS: SARAH JOSEPH
Talk us through your career. I never actually had a career plan to make this a business, I was an unemployed actress with a creative flair so started to customize one off pieces to sell at London’s boutique markets. My parents were market traders, so it was in my blood and something I loved doing. We were lucky enough to gain a voice and grow with the launch of social media, with our multiwear styling becoming a huge hit online.
What inspired you to launch Never Fully Dressed? I was always creative and enjoyed selling, I have always been passionate to support charities and causes I loved so I thought why not put both together and create something to empower others through feel good dressing.
You launched the brand in 2009, how have the pieces evolved since then? We have always wanted to retain NFD’s core style and ensured our multi-wear pieces remain at the forefront of our business. We have worked extremely hard to improve our range offering, quality, and sizing which we continue to do. What lies at the core of the brand’s DNA? Multi-wear styling for everybody, feel good dressing for all shapes, sizes and ages, honesty, and fun.
What sets the label apart from other contemporary fashion brands? Our honest voice and approachable nature which has allowed us to create an amazing community of fabulous women, feeling the best versions of themselves in feel good clothing. What strategy did the brand adopt to grow the boutique into a cult-favourite brand on social media? Our success has been very organic with a love for our styling videos, honest voice and community feel. We love showcasing our products on a diverse range of women, looking fabulous in our bold prints and creative styles.
Majority of the prints are designed inhouse – talk us through the creative process. The design team and I work very closely to create the initial range concept for which we then work up key prints and shapes to fit. We work on both digital CAD’S, sketched and painted designs to ensure we are maximising our creativity.
You make sustainable fashionable. How have you managed to overcome this challenge?
We are still on a journey and work hard to ensure five per cent of our range is sustainable per month with a vision to increase further this year. Our production chain is completely ethical, we work with family run factories who have been with us since day
one. Beyoncé and Kendall Jenner are up there for us, both of them wore our pieces organically which is amazing. We love seeing all women in our designs and take great pride from our customer tags. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? Stay true to yourself, be kind, dream big from the beginning and have fun.
What’s next for the fashion label in the Middle East? We are exploring pop-up activations this year and an expansion on our wholesale offering to ensure we can cater to such an amazing market. We have modest, appropriate ranges launching from SS23. This is The Style Issue – what’s your personal aesthetic? My personal style is feelgood and fun. My style is definitely unique to me and my mood, I love wearing colour to boost my day and find it makes others happy around me.
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“Our production chain is completely ethical, we work with family run factories who have been with us since day one.”
Hot New Buys
WORDS: SARAH JOSEPH
The latest radiance enhancing beauty products to invest in
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The hero fragrances for SS23
WORDS: AMY SESSIONS
Y : AHMED ABDELWAHAB
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Founder of Fox And Vamp, Talitha Price discusses true style, building a business and being present
WORDS: CAMILLE MACAWILI
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What do the first 30 minutes of your day, your morning routine look like?
Every day is a little different, getting up early is something I have had to get used to with a toddler. I am not an early riser so a morning matcha (or two) is always needed. Some of my suppliers are overseas and Zoom calls can start as early as 6:00 am. My two-year-old son wakes around 7:00 am and things quickly get a lot more hectic. By 8:30 am, I try to squeeze in some sort of movement, even a quick Pilates session or walking to work helps set me up for the day and clear my head. I often find that new ideas come to me during this time. How did you go about deciding the name and what is the DNA of the brand? From the outset my idea was to have a luxury brand – but fun. I knew it had to reflect in the name. I wish I had a more compelling story about the brand name, but in truth, I was doodling on a long train journey and playing around with different names. Now, I love the duality of the name – fox denotes freedom, confidence, and a sense of humour with an air of elegance whilst vamp represents being fierce, bold, authentic, and playful. The brand DNA is critical in what we do and is split into three main areas. Craftsmanship in the real hair we source, and it’s done with a mindful approach to detail. We make what can look unnatural, look extremely natural. Freedom is self-confidence and expression to feel and look your best unapologetically. Finally, accessibility, being available to everyone and worldwide (eventually), and creating easy fool proof options. What was the catalyst for launching your own range and how did it solve a problem you were seeing from the business you’d already launched? We exist to boost the hearts and heads of women around the world who have naturally fine, sparse, or no hair. The goal is to make high-quality real hair solutions that are fabulous, easy to use, and accessible so that even people with great heads of hair become our biggest fans. It was the natural step to be able to source our own hair, especially in a saturated market. I knew the only way to get it right was to source the highest quality hair myself. A clip-in range consisting of ponytails, fringes, and natural seamless for people who are unable to visit the salon was always going to be my next step. What have been the biggest challenges to date and how did you overcome them? In business, there will be daily challenges. Covid-19 has been our biggest challenge to date, while inflation has caused costs to soar. The challenge now has been about still sourcing high-quality products, that our clients would love and trust without doubling costs. Finding the right team over the years has proven to be a challenge. People will let you down monumentally, you must have thick skin and be ready for it. There is no secret formula to a successful business, but you must believe in yourself, your ideas, hopes, and dreams. When you start a business, a lot of people will question you. You need to surround yourself with positive people who encourage you and want you to succeed. In a saturated beauty market with a niche offering, how do you differentiate against the competition? In a saturated market, I am constantly trying to be forward-thinking. I use social media to be transparent about the passion and quality of our products and services. We use Instagram as a tool to showcase our real work, using our clients as our biggest asset. A visit to Fox And Vamp is more than just a hair or beauty appointment, we’ve created an environment where you can feel completely at ease. Trust and communication are integral parts of how we operate. Our products are unique in quality and the perfect blends. The way that I always envisage launching a product is by intuition and then by being in the salon, surrounded by clients and listening to what they want, and identifying their needs. I then work with my hair supplier or lab for future projects. I am quite creative so I can tell them exactly how
I see it. It is a process for sure, timings are long to get things perfect so finding patience is a skill I am still working at. Customer service is key to your business – how do you ensure consistency in quality? It sounds obvious, but putting your customer first is always at the forefront of everything we do. I try to walk the customer experience, whether it be online or social media, and I like to think about what value are we giving our clients by putting this out there. Anybody can try to sell a product, but people will get bored if that is all you talk about. The story of your brand, the values you share with people, and the problem you are helping them solve will be what they remember and what makes you stand out. Within the salon, we focus on building a unique relationship with each client. We listen and understand their short and long-term goals, whilst taking the time to plan this out to achieve exactly what they want. Over the years, I have worked hard to get the right team in place. This has not always been smooth sailing, people will let you down monumentally, and I am still surprised to this day by it. You have to have thick skin when it comes to business and people, that’s for sure. However, when you have great people, who share the same values it is a game changer. It lifts the energy; everything feels aligned and the customer experience will always be enhanced. What are your goals for the brand in the next five years and how will you expand globally? Fox And Vamp is continuing to expand as the demand is so high for the best quality hair. We are always developing new and innovative ways to make real hair accessible and seamless, so women get all the benefits whilst feeling it is an extension of themselves. In May this year, we are launching our clip-in range, tapes, and ponytails available to buy online. This will be followed by our wholesale hair range to target salons worldwide, with a strong plan for the UAE. The other plans I cannot yet speak about, but I will say they are big enough to scare me which is a good indication. In general, I tend to weigh up the risk of any new venture – what is the worst-case scenario – and if I can handle it then it is worth the risk. You have a family as well as a business – can you give us some granular detail on your days? What does it take to make it all work? Every day is a little different. Truly, it’s a tough balancing act. I try to be as present as possible in the things that I’m doing. When I’m with my family, I put the phone down. If my husband reads this, I can hear him laughing. When I’m low on energy and need a pick-me-up, I’ll take time for myself and do some Pilates – even 20 minutes helps me with balance and also that’s when the ideas flow. Honestly, I find I do have so much adrenaline because I’m passionate about what I’m doing. Naturally, my social plans are not as busy as they used to be, but that is just prioritizing. When you have a business and a family, something has to give.
What are your non-negotiables in beauty both face and body? For body, dry brushing with Mutha Body Oil each evening and Pilates are my non-negotiables. I also enjoy a lymphatic drainage massage – if I had the time I would do them weekly. For face, I use an extensive medicalgrade skincare routine. I am rigorous with Skin Better Science and Alumier cream cleansers – these are my go-to products, as well as daily SPF. I am also a big fan of Profhilo and Aqua Gold treatments and think a little bit of Botox is absolutely a must for me. This is The Style Issue – what is style to you? Maybe this is an age thing, but truly I believe being confident in your own skin is the best style you will ever have. Somebody who walks into a room full of confidence and a presence will raise the energy and vibrations in that room, I believe that is a style that will never go out of fashion.
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“I tend to weigh up the risk of any new venture –what is the worstcase scenario –and if I can handle it then it is worth the risk.”
WORDS: AMY SESSIONS
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like/your morning routine? On an ideal day, I wake up at 7am and take the first hour completely for myself. I like to start my days slowly as it sets the tone for the day. I’ll drink water/ electrolytes to rehydrate, put my infrared light on and move through a combination of calming breathwork and unguided meditation for the first 30 minutes. After that I like to read a few chapters before heading for a cold shower/ice bath or sometimes even a swim in Hyde Park if I can get myself there. How did you know it was the right time to launch The Breath Space and which steps previously led you to this path? In all honesty, I never gave the timing too much thought. I found breathwork through my own personal journey with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks and after immersing myself in different practices for a while, I decided to train and dedicate myself to learning for a good while before beginning to share this work with other people. I think it was serendipitous that this all happened around the time of Covid, where I had a lot more time on my hands and physical and mental wellbeing was well and truly at the top of everyone’s agenda. I have a degree in Economics and was working in commercial roles in various tech start-ups for six years in my early twenties, which while seem-
ingly unrelated to what I do now, has definitely helped me in building a business and brand around this work that I love. Did you make the leap when you already had clients? Absolutely. I was working full-time for 18 months while building my business in the background and building up my client base, network and ultimately revenue to a point where I felt comfortable and safe enough to make that leap and I’m so happy that I did. What is the DNA of the brand? Breathwork for the everyday. An accessible and powerful approach to healing, connection, and growth through breathwork. I believe everyone has the opportunity to benefit from breathwork and I always make sure I’m approaching my work in a way that would have appealed to me as a sceptical, closed-minded 24-year-old. How challenging was it to hone the correct breathing techniques and how did you first begin to share this with others? I found myself fascinated and energised as I immersed myself in learning about breath and respiration initially. The breath is ultimately quite simple at its core but also nuanced and complex, there are so many different ways you can use the breath to influence your physical, mental and emotional state. I work and have trained across a broad spectrum of breathwork styles – some of which are much more science led, and others that are more spiritually led. One of the most fascinating and challenging learning curves for me came more from the deeper end of the breathwork spectrum, in creating a safe environment for people to go through powerful (and sometimes challenging) healing experiences. I first started sharing simple tools to help with things like stress and anxiety on Instagram and things built from there. What technique can we use daily to improve mood, calm our nervous system and be most productive? There was a recent study published by everyone’s favourite, Dr Andrew Huberman, and the team at Stanford, which looked at specific breathing techniques in comparison to meditation for improving mood, regulating the nervous system and reducing stress. The most
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We speak to Jamie Clements, Founder of The Breath Space on why we need to breathe better in order to heal and grow
effective technique studied is the Physiological Sigh – a double inhale through the nose into the belly, followed by a long sigh out of the mouth. Repeating this for 1-5 minutes can be incredibly effective.
What are the harmful effects of shallow breathing? The breath touches on so many areas of our lives, through our physiology and psychology. The most negative impact of shallow breathing is that it keeps us stuck in a cycle of stress, activation and anxiety. Shallow breathing stimulates the fight/flight/freeze response in our nervous system, which in turn triggers us into more shallow, fast breathing. It can turn into a vicious cycle that can deepen our challenges with stress, anxiety, sleep and much more, unless we have the tools to shift us out of this pattern.
What have been the most challenging or rewarding aspects to date since launching The Breath Space? I’d say the whole experience has been an ongoing, brilliant cycle of challenging and rewarding. Regardless of the nature of your business, there are the natural challenges that come with being a solo entrepreneur and launching a new business. The fear of the unknown, the imposter syndrome, the responsibility that comes with it. However, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I take a huge amount of pride and energy from sharing this work with other people and seeing people work through their own challenges through the breathwork and with my support. There have been so many personal highlights – like Community Festival with Russell Brand last year, Happy Place with Fearne Cotton and my first solo retreat, but I honestly feel like it’s the people I’ve met and the small interactions I’ve had with people over the years that mean the most – as cliche as that might sound. How do you approach challenges? As often as I can, with a smile on my face. One of my favourite quotes right now is “we don’t grow in spite of the storms; we grow because of the storms”. No moments of growth come in times of comfort and every challenge I face gives me a chance to learn something about myself and the world around me. That’s not to say there haven’t been hard moments and times where I’ve wanted to give up, we’re all human – but I’ve learnt the value of building a stack of mental evidence to remind myself how I got here and why I do what I do. How do you approach scaling without compromising on quality of content or connection? This is an incredibly challenging topic for most of us – particularly those who work in the wellness space and who work with people in this capacity. I’m a huge believer in what Naval Ravikant says – “escape competition through authenticity” – if you can combine hard work, curiosity and authenticity, then you will always move in the direction that is right for you. That could be scaling to an empire, or to a much smaller level – I don’t think there’s a right way, only a way that’s right for you. For me, I have a drive and a desire to share this work with as many people as I can, whilst managing my own energy and lifestyle around that. Connection and community are at the heart of what I do and so I view that as an important part of my growth,
rather than something that should or would be compromised. How has social media supported scaling the business? Social media, in particular Instagram, has been a huge part of growing the brand and business. A lot of my business growth today has been very organic, which I’m grateful for. This has come through social media and through the incredible people and brands that I’ve connected with through these platforms. Some of my closest friends, colleagues and collaborators have been people that I’ve met through social media.
Have you had any mentors and if so, what advice did they impart?
I’ve had some official mentors and some unofficial mentors. I take a huge amount of inspiration, learning and growth from my friends and people I work alongside. Up until very recently, I had a business and life coach who I worked with for over a year and who has given me so much fantastic advice and guidance. The one that’s always stayed with me from him was “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” - meaning I can make more progress by slowing down, focusing, and moving smoothly and efficiently, rather than moving frantically and chaotically.
What advice would you give your younger self? I thought for much of my life that discipline was the opposite of freedom. I’d tell my younger self that discipline is freedom, having self-discipline and structure in your life allows you to create more freedom. I’d also tell him to do hard things regularly and always do your best to act from a place of compassion. @the_breath_space
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“The most effective technique studied is the Physiological Sigh – a double inhale through the nose into the belly, followed by a long sigh out of the mouth. Repeating this for 1-5 minutes can be incredibly effective.”
Transform Your Mind
WORDS: AMY SESSIONS
What do the ﬁrst 30 minutes of your day look like/your morning routine?
My alarm goes o just before sunrise, then most days I meditate, it sets me up for the best day. Then it is either a co ee while listening to an audiobook, or I head out and go for a walk, especially now as the mornings are fresh.
What is at the core of RTT and NLP? At the core of both is how to change human behaviour. Each modality does this in a di erent way. At a high level, NLP Coaching is forward focused. It’s about how to move towards goals, deﬁning and aligning your identity, improving your perception of where you are and changing your perception of what is stopping you.
It is primarily at a conscious level, i.e., talking with some exercises in a more relaxed state. What you learn while studying NLP is important. I was lucky enough to study with a teacher meticulous in language, so skills and providing precise feedback. It is all about rapport in a relationship. RTT is deeper work, it fast tracks healing, as it impacts your nervous system. It releases over reactions that are a result of the past. Imagine what your life would be like if you signiﬁcantly reduced triggers for stress, anxiety, lack of conﬁdence and anger, then you can begin to understand why I advise people to do “the deep work” initially and then focus on moving forward with Coaching. How can these practices support in improving the way we show up in life and how does this affect how life unfolds for us? I am sure some of this will resonate with a lot of people. You get to a point in life where you realise, most things are a habit and a reaction. Your emotions and thoughts are typically reactions, you have the same story and expectation of certain people. You go through scenarios in your mind of how to get speciﬁc outcomes, which means when you show up, you listen to replies and don’t
understand because you want your needs met or you want to be validated, which causes frustration for the other person as they do not feel seen, heard or understood.
You can break any element of the above cycle and create a di erent dynamic. When you change your internal metronome, you stop reacting, and you start participating and navigating situations. If others do not change with you, you now adhere to your values and set boundaries and make decisions that allow you to get out of dysfunctional situations in any area of life, friendships, relationships and workplaces. Unless you are creating newness in your life, your life is a series of patterns from the past that you are repeating with different people playing the same characters [please read and understand this, if there is a situation in your life that you do not like]. You are attempting to change the outcome and you can only do this if you change.
How do we know if trauma is holding us back? People mostly want to feel content with where they are and, optimistic about the future and moving towards it. So, if the average of your physical, emotional and mental state is not mostly contentment, and you are not moving towards what you want in a constructive way, then this is a cue for you to do something di erently. A lot of people don’t want to admit to childhood trauma; however, they will admit to confusion or being exposed to things they should not have been exposed to. Confusion, indecision, over communication, lack of awareness, being slow to take action, not being able to make longer term decisions about your future, low conﬁdence are all subtle signs of childhood neglect and trauma. I wish everybody would educate themselves on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE Scores) and Childhood Emotional Neglect. If they did, they would have a di erent lens to reﬂect and understand why they are not content and bingeing on food, gaming, shopping, social media alcohol etc. If you are not achieving your goals and your goals are realistic (i.e., a +5% stretch from where you are), then there is a problem. How many sessions does it take to overcome trauma? Tell me the problems you want to address, your ACE score and what you want to achieve and then I will tell you the number of sessions! Most people just want to feel better where they are and enjoy their life. They have low levels of stress and could do with an improvement in conﬁdence. They had some confusing events in childhood. If they are self-aware, one to two sessions would be enough. Some clients come in with eight areas they would like to improve, high ACE scores, they feel great a er one session, see positive changes in their behaviours, and when they come back for more, they see signiﬁcant changes and make life changing
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Changing the way you show up in life can be a game changer for how opportunity unfolds for you. We speak to Helen Pleic, RTT and NLP Coach on what it takes to do the work and master the secret weapon to success
decisions with 6 - 10 sessions. You need to consider the following factors: the age the trauma happened, how prevalent it was (duration period and the number of people), what coping mechanisms were developed that are now part of your foundation e.g., overachiever, people pleaser, are there new skills that need to be learnt, like effective listening and communication, setting and enforcing boundaries. Your age, if you are on medication, your openness and willingness to change all impact the number of sessions you will need. If you are open and excited without expectations, this is the biggest game changer that will help you transform quickly. You can liken it to going to the doctors and saying I broke my leg, which is obvious to fix compared to: I feel a little off and they can’t pinpoint the cause, so they run a lot of tests. To speed up healing, you need to be open, admit to confusion and initially only look at it from your point of view at the age the trauma occurred.
What are common challenges or traumas you see recurring in patients and is this related to how the world has changed? Lack of safety and connection are common underlying factors of trauma. Today, broadly speaking, we as humans are overstimulated and disconnected from our simple needs. When you think about the quality of connection and safety in your life, how would you rate it? Or would you even be aware of it with all the distractions that you have? Industries are designed to maximise profits, which in turn requires them to seduce you with products and services that meet your unmet needs and increase your dopamine levels. The instant dopamine feel good factor is the problem. Not understanding how your brain/body works and a lack self-awareness, and then being exposed to media messaging of always needing to feel good is like telling someone to be on a sugar high and only eat sugar. Eventually it will rot your brain, make you sick and you will burn out. Here are some common beliefs that are formed in childhood; I am not important enough, I am not seen, I am not loveable, I don’t belong, I need to hide, I am helpless, I must be a good child. With people becoming busier and the way that society has changed, these beliefs will be more prevalent in a wider number of people purely due to the lack of quality connection.
What other mindfulness practices do you find are supportive to implement alongside RTT or NLP? I would like everybody to understand how crucial mindfulness is. To do this you need to understand that your nervous system is your number one system. It reconciles your inside and outside worlds through all parts of your brain. There are primal instincts that you cannot override, like freeze & flight when you see a snake. Then you have logic/ego that is the sum of all of the past meanings of the experiences that you have had. Every human is, body, emotions, mind, and soul (and for
those that are not religious, replace soul with the intelligence that breathes on you and allows you to breathe). To be mindful means to do anything that calms your nervous system. You can easily do this by being very intentional with your focus. We have so many distractions that create diffused awareness which can put your nervous system in a higher state of alert and scanning for threats.
Breathing is an excellent way to reconnect with your body. Try not breathing and see what it does to your decision making. So, if breathing calms your nervous system, which calms your mind, it then follows that you have improved observation, awareness and decision-making skills. The thing is most clients resist doing the breathing exercises I give them. Breathing is free and you can do it anywhere and all you have to do is commit to breathing mindfully for about one to three minutes at a time, multiple times a day. You could commit to breathing deeply at each set of traffic lights that you are stopped at, or when you are angry do a more forceful style of breathing to release the anger.
Narrow your focus and absorb and describe everything in detail and be grateful for five minutes. So, before you get out bed,
clients’ mind forms specific beliefs around experiences. There are overall general patterns however every client is different. The most challenging thing about it for me has been my perception of where I am on my journey for working for myself. I completely changed roles and industries. When you lead teams at a high level you have a certain amount of experience, momentum and an unconscious commitment that moves you forward. When you work for yourself, in a new industry, you are faced with all of you each and every day, gaining experience and becoming an expert in what you do. It has been a huge process of self-reflection, which has resulted in significant gains in inner peace and authentic confidence as well as deeper connections. I have a lot of respect for the techniques as they are powerful.
You’re launching an App – can you share more on how we can utilise this? I am very excited to be doing this. I’ve had a career of designing and implementing systems to maximise outcomes, so now I am applying those skills in the self-hypnosis and development space. The content is based on trends and patterns of what I have seen to be effective in individual and group sessions. The app will have everything I wish I had on my journey and what
intentionally smile and greet the day with a good morning. Place all your attention on your feet and wriggle your toes and be grateful you can ground your body. Really observe the nature around you, all its detail and colour. Walking. As the old saying goes, walk your worries away. Set the intention, every step I take I let go and move forward in my chosen direction. Observe everything you see. I have studied yoga and have an immense respect for its ability to reconnect you with your body. What have been the most challenging or rewarding aspects to date and why? The most rewarding aspect of what I do is that I free people. It is a process, and every session with every client is different. When clients tell me they feel lighter after one session and that people notice the difference in them, that is powerful. Releasing trauma is like removing blocks and this is done in levels. I am always learning something unique about how each
I have found to be effective. Exercises for breathing, guided journaling for inner child healing and gratitude practices. And what I am really excited about are the challenges that I will be able to run, which will allow for more people to get results, faster.
Have you had any mentors and if so, what advice did they impart? I have, sporadically. The best pieces of advice were an introduction to meditation and ted talks right when they first started, integrate your professional and personal identities, and make complex things simple to understand.
What advice would you give your younger self? Trust and nurture your instincts. Learn about how your childhood experiences can impact your thinking, mindset and decision making. Mental and physical wellness is the ultimate luxury, so invest in yourself as soon as you can. Accept help and it’s also ok to ask for it! @yourliberatedmind
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“If the average of your physical, emotional and mental state is not mostly contentment, and you are not moving towards what you want in a constructive way, then this is a cue for you to do something differently.”
WORDS: AMY SESSIONS
The Power Players
worked in a high-octane industry like investment banking, had the amazing fortune to experience the very best in terms of service and hospitality AND you have an entrepreneurial interest, you tend to constantly look at other industries and businesses to see ways of optimizing the product or service. My husband has always had a love of sports and ﬁtness and, for us, banking and law did not feel like our ‘end point’. The ﬁtness industry is very unique in having the potential to have such a transformative impact on individuals, but with very low barriers to entry in terms of both qualiﬁcations and what is required to open a business. We saw a great opportunity to open a ﬁtness business that o ered a truly quality service to match the big investment our clients were making in themselves. We had looked for this ourselves and had just not been able to ﬁnd that mixture of professionalism, expertise and quality of service – since we knew we were not unique, we thought we just had to give it a go… so we did!
What do the ﬁrst 30 minutes of your day look like/ your morning routine? I have had the privilege of having some amazing executive coaching over the years and one of the key changes I have made to my approach has been my morning rituals. As one of my coaches says, a great life is made up of great years, great months – but you need to start with great days. Start the day with purpose and you stand the best chance of it being great. I love my co ee – it is my little indul-
gent moment – so every morning James, a er his training, makes me a delicious latte, I sit for 10-15 mins to plan out my day, go through a little gratitude exercise and try to do some form of exercise. I ﬁnd this has the most positive inﬂuence on how my day progresses and I can deﬁnitely see the di erence if I don’t implement those little rituals into my morning. How did you know it was the right time to launch Embody Fitness and which steps previously led you to this path? When you have
What is the DNA of the brand? For me, Embody stands for exceptional quality (product, service and surroundings) delivered in a nurturing and client-centric way – we want to take each of our clients on probably the most transformative journey of their lives, but we want them to enjoy every part of it. We have all heard the saying ‘no pain, no gain’ but we want Embody to be the antithesis of this – I really believe that a transformative journey like the ones we take our clients on can and should be as positive, easy and enjoyable as possible – it is a wasted opportunity otherwise.
How challenging was it to reﬁne the formula you would adopt with clients, and can you expand on what this approach entails? Anyone that has opened a business and tried to do it a bit di erently – gone against the grain so to speak – can probably testify to the fact that it is not easy. We have a complete team approach in an industry that is largely individualised – we wanted clients to have a seamless, no compromise, personalized and comprehensive service in a fragmented market where each service (training, physio, sports massage, nutrition and lifestyle/life coaching) is normally separated and disjointed – all whilst experiencing truly pampering service that you could only ever experience in the tranquility of a ‘spa’ environment. We are always reﬁning the model, but I am really proud of our team and how we are as a business – when a client says coming through the door is like ‘coming home’, we know we are on the right track!
Was choosing the right location key and how did you decide on ICD Brookﬁeld? What is the phrase in real estate – location location location! ICD Brookﬁeld Place is certainly
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We speak to Co-Founder of Embody Fitness, Sharare Hau on what it takes to build a business with precision and surpass the rest in a competitive market
that, but even more, the team behind the building really believe in curating a great working environment for the companies that occupy the building. What we offer is what the team was looking for so we are thrilled to be part of the Brookfield Place ecosystem. What is Body Transformation and is this goal something which can be maintained longterm? We had a motto when we opened –Transforming Bodies, Transforming Lives. Clients that have completed a programme with us truly experience both sides of this. For us, changing the body is really the byproduct of changing someone’s life – their energy levels, their balance, their happiness, their ability to find fulfilment through a changed state of mind – and all these things have to be for the long term. Our sustainable approach to this is evident across our clients. Huge caloric deficits are unsustainable and potentially damaging workouts can certainly change bodies, but not lives and for us the latter is the most important.
In terms of anti-ageing and fitness recovery –how do your recovery suites support overall wellness? We love the added dimension of the recovery suites – the benefits of extreme temperature therapy are really well documented – improved muscle recovery, detoxification, anti-inflammatory outcomes, reduced cardio-vascular risk, improved circulation and mental clarity to name just a few – to be able to provide this to all our clients in our signature luxurious environment makes the overall journey easier and more enjoyable – and a few extra years on
your life can do no harm either right? What have been the most challenging or rewarding aspects since launching to date? Seeing our management team working together, supporting our staff members, bonding with and helping all our clients and being true representatives of our vision for Embody is pretty special. Consistently doing things differently and setting standards that you cannot necessarily point to in the same industry is never easy, but it is a lot easier with an amazing team around you. How do you approach challenges? I always try to remove the ‘fear’ points and focus on the opportunity that every challenge offers. Once you look at an opportunity without fear, it is a lot easier to see the positive path through. How do you approach scaling without compromising on quality? Take your time – set the vision and strategy – and make sure that everyone in the business understands what they are there for and how they can contribute to success. We want to grow as a business because I think we have something special and unique to offer, but not at the expense of losing sight of what we are trying to do – balancing those things is down to the quality of the people around you and how clear you are on what you are offering – we are very lucky to have both in place right now so we are very excited for what the future can bring. How has social media supported scaling the business? Now this one is double-edged. It is very difficult for a business like ours to ‘instantly’ convey what we do and how we are different. Social media’s slightly superficial image also sits a little awkwardly with our business values as we are all about long term, private, personal and transformative journeys. We are slowly breaking this down and when we get it right, we see how well people respond… this one is definitely on the Work in Progress list, but through showcasing our clients and their incredible journeys with us, we hope this provides inspiration and motivation to others. Have you had any mentors and if so, what advice did they impart? I mentioned the executive coaching I had over a few years and that has had a huge impact on how I see the challenges I face – coming at everything with as healthy a dose of positivity and enthusiasm as you can muster is certainly a big focus of mine. What advice would you give your younger self? See the possibilities in everything you do and not the things that could go wrong – as a trained corporate lawyer a large part of your job is to anticipate and think through all the things that could go wrong and legislate for them… it is an amazing life skill but you need to find that space to see all the things that could go right in order to really make positive things happen.
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The Hydration Hack
We speak to Charlie Wright, Founder of Humantra on changing the hydration game
What do the first 30 mins of your day look like/ your morning routine? I have a 5 am alarm every morning without fail. I immediately have a cold shower and hydrate with one sachet of Humantra. I do five minutes of box breathing, do my gratitude journal and head straight to the gym – exercise fuels my creativity. The newest part of my routine is to not check my phone or laptop for 100 minutes after waking. All these tasks are non-negotiable. My morning is the most sacrosanct part of the day. I go by the belief that “If a person puts even one measure of effort into following ritual and the standards of righteousness, he will get back twice as much” Xunzi.
How did you know it was the right time to launch Humantra and which steps previously led you to this path? The supplement industry seemed to only speak to one type of person –the active/gym goer. Feeling good and living better isn’t only reserved for people who work out all the time. Feeling good is the right of every person who walks the planet.
If you asked 50 people on the school run, who should be taking electrolytes, I guarantee that almost all of them would say they’re for people who work out all the time. It couldn’t be further from the truth, everyone needs electrolytes, every day.
You’re seeing the rise of educational based content from the likes of Dr Andrew Huberman, Chris Williamson, and Alex Hormosi – people want to know more about their health and wellness. Both as macro levers to overall optimisation. The reason we’ve grown so much in our first 12 months, is the fact
dration levels fluctuate all the time. Humantra should be a part of your routine – you need to get 7-8 hours sleep per night, move every day, get natural sunlight, eat whole foods, drink water and add in electrolytes. We’re here to help people make better, more conscious decisions.
How challenging was it to refine the formula and how did you know when you had got it right? We’ve all been there; someone tells us something is good for us and then we try it and we’re either holding our nose to drink or we knock it back and claim we’ll never have that again. My parents used to make me have two spoonsful of cod liver oil every morning as a child, until I made them try it and they agreed to let me take them in tablet form.
The underlying ethos behind all our product is that we want to ensure they taste great, with zero sugar or additives. We had rounds and rounds of internal tastings and we worked extensively with our FDA approved facility in the USA to help us nail the formula with the mineral balance that people needed, and flavours that people loved to drink. We’re also working on some incredible new flavours that are set to launch soon.
that for the most part, we’re talking to people who have never taken an electrolyte before. They’re not happy waking up feeling tired and getting headaches, brain fog, muscle cramps or lightheadedness, all of which are signs of dehydration in the body. They want to take control of their health and wellbeing. I’ve been an entrepreneur for long enough to know that you never know if the time is right. Nevertheless, we couldn’t have launched the brand at a better time and we’re truly excited to keep building the business and spreading the word about electrolytes! What is the DNA of the brand? The essentials – you need to think, feel, and perform better. Our products are not just suited to athletes. Everyone, and I mean everyone, can benefit from our product range. We don’t claim that our product in silo will change your life like a lot of other supplements out there. What we do pride ourselves on though, is that our products will always be a conduit to making better life decisions. We get a lot of messages saying “Can I take one sachet and I then I don’t need to drink anything else” – it couldn’t be further from the truth. Staying hydrated is balancing fluid intake, your hy-
What are the effects of dehydration and how do the right electrolytes reinstate the balance? Drinking plain water is not the best way of hydrating – our body needs electrolytes for optimal hydration. Our brain is 73% water, so even mild dehydration destroys your productivity. A 1% drop in hydration, can lead to a 20% drop in cognitive performance. Furthermore, 2% dehydration decreases focus, mood and energy levels. The best minerals for hydration are potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. These minerals are important for maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium helps regulate fluid balance, while magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle function. Calcium helps the body absorb water, and sodium helps regulate blood pressure. Common signs of dehydration are headaches, tiredness, brain fog/light headiness, dry skin, confusion & muscle cramps. Electrolytes help to maintain the balance of fluids in the body and regulate important bodily functions. Most of the time, your fatigue and headaches are because you’re dehydrated. It doesn’t mean you should drink more water – it means you need more salt, electrolytes, and water! Dehydration is a lack of sodium, magnesium, potassium, AND water. Taking electrolytes everyday is the simplest and biggest difference you can make to your wellbeing. Your energy levels will increase, your brain functionality will improve, your headaches will vanish, and those sugary cravings will subside. How many sachets should we be taking per day and when? We advocate for you to wake up and have two sachets to kick start your day. Try to avoid caffeine for at least 90 minutes after waking. The more coffee you drink, the more sodium and water your body needs. If you exercise, then we would advocate that you take sachets before/during/after the workout. As you sweat, you lose minerals, in particular sodium, so it’s hugely important that you replace those minerals after sweating too. Don’t wait to drink when you’re thirsty either. Our thirst doesn’t get activated until the body is 0.8-2% dehydrated. So, if you only drink when you’re thirsty, you’re constantly going to be dehydrated. What have been the most challenging or rewarding aspects to date? Managing demand
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WORDS: AMY SESSIONS
has been our Achilles heel. We sold out twice last year, which was fantastic, it demonstrated that people loved the product, but managing supply chain is super important, and we literally couldn’t replenish the new stock to keep up with demand. Thankfully we’ve streamlined our supply chain now, so we can consistently deliver what our customers need. The most rewarding part is hearing how much the product has helped people every day. From reading reviews where people say they feel energized and full of energy. Headaches have gone, illnesses avoided and generally people are drinking more water. Knowing that our product is helping people be happier and healthier every day, is the most rewarding aspect of this business. On a macro level, there’s no finish line with Humantra. We’re building something that will outlast all of us. Knowing we’re building something that powerful makes getting out of bed every single morning exciting. How do you approach challenges? Head on, I embrace them – challenges are where we grow as people, as entrepreneurs and as leaders. There’s a Zen Buddhist saying “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” The point being, stay focused on the task at hand rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. How do you approach scaling without compromising on quality? The last few years have demonstrated that heavily venture backed businesses scaling with no path to profitability just doesn’t work in the long run. From the outset, we wanted to build a sustainable business while also demonstrating an ability to grow. The key word in the business is ‘iterate’ – whether it was the original formula, future flavours, or products, the creative & messaging we publish – we’re committed to constantly improving. The business is built on the following values:
C - Curiosity (Always asking questions, don’t take things for face value – dig deeper)
O - Optimism (Believe in a better future & be willing to put in the work to get there)
A - Ambition (Strive to exceed, with unwavering tenacity. Think big, then think bigger)
C - Compassion (No matter who they are, we treat everyone equally & with respect)
H - Humility (Always got something to learn, always got something to improve on, never settling).
Ensuring that everyone in the business, including myself, is held accountable to these values, we’ll be able to continue to grow whilst ensuring our quality remains at the standard we expect. Finally, staying in tune with our customers will always be at the core of the business. When you DM us on Instagram, it’s me replying to you. I respond to emails too. Whilst that may not be scalable, that customer centric approach that all my previous ventures have been built on, will continue to be what this business is built on. How has social media supported scaling the business? No doubt about it, social media has been at the forefront of our early rise. We’re in a position where we can present a problem to people (dehydration) and an immediate solution (our sachets) which has really resonated
with our audience. We’re learning from some of the best in the business, Huda and Mona Kattan have demonstrated how social commerce can drive huge success in business and we’ll continue to leverage social media. We’ll be launching our TikTok channel in the next few weeks too. Educational content is important to us. Our mission is not just about building Humantra but also educating those in and out of our community about a healthy lifestyle and help them make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.
Overall, education content for health is a critical tool for promoting health literacy, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health, and improving health outcomes. You could change someone’s daily routine and improve their quality of life just by sharing one of our posts or better more a sachet of Humantra. Have you had any mentors and if so, what advice did they impart? In the last 12 months I’ve been extremely conscious of who I surround myself with. David Goggins refers to it as a FOXHOLE. In military speak, it is a fighting position. In life, it’s your inner circle, the people you surround yourself with. They know your history and are aware of your future goals and past limitations. Rather than formal appointed mentors, I’ve surrounded myself with people I respect and that are further down the line than I am, they help push me forward. The people I talk to on a regular basis and the content I’m consuming are all pushing me forward. With Huda Beauty Investments being so involved in our business – I’m fortunate enough to have access to both Huda and Mona Kattan which is incredible. Access to their creativity, unwavering positivity and experience has helped me immeasurably in the last few years. Finally, I lost my father just before Christmas and he used to tell me to “fight, fight, fight – never give in” – no matter how hard it gets to just keep on going. Without that grit and determination that both he and my mother instilled in me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. What advice would you give your younger self? When you want to quit, when everyone wants you to quit, resilience whispers to you, KEEP GOING. JUST KEEP GOING. And one small one, always call home – you never know when you won’t be able to do it again.
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“Our brain is 73% water, so even mild dehydration destroys your productivity. A 1% drop in hydration, can lead to a 20% drop in cognitive performance.”
The Beauty Shelf
Co-Founder of 11/11 Aesthetic Clinic, Nadja Saveska shares her top beauty picks
COMPILED BY: SARAH JOSEPH
Toleriane Dermallergo Fluid 40ml for Dhs139 La Roche-Posay
I’m a ﬁrm believer in prioritising skin ﬁrst and makeup second. I like to use e ective yet minimal products for my skincare routine, and this lightweight moisturiser is one of my favourites to keep my skin hydrated throughout the day.
Mineral 89 Probiotic Fractions
30ml for Dhs164 Vichy
Ever since I started using it, my skin has become more elastic and radiant. It’s full of antioxidant vitamins and works wonders for ﬁne lines and for regeneration.
Sun Protection Make-up SPF 50.
Self-adjusting Foundation Serum
I’m not a fan of heavy makeup especially during the day and this sunscreen is the perfect foundation-solution. Its nongreasy formula instantly adjusts to match any skin tone.
C E Ferulic 30ml for Dhs719
This serum is the perfect choice for my dry and sensitive skin. It reduces my ﬁne lines and also has a brightening e ect with my favourite combination of vitamin C & E.
K18 Leave-In Repair Mask, 50ml for Dhs263 K18
This leave-in mask is a timesaver and super convenient when you’re in a rush as it treats the
hair from root to tip. This mask is quite literally a game-changer.
Eye Colour Quad Dhs390
The combination of colours makes it the perfect choice for both day and night. It’s longlasting, so I don’t have to keep reapplying it.
Dior Addict Lip Glow Dhs170 Dior Backstage
I love applying this on its own to add a natural ﬂush of pink to my lips, or underneath my lipstick to keep my lips hydrated and plump.
01 Lash Clash Mascara Dhs180
This mascara is the perfect formula for a full looking lash that really brings out the eyes.
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An Idyllic Escape
MAKE THE MOST OF ISLAND LIVING AT INTERCONTINENTAL RAS AL KHAIMAH MINA AL ARAB RESORT & SPA
Situated amid the vast terracotta desert, this expansive property is designed for an elevated island experience in the heart of Ras Al Khaimah. With unobstructed views across the gulf, guests can book a family-friendly experience, with the one-bedroom villas promising utmost comfort. Offering round-the-clock service, everyone can feel at home with the extended walk-in closet. The Private Pool Villas have direct access to the white sandy beach and the Seafront Villas boast unobstructed views across the gulf, so visitors can select the one that best suits their preferences. The expansive One-Bedroom Terrace Suite makes the most of the lush gardens.
Looking for a VIP experience? The Presidential Suite, the property’s largest accommodation,
promises an aesthetic getaway with its deepsoaking bathtub with lapping waters just steps from the door, and an expansive outdoor living space to soak in the breath-taking views.
The property’s onboard facilities include a state-of-the-art health club along with complimentary equipment for the tennis court, an oversized infinity-pool and a private Club InterContinental Lounge with exclusive privileges designed to make each stay all the more memorable.
Highlighting various accommodation types, this luxurious resort is just the midweek escape you need this season. Families looking to travel in style can book the Family Getaway offer. Guests booking one villa will receive 50 per cent off a second villa.
For more information visit Icrasalkhaimah.com
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COMPILED BY: JOËLLE ALBEAINO
AM TO PM BEAUTY
Lucy Aylen, founder of Never Fully Dressed, talks us through her beauty routine
Talk us through your morning routine. I’ve never really had too much of a routine but, as my skin has got older, I’ve focused more on this. I wash my face and then use my Beauty Pie everyday moisturiser. I am also trying to grow my hair so I take hair vitamins each morning and add an organic oil to my hair and eyebrows. Do you have a pre-bedtime routine? I cleanse with Aveda and then add my Beauty Pie night oil. What are your go-to skincare products? Mainly Beauty Pie and recently the Soho Home SKIN range, always a blend of natural oils to condition and cleanse.
Which mask is your favourite and why? I love Beauty Pie’s 10 minute-miracle sheet mask, it’s great for rehydration and a little boost. I mainly use masks when travelling long haul. How would you describe your day-to-day makeup? This is pretty minimal; I use the Glossier tinted moisturiser with a body glow product mixed in which gives a nice shine. I use a brow pencil and brush and a tiny bit of mascara then a highlighter that can be used on my cheeks and lips. What can always be found in your makeup bag? Always a natural oil of some sort and a few Glossier products.
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Clockwise from top left:
Colonia Deodorant Spray Dhs190 Acqua Di Parma; Perfecting Skin Tint Dhs95 Glossier; Plantastic Overnight Miracle Face Oil
Dhs264 Beauty Pie; Glossier You – Eau de Parfum Dhs235 Glossier; Super Healthy Skin Daily Moisture Lotion Dhs154 Beauty Pie; Botanical Kinetics Purifying Creme Cleanser Dhs147 Aveda
Let’s talk fragrances. What are you currently loving? Since I was pregnant with my eldest son, I was put off by stronger smelling fragrances, so I don’t really wear one now. I prefer a nice smelling body wash and my husband’s Acqua di Parma deodorant. I do sometimes use the Glossier perfume.
Talk us through your haircare routine. I wash my hair a few times a week to maintain the natural oils and take vitamins for growth. I use BABA shampoo and conditioner, it’s quite thick which I like. I mix natural oils in between hair washes. How is your hairstyle different from day to night? I
leave it down loose by day usually and for a more natural, night-time look I put it in a low, slick bun. What is the most unusual item in your make-up bag? Not sure it’s unusual but my new favourite is a Mac silver pigment glitter, it’s so fun and makes you smile, adding an element of glam. Beauty tools you can’t live without. Not so much a tool but I have started having a HydraFacial every six weeks which is a real rejuvenator for your skin. What was the last beauty product you bought? The Mac pigment glitter. What is your ultimate beauty indulgence? A HydraFacial.
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Innovative designs, investment pieces
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Biagio Table Lamp By Tobia Scarpa, 1968 Dhs22,225 Flos; This page: August Coffee Table Dhs7,175 bloomr.ae; 34 Boulevard Saint Germain scented candle, 600g Dhs679 Diptyque; Ando - Coffee Table Book Dhs73 Taschen; Three Section Taupe Camaleonda Sofa Dhs117,536 Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, 1970s available at thesouthlooploft.com
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WORDS: AMY SESSIONS
What do the first 30 mins of your day look like, your morning routine? I do my best work at night, so I like to give myself enough time in the mornings to get the day started at a manageable pace and certainly always try to avoid feeling rushed. I will have a black tea without fail and often try to build in time for some mindfulness exercises, whether it be meditation, breathing exercises, or just some quiet reflection.
How did you know it was the right time to launch ONE 52, and which steps previously led you to this path? I have been a lifetime design aficionado. This led me to art school and an early career in photography. After attending several international design fairs, I eventually started working with leading Italian furniture and lighting design manufacturers. However, I have always wanted to introduce something new to Middle East.
This market is one of the most unique in the world and that heritage of design appreciation is exhibited on a grand scale. We see
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We speak to Founder of ONE 52, Sasan Mostajeran, about the power of details and why investment pieces are the smart choice when it comes to interiors
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design everywhere here in Dubai and that is why I truly believe it is one of the best places in the world to live.
When I visited USM’s headquarters and factory in Münsingen, Switzerland, and met the team behind the company, I thought it was a tremendous opportunity to partner with a world class organization and bring its unique and innovative products to Dubai and the larger Middle Eastern market. What is the DNA of the brand? Our DNA is providing authentic, timeless design pieces with superior customer service. We are dedicated to providing our customers with furniture that looks great and is functional and timeless. From the moment a customer steps into our design studio, we aim to help them find the perfect furniture piece to meet their needs and tastes.
How challenging was it to refine which brands you wanted to carry and was it easy to partner with them from the outset? When it comes to selecting brands to carry, it’s important to choose those that align with the vision of ONE 52 Furniture. I had to consider a number of factors such as brand reputation, design aesthetic, product quality, and market demand. Partnering with these brands was a multi-step process that required careful consideration and negotiations. I had to establish clear communication with the brands and build strong relationships with them to ensure that we were on the same page.
In some cases, the partnership process was straightforward and easy, while in others it was more challenging. However, I believe that the time and effort put into building these relationships was well worth it, as it has
allowed ONE 52 Furniture to offer a diverse and high-quality product lineup. Ultimately, my goal was to create a carefully curated selection of brands that would provide customers with the best possible shopping experience and enable ONE 52 Furniture to stand out as a leader in the furniture industry. There is an education piece needed around investment pieces that last a lifetime. Can you expand on this? Investment pieces stem from another era but have a timeless spirit. The creative expertise and innovation behind the product are what keeps products up to date. Having an original is a life-long companion and a cultural legacy – it doesn’t lose value, and can be passed down through the family, adding to its own history. It represents longevity for generations. I believe that education is key when it comes to industrial design and investing in authentic pieces of furniture. “What is an original? Why should customers purchase an original when a copy is so much cheaper?” In industrial design, there are two conditions to being an original: the manufacturer must have production rights and there must be some form of collaboration between the designer. Yet there are frequently misunderstandings. What have been the most challenging or rewarding aspects since launching to date? As an Iranian national, opening a bank account can be a challenging and complicated process. Due to the international sanctions imposed on Iran, many banks have restricted their services for Iranian citizens. This has resulted in limited options to open a bank account, which is a lengthy process and requires significant documentation and verification. How do you approach scaling without compromising on quality? Scaling a business or organization can be a difficult task, and our top priority is maintaining quality. Our approach to this is to implement a system of checks and balances that can ensure that quality is maintained at each stage of growth. This can involve creating clear processes and guidelines for operations, providing regular training and development opportunities for employees, and incorporating regular quality control measures such as audits or customer feedback. Another important aspect is to prioritize investment in the right tools, technology and infrastructure that can support efficient and effective scaling. Furthermore, involving and empowering employees at all levels can help ensure that quality is maintained and that the organization remains adaptable and agile as it grows. Have you had any mentors and if so, what advice did they impart? My dad has been a constant source of inspiration and guidance in my life, serving as a mentor and role model for
me. Throughout my journey, he has been there to offer wisdom and advice, always encouraging me to follow my dreams and pursue my passions. His unwavering support and belief in me have given me the confidence to take on new challenges and overcome obstacles. He has taught me the importance of hard work, perseverance, and integrity, and I am grateful for his example of what it means to be a successful and responsible individual. I am deeply thankful for his guidance and support, and I am proud to call him my mentor and my dad. What advice would you give your younger self?
It’s important to always remind yourself that making mistakes is a natural part of growth and learning. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things, even if they may not always lead to immediate success. Embrace your mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, and use them to improve yourself and your skills. Additionally, never stop learning and seeking new knowledge and experiences. Keep an open mind, be curious, and never stop pushing yourself to be better. And above all, never give up on your dreams. No matter what obstacles you may face, stay focused and persistent in pursuing your goals. Remember that success often comes from perseverance and hard work, and that the greatest achievements are often the result of overcoming challenges. If you were advising someone investing in a lifetime piece for the first time, which piece would you suggest and why? I would say the Charles & Ray Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Vitra – a classic piece of mid-century modern furniture admired for its iconic design and unparalleled comfort for over 60 years. Its timeless design and excellent craftsmanship make it a worthwhile investment that can hold its value for years to come. In addition, I also suggest the Taccia Table Lamp designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos and the USM Haller System. It is a timeless piece of Italian design that offers both functionality and aesthetic appeal. The lamp’s distinctive design, with its spun aluminum reflector and blown glass diffuser, creates a warm and inviting ambiance in any room. The USM Haller System is a modular furniture system that allows for endless configurations and customization options, making it a versatile and practical investment for any space. Do you have a favourite piece you bought and what is on your Wishlist?I have a very long list of items… On top of that wishlist is The Ball Chair designed by Eero Aarnio.
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“Investment pieces stem from another era but have a timeless spirit. The creative expertise and innovation behind the product are what keeps products up to date.”
Founder Nicolas Vandenabeele tells us how Terra Solis has
become the ultimate desert getaway in the heart of Dubai
and thrives. We have created an electrifying evening where our guests can shine and participate in the madness of exclusive Tomorrowland-fuelled parties, unique dining experiences and romance.
Talk us through the concept behind Terra Solis. Terra Solis is inspired by the magic of Tomorrowland and the star constellations we see in the night sky. Our philosophy here is to move slowly, radiate warmth and shine bright. The concept I envisioned was to create a relaxing environment with a soothing atmosphere. I wanted our guests to arrive and feel the exhilarating energy. The vibrant pool scene and eclectic music mix were perfectly crafted to re-energise and uplift. The location in the Arabian desert was specifically chosen for an ideal blend of sunshine and serenity. Even as the sun goes down at Terra Solis, the venue stays alive
How is Terra Solis different from other glamping spots in the UAE? Terra Solis is an exclusive glamping destination. Not only do we offer a variety of luxurious lodging options, but we are also home to one of the biggest pools in the UAE. Additionally, we offer a range of wellness activities, including yoga classes and a unique, jungle-inspired gym called Zeus. Our music acts and events help us to be incomparable. Our guests can have an ultimate glamping experience with an evening of exclusive parties reminiscent of Tomorrowland’s festivals and energy.
What are the hero dishes at the restaurants Mesa and Sala? The cuisine at Mesa is a Mediterranean menu, infused with flavours from all over the world. The dishes are designed to be shared and feature ingredients that have been sourced from local producers. At the moment, Mesa is scheduled to have a grand opening by the end of April 2023,
however, Mesa’s outdoor terrace is currently operational and serves guests daily. Also, opening in April is Sala, which is our hidden sanctuary overlooking Terra Solis with an exquisite menu curated by our craftsmen. Paired with enticing beverages and bites, guests can indulge in an intimate setting whilst watching the sunset over Terra Solis. Sala is filled with cosy little corners that are lit by the moonlight and are the perfect escape with your friends or loved ones.
Describe the overall experience at Terra Solis. An exhilarating desert destination by Tomorrowland, welcoming guests from around the world to a refreshing, energising pool and a premium glamping hotspot in the Arabian Desert. Terra Solis is like no other, an experience catered to all your needs and comfort with lodging at our Polaris Tent, Perseid Lodge or Orion Cabin. We invite guests to unwind, relax and simply celebrate life. What are the different music genres and what sets the concept of Terra Solis apart? We play a mix of commercial house and techno. Guests can experience Tomorrowland with One World Radio beats at Terra Solis and
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meet their favourite Tomorrowland artists – we have plenty of exciting artists lined up this year. Combining four concepts fuelled by the heart and soul of Tomorrowland. A unique glamping and entertainment resort, basking in the Arabian sun surrounded by the beautiful desert. An environment inspired by Bali, Tulum and Ibiza makes it an extraordinary holiday getaway. The design takes inspiration from nature – tell us more. We tried not to disturb the original environment too much and simply compliment the dunes and terrain, using a lot of natural elements from the desert. For example, the façade of our main restaurant is created out of stones we sourced from the surrounding desert. You’ll also see plenty of local trees and wooden elements. We really wanted to create a natural environment, paying homage to the scenery and UAE’s famous dunes; this can be seen throughout the property, as well as in the interior and exterior designs of the rooms. How have you managed to bring an international concept like Tomorrowland to the region? When I first came up with the idea of
creating a destination like this and got a green light from my business partners to explore, I contacted Tomorrowland for the glamping aspect of it as they have been known to host 40,000 people at the festival every year in ‘Dreamville’ – they clearly had the expertise and their vision fully aligned with ours. After many planning sessions and really taking the time to build a base for the concept, we were on our way. We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Tomorrowland, having hosted a few satellite events in the UAE before, and
it was clear to me that they would be the ideal partner for this concept.
This is The Style Issue – can you expand on the style concept of the lodges? The design was based on blending the surrounding desert and the accommodation’s building structure in a sleek way, evoking feelings of escapism as well as comfort. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept of merging the two factors, we came up with the idea of curved walls and full glass front shops. The interiors were still to be linked to the main concept, hence the curving headboard with the Terra Solis Star Logo, which emphasises the brand identity awareness in the units themselves. Guests will also find leaves in the style of Mashrabiya in many aspects of the property, from the rooms to certain outdoor décor, fusing Arabesque design with the contemporary. In the rooms, we strategically placed all washroom and shower areas toward the back of the sleeping sections, to keep the flow of guests’ experiences seamless. You’ll find that rooms all have subtle rustic yet eclectic finishes and splashes of earth tones that really make the space warm and inviting.
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“Even as the sun goes down at Terra Solis, the venue stays alive and thrives.”
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WORDS: CAMILLE MACAWILI
What does the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine? The first 30 minutes of my mornings are dedicated to self-care and setting a positive tone for the rest of my day. I usually start by drinking a glass of lemon water to hydrate my body and flush out any toxins from my system. Then I do a quick yoga routine to stretch my muscles and calm my mind. I find that starting the day with physical activity helps me feel energized and focused. After yoga, I have a healthy breakfast, usually consisting of oats and fresh fruits, or if I’m on the go, a quick smoothie will suffice. I make sure to fuel my body with nutritious food to keep me going throughout the day. And as an eco-artist, I’m also conscious of my impact on the environment, so I try to eat seasonal and locally sourced products, I avoid single-use plastic as much as possible.
Tell us more about the concept behind The Lost Planet series. I’ve always been passionate about using my art to raise awareness about environmental issues and the impact that human activity has on our planet. The inspiration for my series The Lost Planet came from my growing concern about the degradation of our environment and the loss of biodiversity. I wanted to create a visual representation of the beauty of our planet and its collision with the impact that human activities are placing on it. I believe that art has the power to evoke emotions and stimulate change, and I wanted to use this power to raise awareness about the urgent need for us to protect our planet.
What eco-friendly techniques or materials have you employed in the process of creating pieces for The Lost Planet series? I take great care in selecting my materials, blending natural elements like sand, volcanic stone, ash, crystals, fermented moss, dry flowers, tree bark,
and more with industrial materials such as resin, resi-crete, paint, metal leaf, and fiberglass alternatives, expressing the interconnectedness of our world. The result in my opinion is a mesmerizing combination of textures, colours, and contrasts.
In my piece Plastic Network (2019), for example, I invite observers to reexamine their actions and their impact on the world. This installation was created using single-use plastics, and The Lost Planet series as a whole, highlights the urgent need for change and is a love letter to my adoration of nature and discovery.
For all who are able to attend, I welcome you to witness my latest exhibition, The Lost Planet at the architectural marvel that is the ME Dubai Hotel, designed by the late Zaha Hadid. This iconic structure will serve as a fitting backdrop to display my artworks and create a one-of-a-kind experience. The private view of the exhibition will take place on February 28, while public viewing will be open from March 1 to 28, 2023. I am confident that the combination of this stunning venue and the powerful messages instilled within my art will leave a lasting impression. What do your artworks represent and what are you hoping for it to achieve? My artworks represent my deep-rooted concern for the environment and my desire to raise awareness about environmental issues through my creative prowess. I know that I may often sound like a bit of a broken record, but I am a firm believer that art has the power to evoke emotions and stimulate thoughts, making it a powerful tool for creating change.
My mixed media artworks highlight the pressing environmental challenges such as climate change, deforestation, plastic pollution, and wildlife extinction – the list goes on sadly, that the world is facing
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Eco-artist, ambassador, and philanthropist
Natalia Kapchuk on championing creativity and the causes close to her heart
“Through my art, I hope to inspire individuals to act toward a more sustainable future.”
today. I use a blend of materials, such as recycled objects, natural fibres, and re-claimed woods and elements to reflect the harm we are causing to the planet and the need to restore it to its natural state. Through my art, I hope to inspire individuals to act toward a more sustainable future. I believe that by raising awareness and encouraging people to question their daily habits and consumption patterns, we can create a ripple effect that leads to larger-scale change. Moreover, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of my artworks goes towards environmental organizations and initiatives dear to my heart working towards a greener future. I aim to use my art not just as a means of spreading awareness but also as a source of funding for environmental causes that I am passionate about. Where do you draw inspiration from? I draw inspiration from the world around us, as I am particularly drawn to the beauty and majesty of nature, and the delicate balance between all living things. Through my work, I aim to capture the essence of the natural world and convey the message that we must all work together to protect it. Whether by the vibrant colours of a sunset, the intricacies of Earth’s flora, or the vastness of the heavens, the world around us is full of inspiration for those who seek it. Where do you source your materials from and how challenging was it to refine this process? A vast majority of my designs utilize sustainable and eco-friendly materials that I source through a variety of channels. These items include recycled plastics, reclaimed wood, other discarded materials, and more. I find immense love for upcycling and repurposing these materials, giving them new life through my art. I can admit that the process of refining my materials can be challenging at times, but it is also incredibly rewarding. I say this because selecting materials that are safe for the environment and do not contribute to the ongoing problem of plastic pollution is important to me. This often requires me to spend time researching the materials and their sources, as well as experimenting with different techniques to create the desired effect. I also have to be mindful of the limitations of the materials and how they will hold up over time, especially since I want my art to last for generations. Despite the challenges, I believe that the work I am doing is important and has the potential to make a real impact on the world. It’s a journey that I am proud to be on and I am excited to see where it will take me next. What have you learnt in the brand-building process and what advice would you give to those wanting to carve out their own pioneering career path? Hmm. Great question. What I have learned throughout my career is that branding is crucial in building a successful career in the art world, or any realm for that matter. A strong and unique brand helps to differentiate you from others and establishes your credibility while setting you apart as an expert in your field. In my journey, I have learned that it’s vital to have a clear understanding of your artistic vision and to stay true to it. This will help you to develop a consistent and recognizable style that is easily identifiable with your brand. It’s also important to actively promote your work, through social media, exhibitions, and collaborations with other artists. This can help to build your network and increase exposure to your work.
One of the most important things I have learned is to never stop learning and growing. This means constantly experimenting with new techniques and materials and staying up to date with the latest developments in the art world. It’s important to be open to new ideas and perspectives and to be willing to take risks and push the
boundaries of your artistic practice. My advice is to be passionate and persistent. Building a successful career in the art world takes time and hard work. Focus on your art, and never be afraid to take chances or to make mistakes. Surround yourself with supportive people who believe in your vision and never stop striving to improve your craft.
How have you found social media has supported your brand growth and your advocacy? I have found social media to be a valuable tool in supporting my brand growth and advocacy. It allows me to showcase my work, reach a wider audience, and most importantly raise awareness about environmental issues. Social media has helped me establish a strong online presence and expand my reach through hashtags and tagging relevant individuals and organizations. Through consistent engagement and a commitment to my message, I have been able to make a real impact and reach new audiences. Throughout your career in the art space so far, are there any difficulties you’ve faced? As a female contemporary artist in the art space, I have faced several challenges throughout my career. One of the biggest difficulties has been navigating the competitive and often maledominated art world. As a woman, I have faced obstacles in terms of recognition and representation. Another challenge I have faced is balancing the business side of my art with the creative side. Running a successful art career involves a lot of administrative and financial work, and it can be difficult to find the time and energy to focus on both my art and the behind-the-scenes tasks required to run a business. That’s why I have surrounded myself with a strong team to make this process easier. I have also faced the challenge of staying true to my artistic vision while still appealing to a wider audience. It can be tempting to compromise my style or message to fit into what is currently popular or in demand, but it’s important to stay true to what I believe in and what sets my work apart.
How did you develop your signature mixed-media assemblage technique? I developed my signature mixed-media style through a combination of experimentation, exploration, and intuition. My approach to art is rooted in a deep appreciation for the environment and a commitment to sustainable practices. This led me to experiment with using a range of materials and techniques to create unique and thought-provoking pieces that explore the relationship between humans and nature. I started incorporating different materials, such as recycled and found objects, into my work to create a more layered and textured visual experience. Over time, I honed my technique, becoming more confident in my ability to seamlessly integrate different materials and techniques into a cohesive whole.
Through trial and error, I discovered the power of combining different textures and materials to create a multi-dimensional visual experience that engages the viewer on multiple levels. This led to the development of my signature mixed-media assemblage technique, which has become a defining characteristic of my work.
This is The Style Issue – what does style mean to you? Personal style to me is about making informed and responsible decisions in how we present ourselves to the world. It is also about making conscious choices and taking a stand against the fast-paced and often unsustainable fashion industry, recognizing the impact our fashion choices place on the environment. Style transcends mere physical appearance and becomes a symbol of one’s individuality, showcasing who they are and what they stand for.
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“Style transcends mere physical appearance and becomes a symbol of one’s individuality, showcasing who they are and what they stand for.”
WORDS: CAMILLE MACAWILI
The Art of French Living
How did you find yourself entering the hospitality industry? During my teenage years I joined a local restaurant to earn a bit of pocket money during the summer, that’s where I had my first glimpse of the unique hospitality experience. I found my passion for serving, and I enjoyed interacting with the entire team of different nationalities and handling the challenges that come with the service industry, giving me a sense of excitement to explore the world of hospitality all over the globe. Today, 3 decades later, I am
proud to call myself the General Manager of Sofitel Dubai Downtown and sharing this passion with my team.
You’ve successfully spearheaded several five-star hotels worldwide. What is your approach to leadership, and how do you ensure these values filter down through the company? After 30 years in Hospitality, I learned that to thrive in one of the most diverse industries in the world it is vital to instill values of Respect, Trust and Guest passion in order to deliver an exceptional experience. Success
also comes from the happiness of the team by showing support and empowering all talents, as well as understanding and creating an environment for different cultures to blend. Great leaders connect with their teams by facilitating open communication, and encouraging growth. A great leader is one who makes those around them better. How does the hospitality industry differ in the Middle East compared to other regions you've worked in? There is no doubt that Tourism is a significant economic pillar worldwide, the Middle East is not an exception. I was privileged to work in Europe, Asia and today in the heart of Arabia in Dubai, the hospitality standards here are not only best of the world but in continuous evolution following the guests’ expectations and perfecting their journey. On another note, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are continuously putting efforts to fight against inequality in the workplace and to reinforce the woman’s position in the society and in the workplace, a fight I personally relate to and try every day to contribute to. In terms of services and experiences, how does Sofitel approach client engagement and retention? Sofitel is a brand celebrating the French lifestyle. That translates into four pillars: excellence, generosity in service, openmindedness, and joie de vivre. Altogether, the Sofitel experience welcomes our guests to the finer side of sophistication, infused with local heritage and culture. To engage and increase brand loyalty, we are investing our efforts in Personalization and Digitalization. Sofitel Dubai Downtown strives to mirror the guests’ interests and offer authentic custommade services and experiences that exceed expectations. Having that “going the extra mile” mindset is essential to engage guests and successfully retain them in a perpetually increasing competitive market. You are an active devotee of women empowerment – can you tell us more about this and the initiatives you are driving? As one of the few women GMs in the region and part of the Accor Luxury Leadership team, I consider it a privilege to support and empower women through Accor RiiSE initiative, which is an active network across five continents based on the promotion of especially female talent to positions of responsibility, and on combating all forms of discrimination. We have been striving to do this at Sofitel Dubai Downtown by partnering with Evolvin’ Women to onboard women from challenging economic backgrounds in Africa and we have also partnered with Being She Excellency Awards to support women success stories. We are also proud to count half of the executive committee female, and with over 39 nationalities among my diverse team, I am also proud to state that diversity and inclusion are the heart of all our initiatives.
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CAROLINE TRICHET, GENERAL MANAGER OF SOFITEL DUBAI DOWNTOWN, ON THE VALUE OF GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND IN CREATING EXTRAORDINARY GUEST EXPERIENCES AND CHAMPIONING WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AT WORK
In the office with Sonia Leretz, Founder of Revalue
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PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK MATHEWWORDS: CAMILLE MACAWILI
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How long have you lived in this space? We actually just moved in February, following several months of work within the space. Have you custom-built any bespoke pieces? We took the space while it was core and shell, and after installing the walls, we also built the concrete bar as a finishing touch. We’ve selected carefully considered pieces in terms of furniture which are more unexpected in design.
How do you think the interior reflects you? I find myself evolving
within a universe of niche brands that inspire me every day. It guided my inspiration for the interiors of this space, and to honour what I believe in: warmth, experience and memorable moments to share.
Describe your taste in three words. Clean, warm, and as inspiring as possible.
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Beth Lauren, Cake Artist at The Cake Boutique by Waldorf Astoria DIFC on what it takes to create signature cakes with an attention to detail approach
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Talk us through your career. I started baking from a young age with my mum, I always loved food because it’s something that brought everyone together in my home. I studied fashion design and illustration at university and opened my cake business at the age of 20. I grew the business from my mum’s kitchen in my hometown until we were so busy, I had to move into retail space, I opened two stores side by side at the age of 26, one cake artist kitchen and one coffee parlour where guests could enjoy the cakes and afternoon teas. What makes The Cake Boutique by Waldorf Astoria DIFC different from other bakeries in the region? For me The Cake Boutique by Waldorf Astoria DIFC is a passion project, what we do at the Cake Boutique is deliver the best quality ingredients and flavours in the best quality packaging, married with perfect aesthetics and options such as gluten free, vegan and sugar free, we tick all of the boxes for a dream cake experience. You combine craftsmanship and complexity into original cake design – talk us through the creative process. I would describe myself as an artist at heart, getting to be creative with food is a beautiful opportunity to be as openly creative as possible because there are no rules or limits. When it comes to designing a cake, there are so many ways to find inspiration; online, in fashion, architecture or from the client, the world is my oyster. Once I have the creative ideas flowing, I make an illustration for the client to see their wedding cake before my team and I bring it to life. What’s the most unique design you’ve created for a client? The best thing about cake design is that every creation is a unique piece of art. I rarely make the same design twice because it can be so personalised to the client’s needs. Some of the most unique designs include a spherical wedding cake, a life size motorbike and a giant cake shaped like a bar of toffee being smashed with a hammer. How would you best describe your decorating style and what are you signature collections? My style is elegant with a twist, I like my designs to be beautiful and clean but also to tell a story of why they came to life. The signature collection I have created for The Cake Boutique is a range of perfectly designed ‘off the shelf’ style cakes, each featuring chocolate work, fresh fruits and/or edible gold. These cakes are beautiful, look luxurious and are made with the best quality ingredients; but also offer a more budget friendly, last-minute option for guests. You consult each client to take them through the sketch and tasting process, was this the plan at the outset? Something I have always done from day one as a Cake Artist is take the time to get to know my clients. Part of the cake making joy is that you play a role in creating a happy memory for your guest and
I do that by listening to their requirements and vision for their cake design. A designer cake isn’t just for show, so although I perfect the aesthetics with an illustration, it’s important for me as a chef to have a cake tasting as part of the process, this helps me understand better what my client is looking for and what their preferred tastes are. What cake trends should we leave behind and which new ones should we be embracing? I love a cake trend because there are so many different creative options, I think for me over flowing sugar flowers on a wedding cake will
be a classic trend I will never fall out of love with. Lustre dusts, piping and shimmer will forever be beautiful. As an artist it can be fun to try new techniques, currently I’m enjoying wafer paper and textures in fondant. Cartoon cakes are extra fun, but I think it will be a short-lived trend for the cake world. Your designs are one-of-a-kind featuring digitally sketched illustrations – tell us more. As well as the signature line of cakes we have at The Cake Boutique BY Waldorf Astoria DIFC, I created a designer line of cake which features digitally drawn illustrations or hand modelled characters that are unique to Waldorf Astoria DIFC. Some of these drawings feature a sleepy sloth, mermaids and children’s characters. I love featuring original artwork on my cakes like this because it brings an added personality and bespoke element to the designs. My personal favourite is Walter the Waldorf teddy bear, he features on my baby shower cake design. This is The Style Issue – what’s your personal style when it comes to cake artistry? As a person I’m quite a free-spirit and a hopeless romantic so this often flows into my cake designs. I love fresh florals and soft textures paired with pastels or metallic. I will always enjoy embracing my inner child, so I love designing cute and fun cakes for children, as with every design I like to keep it with a touch of elegance.
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“Getting to be creative with food is a beautiful opportunity to be as openly creative as possible because there are no rules or limits.”
We talk to Ida Garphagen, General Manager at SUSHISAMBA on what it takes to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry
WORDS: DAN ROBINSON
What is the inspiration behind the restaurant – tell us more? The concept and idea of SUSHISAMBA came to light in early 90’s when our founder Shimon Bokovza travelled to Brazil and fell in love with the vibrant culture and diversity of the country. SUSHISAMBA is based on the food and culture born out of the emigration of thousands of Japanese to South America in the early 20th Century. Fast forward a few years, and the first ever SUSHISAMBA opens in New York in 1999 –it was the place to be back then, and I believe everyone is familiar with the famous SUSHISAMBA’s “Pink Cosmo” from Sex and the City. SUSHISAMBA is one of the very first restaurants that embraced the lifestyle offering and made the dining experience fun and multi-dimensional in every city.
How does SUSHISAMBA Dubai differ from the other four global locations? SUSHISAMBA is recognized worldwide, yet every location is unique with its own concept. They are all different from one another, providing guests with a new and immersive experience at each as they travel globally. What are the must-try hero dishes? Our bite size yellowtail taquitos are very popular, and I can see why – they are the perfect size to enjoy with a pre-dinner drink. My personal favourite is the seabass anticucho glazed in sweet miso and grilled over the robata – anyone
that walks through the doors of our restaurant can’t leave without trying them. Our SAMBA Dubai roll, which is a lobster maki roll, is always special since it is exclusive to Dubai only. How does the F&B industry in the UAE differ from other cities globally? With big cities, comes high competition as the option for consumers become endless. Here in Dubai, we have guests visiting from all over the world, and this helps when consumers recognize chain names – global brand names tend to perform better than smaller local brands. But this, of course, trickles down to the preference of residents and visitors and the overall experience provided. Nowadays, consumers want to know that they are not only savouring delicious food but are gaining an overall dining experience, and when they are bombarded with so many options, opting for a global brand name is always a safe choice. This is exactly why, we must never take our customers for granted, and need to stay relevant in this ever-evolving market. You have a stunning 360-degree view, was this the plan from the outset? We wanted to make sure we would represent the brand in the best way possible, knowing SUSHISAMBA Heron Tower in London is offering a breathtaking view overlooking London’s most iconic landmarks. Here at SUSHISAMBA Dubai, you can see 360-degree views of the entire Palm Jumeirah, the pristine waters of the Arabian Gulf, the skyline of Dubai Marina and if the day is clear, the Burj Khalifa is visible as well. And what better location to see the city than an afternoon here, savouring the delicious flavours of Japan, Brazil and Peru all under one roof while sipping on a glass of champagne.
You recently launched the afternoon Sky Tea at SUSHISAMBA, can you elaborate on this experience? At SUSHISAMBA, we want our guests to enjoy more of what we have to offer and take advantage of our wonderful SAMBA room, which has tantalizing floor to ceiling views of the Palm Jumeirah. Guests can indulge in a delicious selection of sweet and savory bites that are beautifully displayed on a three-tier spiral tree accompanied by a wide selection of loose teas, fine Japanese teas, coffee, or bubbly. I can’t think of a better location to watch the sunset in Dubai while Bossa Nova tunes set the perfect ambiance.
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What piece of advice can you give someone starting out in the hospitality industry or looking to start their own business? It’s always best to start from the bottom up and build the experience needed for any position you’re planning on joining. If you’re looking to start your own business, it’s always great to learn from existing organizations and then applying the lessons learned to your own model. If you want to be a CEO for example, then you must understand all aspects of the business before you start at the top – it’s recommended to break it down into smaller compartmentalized areas first, so it doesn’t feel too
overwhelming. Lastly, don’t be scared to roll up your sleeves and be prepared to work hard for what you want. And in times of difficulty, always ask for help and never give up. What are the plans for growth and what’s next for SUSHISAMBA? We are expanding the brand with openings in Riyadh, Edinburgh,
and Bahrain in 2023, Milan is due to open in the second quarter of 2024 – major expansions for SUSHISAMBA in the following years to come. As for the venue in Dubai, we will continue to enhance our guest experience and focus on our most recent activation, Sky Tea at the SAMBA room. This is The Style Issue. What does style mean to you? Style is something subjective and personal – everyone has their own understanding of what is fashionable and will try to make it unique to their own identity. Which is why, being your most authentic self is the best and only way one should present themselves.
131 emirateswoman.com LIFESTYLE IMAGE: SUPPLIED
An Elevated Eye
Hotel Café Royal delivers style, sophistication, and unparalleled service
Designed with an incredible ability to seamlessly blend tradition with the modern technology comforts you’d expect from a hotel at this level, you will fully relax and
enjoy your stay from a breakfast that caters to every taste to a turndown service that warms the bath towels. Both rooms and suites feel spacious and accommodate bathrooms with a bathtub and separate walk-in shower, so your simple nightly rituals feel like extravagant downtime.
One of the most tranquil spas you will ever visit – the underground Askasha spa boasts a large pool, spacious sauna and relaxation rooms where you can practise Yoga and Pilates, a welcome respite from the business of the city centre. Book in for a well-earned Aromatherapy Associates massage and be transformed back to the freshest version of yourself.
With a menu inspired by the iconic and storied Parisian neighbourhood of SaintGermain-des-Prés, home to Hotel Café Royal’s sister hotel Lutetia Paris, Brasserie Saint Germain delivers on taste and service alike. The menu created by Eliano Crespi and his culinary team offers up the best of seasonal produce in a cosy semi-formal setting, the Sole Meunière and Salade Juliette are not to be missed.
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The Luxe Camp
‘The Nest’ by Sonara takes camping to the next level
WORDS & STYLING: AMY SESSIONS
Exclusive, unique and eco-friendly ‘The Nest’ by Sonara is the chicest way to sleep under the stars.
Imagined and designed by architect Gianni Ranaulo the 14 Sonara desert nests blend organically into the Arabian Desert, sitting peacefully amongst the dunes and echoing the majesty of the surrounding Dubai Conservation Reserve. Book a ‘Sky Safari’, and be
amazed by the beauty of an evening tour of the stars and constellations guided by the expert on-site astronomer.
Each nest comes complete with a bedroom area, private en-suite bathrooms, outdoor majlis for enjoying the sumptuous sunset and your own dedicated Mudeef who will ensure the most memorable nesting experience. Nest, we like your style…
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WHAT TO PACK
From top: Aviator-style gold-tone sunglasses Dhs1,361 Bottega Veneta Eyewear; Carrington cotton-jersey T-shirt Dhs426 Frankie Shop; Toggle Parachute cotton-blend twill straight-leg cargo pants Dhs2,606 Dion Lee; Icon Low suede snow boots Dhs495 Moon Boot
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WORDS: ANNAH FAIRSERVICE
Slow living at a secluded slice of paradise in The Maldives
While luxurious resorts in The Maldives are hardly scarce –here you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything other than smart island retreats – Ozen Bolifushi is simply put, a cut above, taking barefoot luxury to an entirely new level.
Step off the plane and onto the resort’s private catamaran, a smart charter outfitted with cream sofas, an espresso bar and panoramic windows. The convenient 30-minute ride to Ozen Bolifushi relieves the hassle of connecting seaplanes, a true sanity-saver when travelling with children. As you near the island, the resort zooms into focus –all swaying palm trees and powdery sunbleached sands surrounded by the brightest blue water. You’ll be met with traditional Maldivian drumming, a fresh coconut water and a mist of Avène’s thermal spring water, before heading straight to your villa in one
of the island’s elegant Rolls Royce buggies along with your personal butler.
The island is smaller than some, lending an intimate feel where faces become familiar after just a day. You’ll find there is a sleepy sense of stillness and privacy to Ozen, with only the sweeping waves, paradise-perfect beaches and occasional guest on a bike within eyesight. Days can be spent lounging, swimming, snorkelling and scuba-diving, or browse the island’s boutiques, charter a yacht, feed the stingrays at sunset and simply wander the maze of palm tree-lined pathways dotted with crochet hammocks and swings. And while adults settle poolside, children of all ages will be kept entertained with daily activities, such as treasure hunts, pizza making, water polo and ice hockey on the resort’s open-air ice rink, a first in The Maldives. With Ozen’s Reserve Plan, guests will not be required to sign
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throughout their stay, allowing for complete self-indulgence on the free-flowing premium bottles and culinary experiences.
No stone has been left unturned when it comes to furnishing the villas, where spacious suites offer floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed ocean views, walk-in wardrobes, private pools, outdoor dining verandas, spa-inspired bathrooms and a fully-stocked private bar.
Perched above the sea, the water villas stand out and are perhaps what springs to mind when envisioning the Maldives. Ac-
cessed by bike or buggy along a boardwalk, these villas offer a sprawling outdoor deck with several seating areas and sunken sofas, from which you can spot shoals of fluorescent fish swirl by. A number of the villas also feature a water slide into the sea which makes for a playful way to wake up on your morning swim.
For the ultimate in seclusion and splendour, the Royal Reserve is a sprawling threebedroom beachfront home (along with separate spaces for staff) complete with an open-air jacuzzi, a gym, pool, an overwater bar, plus a dedicated Teppanyaki restaurant as well as a kitchen and grape cellar.
When not racking up steps strolling the island, guests can take to the ocean-facing treadmills at the gym or book in for a group class and sunrise flow on the yoga pavilion. Further unwind at Ozen’s spa, an idyllic garden sanctuary where expert facials and knot-banishing massages in the overwater treatment suites will soothe you into a mediative state. Guests can also book a consultation with the island’s resident Ayurveda doctor, who after checking your pulse will recommend holistic healing remedies to work into your daily regime.
Food at Ozen draws on a “garden-to-table” concept where chefs plate dishes using herbs, seasonal vegetables, microgreens and tropical fruits freshly picked from island soil. Breezy lunches will be spent on the beach at Vista Del Mar where the varied buffet includes a spread of salads, grilled meats, seafood, sushi and homemade pastas to rival that in Rome. Come evening, feast on mezze and tagines at Sangu or sample Saffron’s mouth-watering curries through their concept dining experience. While fine dining restaurant ORIGINE, delivers an elegant culinary journey along with grape tasting sessions held by the resort’s enthusiastic sommelier – an experience well worth booking ahead for. theozencollection.com
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The Arabian Falcon Navigator Timepiece by David Galbraith
Photograph by Wilfred Thesiger
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New Balance 574 x Miu Miu sneakers Dhs3,600 Miu Miu
WORDS: CAMILLE MACAWILI
Cool girls, take note: the iconic 574 sneakers get a new iteration for SS23 showcasing a deconstructed design with frayed denim edges for a vintage lived-in look.
AZURE WATERS AWAIT ﻢﻜﻳدﺎﻨﻳ ءﺎﻗرﺰﻟا هﺎﻴﻤﻟا شﺎﻌﺘﻧا To know more, visit //www.ritzcarlton.com/alhamrabeach or dial +971 7 204 8888