Emirates Woman May 2020

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The Power of Peace











HEAD OFFICE Media One Tower, Dubai Media City, PO Box 2331, Dubai, UAE, Tel: (+971) 4 4273000, Fax: (+971) 4 4282261, E-mail: motivate@motivate.ae DUBAI MEDIA CITY Office 508, 5th Floor, Building 8, Tel: (+971) 4 3903550 Fax: (+971) 4 3904845 ABU DHABI PO Box 43072, UAE, Tel: (+971) 2 6772005 , Fax: (+971) 2 6770124, E-mail: motivate-adh@motivate.ae LONDON Acre House, 11/15 William Road, London NW1 3ER, UK, E-mail: motivateuk@motivate.ae

Printed by Emirates Printing Press, Dubai

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Editor’s Letter

Welcome to the Mindfulness Issue. This month, Emirates re-sale market on page 54 with an exclusive feature Woman celebrates mindful practices, meditation, on the Middle Eastʼs premier destination for new and sustainability and chooses, in the face of tough times, pre-owned luxury, The Luxury Closet. We compile the to be grateful for what we do have. ultimate edit of luxury candles to From an exclusive interview create an escape for the mind on with Stella McCartney, the original page 64 and speak to HH Sheikha THIS MONTH WE champion for mindful practices Amna Abdulaziz Bin Humaid Al CELEBRATE MINDFUL in the fashion industry on page Nuaimi on founding her bespoke, PRACTICES, MEDITATION, 28, to a feature on Alaïa and the hand-crafted brand, Lava on page AND SUSTAINABILITY. longevity of a legendary brand on 62. Pilates page 74, podcasts IN TOUGH TIMES, page 22, we hero well thought out page 70 and a beginners guide IT’S GOOD TO REMEMBER: investment pieces which last. to meditation on page 60 are all THOUGHTS On page 30 we speak to essential tools designed to get HH Princess Nourah Al Faisal, you feeling centered, happy and BECOME THINGS. founder of Nuun as she carves out ready to tackle the month ahead. a name for herself as a pioneer in We also wish everyone celebrating the fine jewellery realm by spearheading the resourcing during this special time, Ramadan Kareem. of ethical materials in the industry. Sustainable brands In tough times, it’s good to remember: thoughts take centre stage on page 32, while we look at the become things. Stay positive.



Valentino Garavani Rockstud gladiator sandals Dhs2,845 Valentino at Net-A-Porter

Course Correction 18-karat gold and enamel necklace, Dhs12,022 Foundrae

Leather leggings Dhs3,590 Joseph

Pomegranate Noir Scented Luxury Candle, 2500g Dhs1,380 Jo Malone London

Tank Louis Cartier 22mm small 18-karat gold and alligator watch Dhs31,780 Cartier


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CONTENTS M AY 2 0 2 0 An exclusive interview with Ola Farahat p.18

The best chairs to curl up in p.71






Kristina Fidelskaya p.10


Ramadan dressing – the edit p.20 An exclusive interview with Stella McCartney p.28 THE MONITOR

Monitor news p.08 Accounts to follow this month p.09



HH Princess Nourah Al Faisal on expression p.30

Nemozena – reversible is the way forward. p.34

Ethical brands you should invest in for the long-haul p.32

Go with the flow – Bvlgari’s SS20 collection p.36

Precision perfumerie at Arcadia p.42 The beauty radar p.44 Zahra Lyla on her beauty heroes p.46 Hot new buys p.48 The beauty shelf p.49

Abadia – bridging modern design with tradition p.50 Is online shopping sustainable enough? p.52 The Luxury Closet – an appetite for pre-owned luxury p.54 Hafsa Lodi on her debut book p.56


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Alaïa: the legacy of a legend p.22

Luxe light – the ultimate luxury candles edit p.64


Jacquie Aiche’s exclusive design for EW p.58

The Cover

The beginners guide to meditation p.60 Bespoke, handcrafted luxury candle brand: Lava p.62 Attitude of gratitude p.66

Sculpt – the benefits of Pilates p.74 A balancing guide for Ramadan p.76

Podcasts – the game changers p.70

Seven of the best luxury wellness retreats p.78

Rule your mind – books on mindfulness p.72

The investment – Hermès Nantucket p.82

Gathered layered evening dress with feathers Dhs28,000 Kristina Fidelskaya


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The Right Note Omani designer Amal Al Raisi has always found a way to pay tribute to her roots through her fashion collections. This Ramadan, her inspiration comes from the country’s rich musical history. Fluid kaftans, dresses, jumpsuits and separates in hues of white and rose are fused with bold hues of misty blue and crushed velvet, giving her Ramadan S/S20 collection femininity, elegance and a sense of rejuvenation.

HOME WORK As working from home and virtual meetings seem to be the new norm, our daily attire too has undergone a change. Here are the key pieces to staying comfortable and cool, as Zoom appropriate.

Silk shirt Dhs1,286 Orseund Iris

Track pants Dhs1,695 Stella McCartney



In tough times this ‘Strength’ bracelet is the ideal gift for either self-gifting purposes or for a loved one this Eid. Crafted in 18-carat gold, the spiked pendant has a diamond studded lion symbolising confidence and protection. Dhs28,264



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Named after THE Grace Kelly, Mark Cross has re-imagined the micro-trunk. This seasons new colour way is one we think you’ll have for years, complete with top handle and a gold-plated push lock fastening. Dhs7,740



Zara is on point this season. This sheer lace top is the ideal addition for under shirting if you want to feel like you have an extra layer of protection. It’s also great for under a cashmere track set while you’re working from home. Dhs169

T-shirt Saint Dhs1,661 Saint Laurent




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Social Listings


A curated list of who to #follow this month





Having launched her own fashion house with Kering as a 50/50 joint venture, Stella McCartney has become a pioneer for sustainable fashion, showcasing her first collection in Paris in October 2001. Her designs are created without the use of leather or fur.

MantraBand designs inspirational jewellery which captures your favourite meaningful sayings in silver, rose and yellow gold. The brand has created a specific line of bracelets, CharityBands, which aims to help women and children who face great hardships in life.

Founder Susanna Foustok set up her studio to share the teachings of her mentor, Elder Jay Grimes, who studied with Joseph Pilates. The studio uses high-tech Gratz equipment made in New York, according to Joseph Pilates’ original specifications assuring the highest standard of reform and training.

Founded in 2016 by Sheikha Amna Abdulaziz Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the Emirati brand Lava Candles presents handcrafted, luxury candles renowned for their standout customised scents and exotic fragrances. It aims to embody the inspiring beauty of the UAE in an artisan way with lavish scents.





Founded in 2010 by Michael Preysman and Jesse Farmer, the American retailer partners with ethical factories around the world. They source only the finest materials, and share those stories with you down to the true cost of every product they make, which they refer to as ‘Radical Transparency’.

Founded by Giuditta Spezzapria, ATTUALE offers a solution for women who are tired of fast-fashion and want to shop sustainably. ATTUALE has carefully curated their edit to enhance an everyday wardrobe with pieces that transcend trends, making sure you buy less in a smart way.

Founded in 1984 by Eileen Fisher, this brand believes clothes should be ethical, timeless and have a responsible lifecycle. If you bring back your old pieces, the brand will find them another home or turn them into entirely new designs. In total, they’ve taken back over 1.4 million pieces.

Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Razan Alazzouni is ranked 34th in Forbes’ Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands. The unique hand beaded pieces of her collections reflect the meticulous layers and details that have gone into creating each of Razan’s signature flowers. Check her bridal collaboration.




Lamise Mansur’s unique style of yoga teaching is compassionate yet challenging and creative yet mindful. The Lebanese, Palestinian and Brazilian instructor inspires her students to take their yoga off of the mat and into their everyday lives. Lamise is also a photographer and a former ballerina.

SADEEM is a Pret-a-Couture fashion brand founded by Saudi designer Aljawharah (Sadeem) Alshehail. An advocate of sustainable design, SADEEM embraces ethical practices, collaborating with companies that share the same principles. Their fabrics are non-toxic and sustainable.

A luxury brand that’s organic and as well as eco-conscious – their compacts and containers are made of a metal and are refillable (including their lipstick and mascara). Founder Kjaer Weis ensures all ingredients used are Certified Natural or Certified Organic, and believes in skin-friendly makeup.


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Former Fashion & Beauty editor at Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Gemma’s Instagram page reflects her creative, minimal mindset with a touch of nature. Gemma is now one of the most indemand stylists in the GCC, as well as LA. Follow her if you’re also interested in vegan recipes.



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Skillfully combining modernity with elegance, Kristina Fidelskaya is the UAE-based brand taking the international industry by storm


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Opening page: Bell-Sleeved Wrap Dress Dhs6,500, Over The Knee Round Toe Boot Dhs4,410; Left page and this page right: Seamless Polo Top Dhs2,800, Jacquard Evening Skirt with Feathers Dhs8,000, Over The Knee Round Toe Boot Dhs4,410; This page left: Pleated Puffball-Hem Evening Dress Dhs11,200 all Kristina Fidelskaya

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This page: Patent Cotton Obi Bow-Tied Top Dhs3,800 Right page: Ruched Corset Cocktail Dress with Feathers Dhs22,000 all Kristina Fidelskaya

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What do your first 30 minutes of the day look like? Usually when I wake up I get a message with a coffee emoji. Having coffee while on the phone, or catching up on the news is how I start my day. I have a busy schedule – having this time in the morning for myself helps me to prepare for what’s coming. Especially in these times it’s important to have a routine and stick to it. You’ve skillfully mastered growing your brand regionally as well as internationally. Which practices allow you to peacefully manage your day? Running helps me a lot. I have been running all my life and for me it’s a kind of meditation. It makes me clear my thoughts, gives me energy, power and belief. I also practice yoga to keep my calm and relax my body and soul. Tell us about the beautiful Ramadan Capsule collection and what inspired it? The name of the collection is Safaa (Arabic name ‫)ﺻ َﻔﺎ‬ َ meaning purity, clarity, serenity, and fairness. Inspired by the diverse interpretations of Safaa and influenced by the festivities throughout the time of Ramadan and Eid-Al-Fitr. The curated capsule collection consists of three elegantly draped evening dresses in a pure palette of shades of white, accentuated with modern silver embroidered detailing. Does this capsule feel like an extension to the rest of your collection? Yes absolutely, the collection reflects an appreciation for simplicity – represented by the brand’s signature neutral colour scheme. There are well-fitted yet modest silhouettes, and immaculate craftsmanship. The capsule will be part of brand’s bespoke service, for clients to have their measurements taken and be individually fitted, along with the available option to personalise their tailored dresses. Your pieces fuse modernity with elegance – how difficult is it balancing the two to achieve such a successful signature? Finding the balance between these two was challenging at first. It has never felt difficult for me to create or come up with new ideas. Consistency, understanding the brand values, and understanding the customer you are creating for, is key in creating a signature/ feminine silhouette for the modern-day woman. Who have been your mentors to date and what have you learned from them? I think life is my mentor and it teaches me every



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day. I don’t have a specific person that I call as such. We live in a time and age where we have an overload of information and content, through which you can learn and grow. I believe in #selfservice. Have you encountered any hurdles in your career to date and how have you mindfully overcome them? I have learned that you can’t control everything. In the end it’s important to keep your goals and objectives in mind and find the best way to overcome any obstacles. To stay positive is key to overcome any limitations. You carry yourself so gracefully. Do you think it’s important to surround yourself with others who do the same and have the same attitude to mindfulness? Of course, when you have like-minded people around you, they have the same understanding. When you surround yourself with the right people you are able to become the best version of yourself. How will you celebrate Ramadan this year? This Ramadan is very unusual because of COVID-19. We have all been adjusting to this new situation. I will be spending time with loved ones, friends and family where possible. During this time of reflection, are there any little luxuries you still allow yourself that make you feel at peace? The view I have of Dubai is mesmerising, so being able to watch this from my balcony is a luxury. When I see how beautiful and strong Dubai is, I feel we will overcome this time, and all become better. Having a hammam in my house helps as well! Can you recommend any books or podcasts we should be reading and listening to? From time to time I listen to the Business of Fashion podcasts to understand what is top of mind in the industry and how we can apply lessons to Kristina Fidelskaya. The last book I read was River by Iris Wolfe, which is a collection of beautiful poems. Furthermore, I love watching French movies, they have a great way of showing humour, love and emotions. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? I am on a personal social detox during quarantine. What does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness for me is about harmony. Harmony with yourself and with your direct environment. I am a perfectionist and I have to practice mindfulness to maintain an overall perspective. Gratitude and reflection are important year-

round. How do you practice this at this special time of the year? While talking with my kids I try making them aware of this special Ramadan period – I am reminded of it myself by talking about it. Spending time cooking or baking or watching a movie makes me realise it’s the simple things that count. What advice would you give to women who want to empower each other? That women should support each other more, see the good, show mutual respect and compassion. I think solidarity and helping each other instead of comparing can empower women. Every woman is on her own road with her own challenges, and we should help each other where we can. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? Sometimes, when I feel very tired or drained, I put an orange under my pillow or next to my bed. For some reason it makes me sleep very well. What effect has social media played in developing your own brand and supporting those you champion? Social media makes it possible for me to connect with my customers or people who like and support what I do. I believe we have created a very close relationship between the brand and the customer by communicating the product, brand DNA and what we stand for. Engaging with my followers, the messages and comments I receive put a smile on my face. By the way, we are launching our new website and digital platform soon. Stay tuned…. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? “If you are you will be” – meaning, don’t worry or put doubt in your way. Being in the process of doing what you love is already enough. Don’t worry so much about what people say and think, just live your best life every day. If you were not working in the role you have now, which other role would you have chosen career-wise? I am a creative person; I would find another creative outlet like painting, photography or even making a film. Fashion like other creative expressions is largely about how people feel. In a time when we have been confined to the home, where’s on your travel list? After being in the house for several weeks, I would love to go on a long road trip through Europe: driving around small mountain roads, taking pictures and listening to music. I miss nature, especially the forest and mountains during spring.


“I think life is my mentor and it teaches me every day.”


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Gathered Layered Evening Dress with Feathers Dhs28,000 Kristina Fidelskaya

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Brains & Beauty Ola Farahat is a rare combination: educated, beautiful and incredibly down to earth. We discussed what it takes to stay mindful and grateful when you have 1.2Million followers

What do your first 30 minutes of the day look like? I start off with a big cup of water followed by vitamins and coffee. I then start my day and focus on work. You’ve skillfully mastered growing your brand as well as the launch of an e-commerce business. Which practices allow you to peacefully manage your day? It took me a while to understand that growth can be slow and step by step. I always tell myself consistency is key You have an MBA in strategy consulting. How has studying to such a level helped you grow further in your industry? My MBA is from the University of Monaco. After graduating I started my first desk job at one of the Big 4: Deloitte. Working in corporate taught me how to manage myself and be more independent. I think it helps you take things less personally and focus more on success and trying to add value for your audience. Who have been your mentors to date and what have you learned from them? My father is a self-made entrepreneur. He started his first business at the age of 23 with hardly any support and he guides me every step of the way. Have you encountered any hurdles in your career to date and how did you mindfully overcome them? Always. I try to handle it in the best way I know how. It’s a continuous learning process for me but the most important thing is to love yourself and believe in yourself because if you don’t nobody else will.



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When we approached you for the cover we were so impressed by your lack of entitlement – it’s rare in the blogging community. How do you manage to stay so grounded? This whole thing still feels like a dream to me. I don’t feel entitled because my job doesn’t save lives. At the end of the day I just pursued my hobby and believed in it. I appreciate every person who admires me because they made my dreams come true. How will you celebrate Ramadan this year? My husband and I decided that with everything going on we still want to celebrate the proper way. We have Skype calls scheduled with our families every night and we will try our best to make it a very happy Ramadan. During this time of reflection, are there any little luxuries you still allow yourself to make you feel at peace? I ordered gourmet dinners a few date nights at home. I’ve allowed myself the occasional break from work to try to relax. Can you recommend any books or podcasts we should be reading and listening to? I love spirituality and the book The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield is a game changer. It’s about a man who goes on a spiritual journey. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? I love nature accounts. And I also love Princess Diana outfit inspiration. What does mindfulness mean to you? Empathy. Gratefulness and refection are important

year-round. How do you practice this at this special time of the year? Every day and every minute I remind myself to be grateful. Gratefulness is the door to more goodness. What advice would you give to women who want to empower each other? Honestly, to just do it! I think social media, magazines, designers and brands talk about it a lot and I’ve had meetings with people who live by the women empowerment mantra but don’t practice it. Women empowerment starts with us. Women who feel empowered can uplift others. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? Skincare to the max – it relaxes me. What’s a beauty buy you cannot live without? Lipstick. How have you approached growing your following and what works best with your followers? There are ways where if you post a certain type of controversial short fun video you can grow in numbers more quickly. Although it works, this year I decided to stop and post things that represent me more even if it means I won’t grow as fast. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? Just start. Coming from a traditional background I didn’t get much support. But I stayed consistent and found my niche. In a time when we have been confined to the home, where’s on your travel list? I love the sea, mainly the Indian Ocean – so anywhere that takes me there.


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Evening Bomber Jacket Dhs2,800; Strapless Godet Dress Dhs7,950 both Kristina Fidelskaya

“Gratefulness is the door to more goodness. �


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This page and opposite: IAMMAI



RAMADAN DRESSING Whether you prefer a kaftan or chic separates, we’ve compiled an edit of beautiful pieces to see you though until Eid

Dairibina leather tote Dhs1,942 The Sant at Net-A-Porter

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Frankie faux pearlembellished satin turban Dhs1,193 MaryJane Claverol

Valentino Garavani Rockstud leather sandals Dhs2,570 Valentino

Draped mikado piqué coat Dhs9,814 Reem Acra Exclusive to Net-A-Porter

Double Fan 18-karat rose gold diamond earrings Dhs36,005 Anita Ko


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Gold-tone bracelet Dhs9,315 Bottega Veneta

Shaila crystalembellished pleated silk turban Dhs931 Maryjane Claverol

Draped satin jacket Dhs11,967 Oscar de la Renta


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Suede slingback flats Dhs2,684 Gianvito Rossi

Furoshiki leather tote Dhs1,451 The Sant at Net-A-Porter



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C O M P I L E D : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

In an exclusive and first regional interview since succeeding as CEO of Azzedine AlaĂŻa, Myriam Serrano explains her vision for the iconic Maison

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“Our ambition is to keep the legend alive”

Azzedine Alaïa was and still remains an icon, and beloved Maison the globe over. Carving out his own niche and working at his own pace, his clothes timelessly celebrate and flatter the female form. Myriam Serrano took over as CEO of the historic Maison in 2019 and since then has been working to preserve and maintain the quality of craftsmanship that made Alaïa the brand it is today. With a past at both Céline and Chloé, Myriam has a thorough understanding of why heritage is crucial in maintaining a luxury brand, and how to push it in a direction that keeps loyal customers happy while appealing to the next generation of Alaïa women. In her first interview with a Middle Eastern publication, she explains the strategy she’s implementing and talks us through their sustainability efforts. How would you define Alaïa today?Azzedine Alaïa always defined himself as a Couturier, placing his craft at the forefront. His mastery of cut, his pioneering approach to the body, his legendary sculptural silhouettes and Couture excellence, has made Alaïa today an iconic Maison beyond fashion. Azzedine Alaïa used to say: “I make clothes, women make fashion”. With this obsession for craft and open to inspiration from all cultures, Alaïa continues today in an uncompromising mind to place women in the heart of creation. Since being appointed CEO, what has been your main ambition for the brand? Our ambition is to keep the legend alive. The Maison has an extraordinary legacy to preserve and to share with future generations. Our ambition is about respect and transmission.

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We will stay true to the original craftsman’s soul of the Maison, secure the same level of excellence in the execution and creation, push the craft forward and give a new energy to the tribute to Azzedine Alaïa’s lifelong work. We will also keep developing an exclusive retail and digital approach to showcase our unique creations and remain as close as possible to our clients. How do you feel the brand has adjusted after the passing of Azzedine Alaïa? The first two years after Azzedine Alaïa’s passing, were mainly dedicated to securing the continuity of the craft, ensuring the same people from Alaïa’s studio and the ateliers work together with the same level of excellence, with organised archives and a faithful link with historical suppliers and the foundation. We are now ready to enter a new chapter thanks to the loyal support from our clients and friends. We will, along with the existing teams, integrate new creative talents who will build on the singular vision of Monsieur Alaïa and push the craft forward. The Alaïa et Balenciaga, Sculpteurs de la Forme exhibition has proven to be a huge success. Why do you think that is? This was the first time two legendary signatures were put alongside each other for a conversation about their techniques. Both were obsessed by the perfect cut and both thought that the garment and the technique were more important than fashion trends. The pure and minimal scenography of the exhibition enables us to focus on the technical details, on the play with fabrics and cuts, and to understand the modernity of the creations and the uncompromising approach they both had to fashion. Their approach is so relevant today. How instrumental is Gallery Azzedine Alaïa to the brand? The gallery plays an important part in the Alaïa Foundation’s mission to share the legacy and cultural vision of Monsieur Alaïa, so as to preserve his incredible archives. The Foundation and the Alaïa Maison both play each in their own way, an active role in paying tribute to his work. They are both located at the historical Parisian address in the Marais, 18 rue de la Verrerie, so that the whole Alaïa ecosystem can live and interact together as Monsieur Alaïa had imagined it in 1987: an artistic and cultural home between the gallery, the archives, the ateliers and the store. This place was also where he used to live and host the entire artistic world in his mythical kitchen.


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“An Alaïa creation is meant to last” Do you have any specific plans for the Middle East? There has always been an emotional bond and cultural link between Alaïa and the Middle East. We will obviously continue to build this strong relationship and are planning to open a store in Qatar in 2021 in addition to the beautiful boutique we already have in Dubai at The Dubai Mall. Later this year, we will hopefully launch an exhibition. These events are always an important occasion for us to nurture the close relationship with our clients and to initiate new Alaïa women to the magical effect of his dresses. How do you push the brand forward, yet remain faithful to what Azzedine Alaïa created? This is a key and strategic point we want to address. Alaïa has a unique positioning where the present and the past align as a forward direction. Therefore, the creative talents of the Studio will focus on the expertise and the codes of the Maison to renew the collections, reinterpret the legend and keep it interesting for our loyal clients. The inventory of the iconic signatures and the archives are huge: from the legendary knitwear, the cinched waists, to the embellished leather details on accessories and corset

belts. There is a lot to create from that. Along with the collections, Alaïa will also develop the exclusive Editions concept, an emblematic Alaïa wardrobe which will include a sharp selection of historical pieces, featuring all the Maison’s savoir-faire: knit, tailoring, flou and leather. The selection is edited from the Alaïa archives and presented exactly according to the originals. This is for us the perfect illustration of Alaïa’s timeless equity and a perfect way to initiate new generations who haven’t had the chance to experience his talent. Our Mindfulness issue includes a conscious focus on investment buying and sustainability. What steps are you taking? Azzedine Alaïa has paved the way to approach fashion with integrity by doing collections when he was ready. Sustainability for Alaïa starts with this uncompromising approach to creation, with perfect cuts, noble materials and a respect for the body, which never go out of fashion. An Alaïa creation is meant to last. We are also exclusively producing in France and Italy with historical suppliers to remain in short supply circuits and in control of execution. The Editions wardrobe is also true to this sustainable

approach. We don’t need to create a new tailored coat when the perfect Princess Coat has already been created and is still perfect today. How are you looking to expand the world of Alaïa? We always believe that our clients are the best ambassadors of the Maison. Azzedine used to say: “I work for women. I only think for them. If I didn't like women, I wouldn't do this job”. With this in mind, we are obsessed with making our clients happy, beautiful and brilliantly feminine in Alaïa. The Maison will also develop a meaningful retail and digital network to stay as close as possible to its clients and provide the best service possible. The Foundation on its side will continue to build exhibitions and increase Alaïa’s cultural influence. Alaïa is an iconic fashion brand, especially to the Arab world. What do you hope aspiring designers from this region will take away from it? Everything boils down to an obsession for craft, a quest for excellence, a free and uncompromising mind and a direct emotional link with your clients. It is incredible to hear how many clients have a personal story to tell with the Maison.


Myriam Serrano

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ECO ROYALTY “You can create luxury fashion in a way that’s not hurting the environment”. Stella McCartney has reigned as the leader of sustainable fashion practices for almost 20 years, and she’s not stopping now

Stella McCartney has been synonymous with sustainability for almost two decades. From day one she has led by example, championing exceptional alternatives to fabrics and manufacturing processes that cause significant damage to the environment. Her knowledge of the business is as impressive as her collections designed for women who want to feel simultaneously strong yet feminine. Not taking any prisoners, she doesn’t shy away from calling out industry practices she doesn’t agree with and strongly believes that you can create exceptional pieces with minimum damage to the planet. Inspiring, bold and incredibly smart, Stella has and will continue to inspire the next generation of designers.

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What new sustainability elements can we look forward to in your S/S20 collection? Summer 2020 was our most sustainable collection to date with over 75 per cent of the collection being made with sustainable fabrics. Every single season we try and get better and better and better, so this season is a huge achievement for us. A total of 90 per cent of the cotton we used this season was organic, and all the denim in the collection used organic cotton. We showed a lot of reimagined tailoring this season where the majority was made from Japanese recycled polyester, a fabric we have been using since 2012 and requires less than half the energy to produce than Virgin


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polyester would. We also used traceable wool in our knitwear pieces as transparency of the supply chain is something very important to us here. As usual there’s no leather or animal glues which have a huge impact on the environment due to animal agriculture farming and cutting down rainforests and water usage. I really think the most important thing now – while this is a hot topic – is capturing the momentum and showing people this is how we can all do it like this. Everyone can work this way. If I can do it, everyone can. What are your personal favourites from the collection? I think the dresses are beautiful, especially the flowing floral numbers and the intricate crochet-like dresses. I also love the tailoring this season which comes in beautiful muted shades of dusty pink and blue, contrasted with the bright pop of yellow tailoring or teamed with a denim split skirt to give it that attitude. There’s a mixture between the masculine and the feminine at my shows and it’s about the tension and not just wearing the clothes but having a lightness of heart. If you are going to buy something then make it something that really makes you feel good and that’s good for the environment. Being sustainable is not an easy route for a brand to take. How challenging is it to evolve the collections and still remain an ethical luxury brand? You know, I’ve been doing this from day one in the brand – it will be 20 years next year. We have worked really hard in order to do what we do successfully and have overcome many challenges along the way. I think one of the things I’m most proud of is being able to show that you can create luxury fashion in a way that’s not hurting the environment, in a way that’s better for the planet, and it’s better for the animals yet not sacrificing anything in the process. If more brands took your approach, would it become simpler to develop new ways to be more sustainable? The only way we can push this forward and make it simpler for designers to create sustainable businesses with ease is to work collectively. This means the more brands that demand transparency when sourcing sustainable fabrics, the more available everything will be and therefore reduce the impact our industry has on the planet. Why do you think so many fashion brands are slow to embrace sustainability? I look around and see that the conversation is finally here. As one of the most polluting industries in the world, the fashion industry is now at a crossroads where we need to come together and achieve sustainable change to build a better future. I think we are getting there, brands are finally starting to wake up and realise that if they don’t start now, they won’t have a business in five years. That said, doing business in this way isn’t the low-cost route which is something you have to sacrifice, and so for many brands who have to focus on the bottom line it isn’t the easy option. In order to really have a conversation about sustainability, we’re going to have to put in some kind of parameters and laws, and people are going to have to be told they can’t use X, Y and Z. There has to be a starting point for the industry so they are encouraged not punished. What more do you feel should be done? Companies that choose to use sustainable materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester or

other verified inputs could and should be incentivised by legislation otherwise it’s easy to choose against it. We need not compromise style for sustainability and we can show that it is possible to build a healthy profitable business with mindfulness and consciousness. Do you think consumers are becoming more mindful about what they buy? I really believe that consumers will be the ones to finally make the fashion industry pay attention; the change is going to come from them. More and more people are becoming aware of how they consume in other aspects of their lives, so why shouldn’t fashion come into that conversation too? It’s nice to see more people come to my side, my way of thinking and I am now seeing more people joining me in the luxury sector of fashion and putting more focus on finding new and creative ways to be more sustainable as a business. I hope we will all be more mindful of our consumption and to question the processes. If we could all avoid buying one type of fabric, which do you feel would have the greatest impact? Viscose (or Rayon) is one of the most used fabrics, and it cuts down around 150 million trees a year. I spent around three-and-a-half years with my own team to source a forest in Sweden where we could get that viscose fiber from the trees where we replant trees, so it’s sustainable sourcing. It’s simple right, it’s a no-brainer. We now only ever use sustainable viscose when we use viscose and if all brands started sourcing viscose in this way it would have a huge impact on our planet. Following on from faux fur, there is an increased interest in faux leather. Do you feel that’s a conscious step in the right direction? The production of leather can have up to 20 times the environmental impact as recycled synthetic alternatives. Our animal-free, cruelty-free leather alternatives have up to 24 times lower environmental impact than animal leathers. Our innovative alternatives include materials made using Stella McCartney SS20 recycled polyester. After nearly 20 years of constant research and innovation, I believe we have created the best non-leather out there. What innovation have you been most excited about to use in your collections? Innovation is at the core of what we do here at Stella McCartney. There are many innovations that have been hugely exciting. We stopped using PVC in 2010 which is by far the most toxic of all plastics, and developed an amazing alternative called PU which has a much less negative impact on the planet. I love the regenerated cashmere we make which has around seven times lower impact than virgin cashmere and is made from post factory cashmere waste. For our Autumn 2020 collection we introduced a new fur-free-fur called KOBA® which is made of plant pulp and recycled polyester and uses around 30 per cent less energy and 63 per cent less carbon emissions which is incredible, and we are the first brand to use it. Do you think the current global situation will slow down the fashion world and encourage conscious buying? I think we all know that we’re creatures of habit so I don’t know if slowing down will necessarily happen but I would like to think that the fashion industry might stay in this moment for longer than expected. I think if we can all come back and see through the same eyes that we’re seeing through now, it would be an incredible gift.


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For Her Highness Nourah Al Faisal, her dream of running a jewellery empire was over a decade in the making. Initially a hobby, as she describes, Her Highness began designing pieces for her mother and then friends, and soon this “hobby became an obsession”, after she found her way to Paris, starting an apprenticeship, and she’s never looked back. “Nuun Jewels is the culmination of all my experiences making jewellery up to the point of its launch [in 2016],” she explains. “It took me a long time – 15 years – to feel confident enough to start my brand.” Her Highness is now carving her own identity in the jewellery realm, having found her niche championing ethically sourced gemstones, with her pieces reflecting Saudi heritage, and aims to positively shine a light on Arabic designs. In just four years since launching, Her Highness’ clients stand for everything Nuun projects. “The clients are

extremely demanding and they appreciate the importance of sourcing ethically,” she explains. “It has always been something I strongly believe in and it is an essential part of our DNA.” For her latest pieces, Her Highness explains it’s full of unique and bespoke pieces that represent finding balance outside of symmetry. “In nature we find beauty without symmetry and I am always searching to find that sweet spot.” There’s no doubt, Her Highness has found incredible success with Nuun in the last four years. The Nuun boutique now stands alongside the flagship stores of Hermès and Chanel, in Paris’ luxury shopping district, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. However, it hasn’t been an easy ride to the road of success. “When I first started the brand I felt the need to work as others do: create a certain number of collections per

year and adhere to a standard strategy,” she says. “I found that extremely stressful and detrimental to my creative process.” To overcome this, the Nuun founder has implemented a system that is more in-keeping with her “romantic image of a designer”. Embracing the ebb and flow of her creative process, Her Highness moves with the ever-evolving nature of the jewellery house and the wider industry. “In terms of style, Nuun is constantly evolving, as I do,” she says. “I am constantly creating and adding to my bag of tricks.” As she continues to be a shining light for Saudi creatives, she reveals it’s “humbling and satisfying” to see the abundance of creative talent emerging from her home


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country. “What we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg,” she believes. “There is so much more to come over the next few years. The Saudi creative voice, and especially in design, will be a force to be reckoned with and I, for one, can’t wait.” As for her hopes for the future, Her Highness reveals: “It is my dearest wish that what I create becomes part of the clients’ future family heirloom. I hope that the Nuun woman will take my designs and make them part of her expression and personality.”



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The name really speaks for itself – this brand is quite literally transforming the fashion industry one collection at a time. Their use of deadstock fabrics – fabrics that other companies throw away, means they’re not only making themselves more sustainable, but they’re reducing waste from other brands, too. This is why you’re likely to only see one piece from them because these deadstock fabrics are used and they aren’t readily available. Not only that, the brand invests back into the community into green building infrastructures in order to minimise their waste, water and carbon footprint.

These are the sustainable brands firmly on our radar



Gabriela Hearst SS20

“We’re not big on trends,” is Everlane’s main tagline. Their designs are made to last for people to wear for years to come. Perhaps one of the most transparent fashion brands in the industry – they even have an Instagram segment called ‘Transparency Tuesdays’ – telling their consumers how much they pay for materials versus how much they’re profiting. They ensure all the factories





they use audit fair hours and wages for workers, as well as sourcing all sustainable materials for their pieces. Stella McCartney

Sustainability is a focus across every price-point of the fashion industry right now. Whether your wardrobe already includes these brands or you’re looking to make a change in your shopping habits, we’ve highlighted nine mindful and ethical brands you should invest in for the long-haul.



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A fashion brand combining function with flair for the modern woman in mind, sustainability is the main pillar for this Hungary-based label. Their designers work under the same roof as their pattern makers and all of their materials are chosen directly based on the impact of the durability and longevity of their designs. Their modern bohemian pieces are a wardrobe must-have.

This may be an obvious choice, but it’s just one we can’t ignore. Stella McCartney has been a shining a light on sustainability and mindful consumption since the fashion house’s launch in 2001. No fur or leather is used in any of the designer’s pieces, and organic cotton is unanimously used. Not only that, her boutiques are completed with sustainable materials, and she even has an environmental profit and loss team to track the movements of the brand. Mother of Pearl

“We create without compromise,” is the important message from Londonbased fashion brand, Mother of Pearl. Their core value is sustainability which falls under their four pillars: Environment, transparency, social responsibility and animal welfare. Each garment is meticulously designed creating effortlessly chic looks.


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Vintage-Bown Havana Sunglasses Dhs1,300 Stella McCartney, ounass.ae

Althea leather midi dress Dhs10,830 Gabriela Hearst, mytheresa.co.uk



Campo leather sneakers Dhs460 Veja, matchesfashion.com


The Leather Pant Dhs950 Everlane, everlane.com

If you’re a sneaker fan, then you’ll love Veja. First launching in 2005, founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion have put the use of sustainable materials like organic cotton, recycled plastic and rubber from traditional sources at its forefront. Last year, in another step forward towards sustainability, the brand released a completely vegan sneaker range. All of the designs are also incredibly stylish and timeless. Okhtein

Sekoya vegan leather wrap mini skirt Dhs1,208 Nanushka, farfetch.com

The story behind the Egyptian brand Okhtein is just as beautiful as their bags. Founded by sisters, Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf, the sisters have linked up with local NGOs to create their designs, helping women facing hardships. Their design process includes embroidery and weaving which directly supports the production of local crafting skills.

ally mined diamonds, and are also more environmentally friendly. Gabriela Hearst

New York-based fashion house Gabriela Hearst produces luxury readyto-wear pieces and accessories for men and women. The brand’s core principles are sustainability, uncompromising quality and timelessness. Designer and founder Gabriela created the luxury brand with the aim of reflecting a slower pace and process within the fashion industry and describes the label as “honest luxury”.

Gabriela Hearst SS20


This jewellery brand, born and bred in Dubai, hones in on sustainability and the sourcing of ethical materials. After several years of working in the diamond industry, the founder of Fyne, Aya Ahmad, decided to go at it alone, opting to use lab grown diamonds which cost around 40 per cent less than tradition-


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Avalon tie-waist trousers Dhs870 Reformation, farfetch.com

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Reversible is the way forward. UAEbased brand NEMOZENA has reimagined the concept of a capsule wardrobe with her reversible creations, making them the ideal investment




With sustainability at the forefront of fashion, it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Brands are consistently reiterating their commitment to sustainability and mindful consumption. The industry is transparent about where materials are sourced from, moving away from the fast fashion era and giving back to communities. But there’s one fashion house that’s standing out from the rest, by going one step further in the capsule wardrobe concept. Enter NEMOZENA, an Italian brand born in the UAE. Not only is sustainability at its core, the luxury fashion house champions female empowerment, too. But the cherry on top is the versatility of pieces on offer, still keeping sustainability front and centre. While you wouldn’t normally as-

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sume versatility and sustainability would go hand-in-hand, this UAE-based brand is making waves with their reversible garment concept. “The brand speaks to women’s intellect and taste whilst remaining transformable, innovative and sustainable,” CEO of NEMOZENA, Gaenaelle Perrot, tells Emirates Woman. “We are advancing the luxury landscape with creative vision and meaningful principles.” The concept is simple: one garment, two looks. Specifically, a plain – or as we like to say – minimal – and a printed side, giving you double the wear out of one piece of


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clothing. “NEMOZENA showcases versatility, innovation and flawless construction with every one of our designs,” Gaenaelle explains. “These elements collectively create design-led pieces made to be worn forever, which can transform effortlessly to a completely different look and feel in a few simple steps,” she adds. “Simple tweaks on a garment like removable sleeves, for example, allows a piece to be completely different. Removable sleeves that are simply packed into a small pouch transform the coat into a gilet style, which can then be layered over a coat.” This is what perfectly sums up the philosophy NEMOZENA embraces, amplifying a luxury piece to its maximum potential in a woman’s wardrobe. And an added bonus: vital wardrobe space is saved. Not only do the pieces from the fashion house easily help the transition into the sustainability realm with their clever designs, consumers of the brand are also supporting age-old family businesses back in Italy. “Our pieces encourage women to buy carefully and responsibly by choosing Italian made fabrics. We are also additionally supporting age-old family textile businesses and rejecting mass produced and mass manufactured fashion,” Gaenaelle says. The latest collection from the UAEbased designer infuses the dreams found within a Moroccan spice souk, classic colonial modest silhouettes and ikat-inspired prints from Maghreb, northwest Africa, all brought together mixing muted tones with the bold. The clever crafting of cultures embodies one of the brand’s main mantras: our woman is a global citizen. “We don’t tailor to any one particular continent but more towards active women who are travelling and looking for practicality and comfort which is something sought after by women from every continent,” Gaenaelle explains, speaking on the differences between their Italian roots and their UAE base. “Born of the belief that fashion should support and interpret the current consciousness of today’s woman, we are an inherently modern brand where women are absolutely at the forefront and celebrated with every collection.” Having only launched in 2017, NEMOZENA’s clear vision of versatility, innovation and flawless construction will only propel the luxury house into further success, keeping the woman who is a global citizen fronting every campaign.

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Previous pages: Bvlgari Serpenti Forever crossbody bags in calf leather with two arctic jade butterflies embroidered; Above and right: Bvlgari Serpenti Cabochon shoulder bag in soft matelasse rosa di francia nappa leather.

We spoke to Bvlgari’s Accessories Managing Director Mireia Lopez Montoya to find out why the brand is able to deliver such prestigious, longlasting collections season after season and how for SS20 we’ve been introduced to a little magic. Tell us about the new collection, Serpenti Forever Butterfly Flow. This spring Serpenti Forever comes in a very delicate and ultra-feminine interpretation with the handmade butterfly appliques inspired by Bvlgari’s heritage Tremblant broches. You’ve mastered working with beautiful exotic skins, do you find these pieces carry most appeal in specific markets? Yes, Bvlgari has a unique savoir-faire in the way the Maison crafts exotics skins, something that has been mastered through the years with continued research from our artisans. The result leads to unique and beautiful pieces. The pastel shades are highly appropriate for spring summer. Where did the inspiration for this colour palette come from? Bvlgari always plays with co-

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lours in unexpected ways and this time we were inspired by gems that shine in this soft palette. What about the craftsmanship of these bags? Do you think it makes them so iconic and long lasting, really a mindful investment piece? We always aim to create extraordinary and timeless pieces that you will just like to enjoy and keep with you for many years. They are unique and truly represent us as the ʻJeweller of Leather Goodsʼ. Who have been your mentors to date and what have you learned from them? I have been lucky to work with many brilliant managers from whom I was able to learn so much throughout my career. What really matters is always strive for results without ever losing the human angle. The power of being a part of a highly cohesive team and having fun together is crucial and I am lucky to experience it at Bvlgari. Have you encountered any hurdles in your career to date and how did you mindfully overcome them? Of course, there are hurdles sometimes and you need to work to overcome them with determina-


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Above: Bvlgari Serpenti Forever crossbody bags in calf leather. Left page: Bvlgari Serpenti Forever crossbody bag with brushed metallic rose calf leather body and flash amethyst calf leather sides; Bvlgari Serpenti Forever crossbody bag in arctic jade calf leather body and flash amethyst calf leather sides.

tion and passion. Sometimes you need to have patience. Things will work out when you are truly committed to your objectives. You work with an amazing team. What do look for in hiring for your teams to ensure this is maintained? Beyond the required technical skills and capabilities of a position, I particularly pay attention to the personal values and how the person will work within the team. I like people who are genuine, hardworking and generous of spirit. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? Try to do something you are passionate about. To be successful, it requires so much time and dedication so if you work on something you really like you will enjoy it as well. In a time when we have been confined to home, where is still on your travel list? I have had the opportunity to travel to many beautiful places both for work and for personal trips with my family but my next trips will be more local, I want to redis-


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cover my two home countries: Italy and Spain. How do you approach client service as a brand in order to create such strong retention? Quality comes always first whether it is about a product or about the experience of investing in a Bvlgari piece. The attention to detail is second to none in these pieces, can you highlight the most special details? In each of our bags you can appreciate our jeweller essence, as you look into each of our metal details you will appreciate the craftsmanship of wearing a jewel. Do you see any particular buying trends globally when it comes to accessories? I see that quality and timelessness become even more important nowadays, as clients tend to be more sensitive to sustainability and to the value of their investment. Which piece from the collection makes the perfect gift? There are so many options that you can certainly find something right for everyone. From our unique colorful scarves to the trendy sunglasses or the most exclusive bags.



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Precision Perfumerie Dynamic fine fragrances, Arcadia is all about quality over quantity

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Launched in 2015, Arcadia is a heady mix of carefully selected scents combined with a very cool eye for branding. Founder, Amna Al Habtoor, spoke to us about staying mindful and considered along the path to success. What do your first 30 minutes of the day look like? I wake up everyday at 6am sharp. It became an involuntary habit after having my kids, but it is now important for me to start the day early so that I get the most use of out my, usually very busy, days. I consider myself a morning person, so the first 30 minutes includes me enjoying my creamy coffee while getting the kids ready for school. Did you always want to have your own brand and how did you know it was the right time? Growing up in a very business-oriented and entrepreneurial family, it always seemed natural for me to start something of my own, and it never really seemed like there was a right time – it was more a question of when! I always had a passion for perfumery so I had known for a while before launching that it’s what I wanted to pursue. It can be rare to have both the creative and business side of the brain – you have both. Did it come naturally from the outset? Personally, I think that the brains of it was taught to me by my father from the


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“Luxury is elegance without arrogance. It’s in the details and craftsmanship in what you wear. Luxury is not what you possess, but rather in things that are taken for granted, like time and each other.” very early years, whereas the creative side of it, I feel, is more inherited – definitely from my mum, may her soul rest in peace. What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? Definitely, the current COVID-19 pandemic. Humanity is facing is the biggest hurdle to date! But upon Arcadia’s inception, my biggest challenge was creating fragrances that were not only nostalgic for me, but also for whoever smelt them. I also didn’t want to create a brand that was intimidating since Arcadia is neither male nor female but more a feeling. It is this raw, authentic emotion we all can relate to. You re-branded Arcadia after the initial launch. Tell us about the thought process behind this and was sustainability carefully considered as part of this? Arcadia is a brand that prides itself on creating cruelty, paraben and chemical-free fragrances. Our fragrances are also free from societal and gender norms. Personally, it only seemed fitting to match the packaging with the brand identity. So we took the time to reflect and rework Arcadia’s direction to ensure that all elements of the brand are in sync and comprehensive. Why do you think Arcadia has been able to establish such a loyal client base from the beginning? I strongly believe that it not only boils down to our unique, high quality fragrances, but also the narratives each fragrance carries. All your fragrances are cruelty, paraben and chemical free. How difficult was it to find partners to produce in this way? It definitely was not easy, but I was in no rush to create Arcadia so I didn’t mind the trial and error phase with suppliers. You’re able to ship throughout the GCC and globally. Do you see any buying patterns in terms of scents based on regions or countries from your two collections: Edition 1 and Edition 2? Although all of Arcadia’s fragrances have international appeal, it’s interesting to see how each market is responsive to particular notes. For instance, the buying pattern in the USA and Europe tends to opt for more sweet and fresh fragrances, particularly No. 8 Cerulean Crystal and No. 10 Candy Dust. Floral notes resonate beautifully in the Japanese market, so we are seeing a lot of interest in No. 4 Hassaku High. As for locally and regionally, all of Edition 2 sold out within the first two months of launching in 2018. No. 1 Royal Orchard and No. 9 Vanilla Pod are standout fragrances locally and regionally, particularly because they work beautifully for layering with bakhoor. What in this market is luxury? Luxury is elegance without arrogance. It’s in the details and craftsmanship in what you wear. Luxury is not what you possess, but rather in things that are taken for granted, like time and each other. How do you approach client engagement and retention? A big part of it for me is to be reachable. I’m regularly at the store and I love explaining Arcadia’s journey to clients who walk in. I’m also heavily

involved in our social media account because I feel that it’s always important to directly respond and engage with our clients. I feel that my readiness to respond to customers and truly have them ‘hear’ Arcadia’s voice has helped us succeed in client retention. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? I follow accounts that really take creativity to another level like @danielarsham and @takashipom. Which Arcadia fragrance suits everyone? No. 1 Royal Orchard, without a doubt! Do you have a signature scent for your home? Frankincense is burnt daily around in every room in my home, including inside the closets! It’s one of my favourite notes and has a calming effect for me. Have you created any bespoke custom-made scents for clients? Yes and it’s a part of the job that I love doing as I get to sit with clients, understand their journey and what they want their fragrance to reflect. A recent collaboration we worked on was with Piaget. They wanted to create a fragrance that symbolised their iconic Piaget rose, so as you can imagine, it smelt beautifully rosy! Everything was customised to their needs, from the fragrance itself, to the narrative, all the way to the packaging and colour of the fragrance. Tell us about your Limited Edition – where did the unusual notes you’ve used come from? I love working with unusual notes, especially edible notes. The new Limited Edition fragrance, named Bounded, features saffron, rhubarb and honey top notes, while the heart contains rose absolute, Turkish rose, carnation and toffee, and the base notes are made up of amber, oud and patchouli. You can personalise your clients’ experience as well as your scents. What does this entail and why was it important to you to keep client experience at the forefront of the brand’s world? Customisations entail a lot of meetings, trial and error, formulations and a true understanding of the journey and memory the fragrances need to reflect. Once the fragrance is approved, it’s then moved on to the design team who create the narrative and work on the packaging. Creating a bespoke fragrance is an amazing process, but it does take time. For clients who don’t have the time, we also offer customised packaging for a fragrance of their choice from our existing collection. I really wanted to incorporate customisations to Arcadia’s business line as it’s a brand for everyone and we are approachable. These days, it’s not enough just stating that – you have to show it. You incorporate the Gulf’s culture and history through scent. How mindful was it to link back to heritage for you when initially creating the brand? I always want to stay true to my culture, heritage and upbringing. This wasn’t difficult to do, particularly when formulating fragrances, as we are blessed with a variety of unique notes. These oriental notes are commonly used in Arcadia, but paired with unusual notes to really give it international appeal. Can you suggest a particular scent, which is ideal for gifting? Our Edition 1 and Edition 2 gift sets are perfect for gifting, as they include a beautiful variety of our top-selling fragrances in 15ml bottles. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? I usually like to end my night with a good face wash and night cream – I love all things Glossier! Once I get to bed, I read The Quran and say my prayers. What effect has social media played in the launch of Arcadia and its growth as a brand? Arcadia is a very visually appealing brand, from its simplistic packaging to our stand out events. These visuals always create intrigue amongst our followers locally, regionally and internationally. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? I would tell myself to continue taking risks. Looking back now, the best career decisions I ever made were when I took a risk. If you had not launched Arcadia, which other role would you choose career-wise? I’d definitely start my own coffee shop because I’m obsessed with coffee! How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Ramadan will be spent, and will always be spent, with my family and loved ones.


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Beautifully Considered WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS





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In the beauty world it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how much is on offer. From hair care to skincare to makeup, there’s thousands of products to choose from. But do you ever take into consideration what you’re actually putting on your skin and hair? In this new age of practicing conscious buying, don’t overlook your cosmetics and skincare – here’s 14 brands, along with key products, that should be on your radar. 01. Aveda

As one of the leading plant-based hair and skincare brands in the world, it’s the go-to for many seeking a brand which champions wellbeing and sustainability at its core. Not only are its products cruelty-free and derived from natural ingredients, Aveda’s products are manufactured with 100 per cent wind power and the company also carbon offsets. What we recommend: Damage Ready, Daily Hair Repair Dhs168 nisnass.com With so much on offer it’s hard to choose, but their classic Dam-

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age Ready, Daily Hair Repair is a must-have, especially for anyone who uses heat on their locks. This leave-in treatment claims to reduce breakage by 90 per cent in just one week. 02. By Noussou

Targeting those who suffer with difficult acne prone skin, particularly in adult years, this Dubai-based brand uses allnatural and chemical-free ingredients and is all vegan. What we recommend: Eastern Spice & Everything Nice Dhs65 bynoussou.com This cleanser is infused with chickpea, turmeric, jojoba and cinnamon, which will gently exfoliate the skin for a deep cleanse. 03. IZIL Beauty

This Dubai-based brand is allnatural with all their products made from organically certified argan oil, as well as other natural ingredients. The inspiration for IZIL comes from the founders’ home country, Morocco, where as part of the heritage in beauty, the most natural products are used.

What we recommend: Pure Damask Rose Water Toner Dhs79 izilbeauty.com Perfect for removing any last traces of dirt on the face in your skincare routine, this pure rose water blend helps tighten pores and leaves your skin clean and smelling great. 04. SHIFFA

“Natural healing that promotes beauty from within” is SHIFFA’s mantra. With healing at the forefront of the brand, the combination of active ingredients in products help to repair the skin from within. What we recommend: SHIFFTA Tri-Acid Radiance Peel Dhs270 sephora.ae This peel breathes life back into dull skin with the exfoliation, and unveils a new layer of plumper skin. 05. SALT by Hendrix

This Australian beauty brand is all about embracing organic purity. Their plant-based ingredients will bless your skin with an array of antioxidants and vitamins.

What we recommend: Botanic Facial Serum Dhs195 ounass.com This anti-ageing serum will boost collagen, keep your skin feeling refreshed and is packed full of natural ingredients. 06. Trilogy

Originating in New Zealand, Trilogy use natural ingredients and particularly focuses on rosehip seed oil, championing the skin benefits it has to offer. What we recommend: Vital Moisturising Cream, 50ml Dhs125 mena.feelunique.com With natural ingredients including the brand’s rosehip blend rosapene as well as marula and orange flower, this moisturiser can be used as both a day and night cream. It gives the skin intense hydration and nourishment and also helps to give the skin a smoother appearance. 07. Honest Beauty

Founded by Hollywood star Jessica Alba, Honest Beauty does what it says on the tin. “Turn heads without toxins” is the company’s slogan. Paraben-free,


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Your guide to being mindful of the products you’re using on your most precious assets.

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natural and cruelty-free, Honest Beauty are quite literally, well, honest. Products from the brand also won’t break the bank, which is an added bonus. What we recommend: 3 in 1 Detox Mud Mask Dhs73 honest.com A perfect pick-me-up, lather your skin with this mask filled with ingredients which help clear up impurities on the skin, whilst also leaving it incredibly soft. Ingredients include jeju volcanic ash, activated charcoal, manuka honey and shea butter. 08. Aesop

Luxury Australian brand Aesop is 100 per cent cruelty-free and vegan and aims to produce skin, body and hair care products to the highest quality. What we recommend: Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm Dhs105 lookfantastic.ae When people think of skincare, the first thought is normally the face, then the overall body. However, keeping your hands moisturised and well looked after is often overlooked. This hand balm from the Aussie



brand leaves hands feeling silky smooth and hydrated.

ed throughout the day with its water-infused, oil-free formula.

09. OSEA

11. Chantecaille

Hailing all the way from the west coast of the USA in Malibu, OSEA’s plant-based products derive of ingredients from the earth and ocean. What we recommend: Undaria Algae Body Oil Dh176 osea.com Your skin will thank you for the instant hydration you get from this body oil. With the undaria seaweed blended with acai, babassu and passionfruit, you’ll get a gorgeous all over glow.

With products derived from the purest ingredients, Chantecaille is cruelty-free and vegan friendly. Not only that, the brand has now launched a philanthropy initiative, which highlights global environmental issues while also supporting conservation efforts. What we recommend: Chantecaille Lip Sleek Dhs135 lookfantastic.ae To bring some life into your lips whilst also keeping a natural look, the Lip Sleeks from the brand are perfect. It will leave your lips feeling nourished and conditioned.

10. Bare Minerals

For over 25 years, Bare Minerals has been championing the powers of mineral makeup and letting your skin breathe. All their products are cruelty-free. What we recommend: Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser Dhs121 selfridges.co.uk Perfect for mastering the ‘no makeup, makeup look’, this tinted moisturiser will not only even out your skin tone, it also ensures your skin is kept hydrat-

12. Urban Decay

Known for their bold palettes and colours, the brand also has a plethora of products to offer for those who perfect more natural looks and is certified cruelty-free. What we recommend: The Naked Ultimate Basics Palette Dhs262 sephora.ae Urban Decay has become renowned for its naked series, and the basics palette will cover all


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bases for neutral makeup looks, and it’s the perfect size to take on-the-go, too. 13. NUDESTIX

Having launched in 2014, NUDESTIX aims to help people to enhance their natural beauty and champions the ‘fresh-faced’ look. Even better, all their products are cruelty-free and vegan. What we recommend: NUDESTIX Nudies Bloom Dhs150 sephora.ae A three-in-one product, this blush stick can be used on the cheeks, lips and eyes. 14. Fenty Beauty

While Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty was totally groundbreaking when it launched, promoting inclusivity and empowering women to love the skin they’re in, what many may not know is that the whole line is cruelty-free, does not test on animals and is paraben-free. What we recommend: Fairy Bomb Shimmer Powder Dhs150 sephora.ae Suitable for the face, eyes and body, this product will give you the ultimate all over glow.

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C O M P I L E D : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R


Dubai-based influencer and graphic designer Zahra Lyla shares her top beauty heroes What does your morning beauty routine look like? My morning routine consists of washing my face with warm water and then applying a toner. I alternate between Sisley Paris Grapefruit Toning Lotion and the Glow Tonic by Pixi. Next, I pat on a vitamin C serum by SkinCeuticals and my favourite eye serum by La Prairie. Then I use a moisturiser, eye cream and sunscreen to finish off. Does your beauty routine differ during Ramadan? My beauty routine doesnʼt drastically change during Ramadan. The only difference is that I use an extra hydrating moisturiser to help make up for the lack of water during the day. What can we always find in your bag? I al-

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ways have the Dior Lip Sugar Scrub balm, a matte nude lipstick such as Givenchyʼs Le Rouge Mat in shade Nude Androgyne (110) and the Armani Power Fabric concealer touch-ups throughout the day. Which masks are you a fan of and why? I absolutely love my weekly masking sessions and my vanity shelf is full of all kinds of masks but the kind of masks I always gravitate towards are clay or charcoal masks as well as buffing masks. My favourites are Cliniqueʼs City Block Purifying Mask and Sisleyʼs Gentle Facial Buffing Cream. If you had to choose three beauty products to live by what would they be and why? The three skincare products I canʼt live without are an

eye cream, sunscreen and night oils. These are the products that have really changed my skin for the better. As for makeup, it has to be concealer, mascara and eyeliner. Which fragrance do you choose for daytime? I used to use Escadaʼs Magnetism throughout my high school and university years but now I love to mix and layer my fragrances. During the day, I like to spray Gabrielle by Chanel, Nomad by Chloé or Souffle De Soie by Dior. What about your evening scent? I prefer to go a little heavier with Poison Girl by Dior, Black Opium by YSL or My Burberry Black by Burberry. Talk us through your hair ritual – any products you can’t live without? To be honest, I al-


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Clockwise from left: Nomade fragrance Dhs431 Chloé at Sephora; Le Rouge Mat Velvet Matte lipstick in Nude Androgyne Dhs179 Givenchy; White Caviar Illuminating eye serum Dhs960 La Prairie; C E Ferulic serum Dhs430 SkinCeuticals; Gentle Facial Buffing Cream Dhs343 Sisley Paris and Bloomindale’s Dubai; Grapefruit Toning Lotion Dhs370 Sisley Paris

ways forget to use hair masks at home even though I have a lot of them, but I love getting conditioning treatments done every few months at the salon. What are some of the best hair tips you’ve picked up along the way? I have the kind of hair that has to either be straightened or curled otherwise it is a wavy mess. So, the best thing I invested for my hair is the LʼOréal Steam Pod straightener. It uses steam with the flat iron which helps decrease the damage. It has really helped keep my hair healthy even though I use a lot of heat. What do you consider a makeup faux pas? I think everyone should just have fun with makeup and do whatever works for them,

even if it is technically against the rules. But I do have to say dark lip liner with bright lipstick is a no for me. What does your pre-bedtime nightly ritual look like? If I have a full face of makeup on, I make sure to double cleanse with a cleansing oil such as the Erborian Solid Cleansing Oil before my usual face wash. Then I tone with the Ole Henriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner which is a great toner I recently started using. I then apply the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ cream to help with my dark spots. After applying my eye serum and eye cream, I then apply a night oil which has really helped hydrate my skin. I used to be a little wary of using oils since I have oily to combi-


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nation skin but it has done wonders for me. I alternate between the Murad Multi-Vitamin Infusion Oil and Juno by Sunday Riley. Where is your favourite hair salon in Dubai? I always go to Marquee Salon and before the lockdown I had recently loved going to the new Snob Salon. Where do you go for your nails? The Nail Spa and the new Snob Salon. We canʼt wait to go and get a facial, where would you recommend? I like to go to clinics rather than spas to get facials. My go-to clinic is The Nova Clinic. What is on your current beauty wish list? I still need to get myself a facial Gua Sha as I have heard great things about using it.

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Staying in may be the new going out, but it doesn’t mean we can’t give our beauty cabinet an overhaul. We’ve compiled the latest products you can road-test while you’re in lockdown

Pure Power Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing & Dark Circle-Diminishing Vitamin C Eye Serum contains a powerhouse of potent and star ingredients to combat fatigue, puffiness and visibly diminish the appearance of dark circles in under one week. Just what you need? Voila. Dhs184 kiehls.com

HENRY JACQUES Henry Jacques, creator of some of the finest oud fragrances out there, has two enticing offerings for Eid. Onction is a luxurious blend of dehn el oudh, red rose, patchouli and vetiver and Musk Oil Black which has a lingering scent of bukhoor. Onction prices begin at Dhs4,450 for 15ml while the Musk Oil Black begin at Dhs2,540 for 15ml.

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Been washing your hands incessantly? Then the Grown Alchemist Hand Wash & Hand Cream limited edition twin set is an absolute must-have to give them much needed TLC. It is formulated with rich and nourishing active botanicals to refresh, soften and smooth leaving hands feeling soft and supple. Wash. Dry. Repeat. Dhs149. Available at Harvey Nichols – Dubai, Bloomingdales, Comptoir 102, beautifulbrands.ae, nissnass.ae and ounass.ae


The Alchemist


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The Beauty Shelf

Every month we ask an industry pro to share with us their all-time favourite products across makeup, skincare and fragrance C O M P I L E D : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

If you’re into curating a minimalist feed on your social media and are a fan of Bottega Veneta, then without a doubt you would’ve come across Saira Farhat, aka @fashky, on Instagram. Her pared-back aesthetic and ability to pick out the hottest moments in fashion stretches to her beauty routine. She knows exactly what works for her and is selective when introducing new products. We asked her to share with us her current skincare and makeup favourites and why she loves them.

a good lip glow more. Tinted natural lips is always my go-to. Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment Dhs330 Sunday Riley at Sephora

Two words: lactic acid. Used as an overnight mask, I wake up in a better state. La Crème Main Dhs315 Chanel

Hand cream is a must. And not only does this one look pretty in your bag, it smells divine too. Oh, and there’s no post application residue either. Body Cream Dhs135 Le Labo Banana Bright Eye Crème brightening vitamin C eye cream Dhs165 Ole Henriksen at Sephora

I’ve had a hard time finding a good eye cream, because most are overly potent for my eyes and thus the waterworks start. This one is great for sensitive eyes, with all the added benefits with hydration being at forefront.

Once it settles on the skin, I basically smell like fresh laundry hanging off a wooden tree. It’s the beauty of Hinoki.

The Moisturizing Soft Cream Dhs693 La Mer

Minimalist moisturiser user over here, I simply need something that does what it says on the tin. I leave all the targeted skincare to my serums and masks.


Dior Forever Skin Glow foundation Dhs252 Dior

Vanish Airbrush Concealer Dhs190 and Concealer Brush Dhs210 both Hourglass Cosmetics

Dry skin, no worries. Glowbooster on a level 10. Honestly, it’s flawless.

Buildable where needed, but natural to begin with. And I’m pro-natural. A teeny amount goes a long way, too.

Voluminous Paradise mascara 01 black Dhs83 L’Oreal

Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask Dhs122 Origins

A magical wand, which gives my barely there lashes a good chance at competing with my husband’s feathers. One stroke gives enough volume and depth. Winner.

This is a great face mask for clearing the pores. It’s been on my beauty shelf for the longest time. Dior Addict Lip Max Dhs167 Dior

I love a good lipstick but I love


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Shahd Al Shehail has managed to preserve the craftsmanship and heritage of Saudi Arabia with her women-led sustainable brand Abadia. She sat with us and weighed in on sustainability and her thoughts on mindfulness What does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness to me, means being able to appreciate the beauty in the ordinary, to be grounded in the present and to be conscious of the fact that my thoughts, words and actions have a ripple effect in the world around me. Do you have any daily practices which help you stay mindful? Especially now, I find that having an overall structure for the day helps. It gives me a sense of purpose and clarity over the day. I love taking a moment to be silent, appreciate nature, and give gratitude to the little blessings of everyday life. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Hopefully this year will be like every year, close with family. Personally, Ramadan has always been a month of reflection and personal growth. I don’t usually socialise a lot during the month and instead take the time for self-introspection. Given the current global state, all of us might be doing this! Did you always want to create a sustainable brand from the outset? Yes. Sustainability and ethics are at the heart of Abadia and a part of our founding values. Before starting Abadia, I was working to make fashion supply chains more transparent and ethical. With this work and knowledge, I became more certain of the kind of brand and company I wanted Abadia to be. How do you combine designing ethically with being commercially viable? I don’t think that being ethical and commercially viable are mutually exclusive. We have proven with our work at Abadia, and also seen this through the work of many other brands making strides in the ethical fashion scene. We are mindful in every step of the process – from sourcing our materials, to engaging our artisanal community in a sustainable manner, to minimising waste and repurposing deadstock, and finally, to designing timeless products. We are not perfect, but we are committed to growing and incorporating the latest technologies and innovations in sustainability into our designs, and constantly evaluating our impact to make sure we are doing the very best we can. Where do you get the inspiration from? We are incredibly inspired by the artisans we


meet, and their stories; how they learned the craft and what it means to them. Each craft holds a huge part of our identity; we have a responsibility to preserve it and celebrate it. We want to showcase that Arabian craftsmanship is rich and interesting as well as contemporary. As a Saudi woman, do you feel like you empower Saudi women through your designs? I think ‘empowerment’ is a concept that is sometimes loosely used. I am not sure if


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we empower women, but we definitely are a tight-knit team run by women who are inspired to create excellence through work. Our artisans are women and our brand values ensure their talent is rewarded with financial security. Is there anything specific that you put in mind when designing pieces for Ramadan? In designing for Ramadan, we try to strike a balance between elegance and comfort. We want our pieces to be easily worn as well as having a timeless quality, for Ramadan and beyond. What’s the message behind your collection? The collection, which was conceived last year and presented in Paris in September, is inspired by the universal truth that we are all interconnected. No matter how far apart we may be, our lives and destinies are intertwined. Little did we know back then that it would be released at a time when this truth is a living reality – felt so strongly by so many around the world. From the Ramadan edit, which is your most favourite piece? It is hard to pick a favourite but if I had to, it would probably be the organza cardigan with Naqda embroidery.

A special feature in S/S20 is the inclusion of a new artisanal technique called Naqda. Naqda is a traditional embroidery technique that includes pulling thin strands of metallic thread through cloth. It’s an intricate and beautiful practice with history across the Arabian Peninsula. I love that the Naqda pieces have been well-received globally, again showing us that traditional craftsmanship can be artfully weaved into modern designs, for the global consumer.



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With the current pandemic, the online marketplace has never been more lucrative and a saving grace for us all. There are numerous platforms catering to various tastes and interests, which can be equally great and overwhelming. Click onto any site and you’re immediately faced with thousands of products to sift through before you eventually find a piece that meets your eco-standards. Dubai-based luxury destination ounass. com is stepping up to the increasing demand for transparent fashion with the newly launched Sustainable Steps edit. From Stella McCartney’s sustainable ethos, to Aesop’s vegan skincare and Pour Les Femme’s social consciousness, once you enter the edit you will be amazed by just how many mindful brands there are. “Sus-

tainability is a huge topic globally, and as the fashion industry is a top contributor to environmental impact, designers are taking action,” explains Ounass womenswear buyer, Hayley McGregor. “As a retailer that is a part of this chain, we felt that we also have a responsibility to highlight these brands and their efforts, and in doing so, continue to encourage others to also make steps towards more ethical sourcing, production and trade. “Maggie Marilyn, for example, has made steps in every aspect of her brand to ensure sustainability where possible. As a fairly young label, it’s admirable that she is one of the leaders in this field. Peony swim is another label where every swim piece is made from sustainable fabrics, including the lining, a factor quite often overlooked

in production. Their fabrics are made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles, fishing nets and carpets, collected through various initiatives worldwide.” Ounass.com has established six ecofriendly pointers that a brand has to meet before being included in the edit. The online retailer ensures it takes a deep dive into everything from fabrics used (biodegradable, recycled and organic fibres like cotton, wool, linen and hemp), to production process across fashion and beauty companies. “It is a massive undertaking for a label to implement sustainable processes throughout an entire business. What we are seeing are labels making steps wherever possible and setting their long-term strategy and targets for the future, which is a great leap

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forward, and these are the designers that we’re shedding light on,” she adds. Beyond using recycled, decomposable, organic and biodegradable elements, sustainable materials matter in their ability to save the earth from toxic landfills. In addition, non-toxic chemicals like natural dyes decrease the pollution in our water while also being gentler to our skin. Other categories on ounass.com’s checklist include cruelty-free, natural resources such as sustainable agriculture and green beauty, but it doesn’t stop there. “On the Ounass production front, we’ve introduced our eco-friendly packaging last September,” Hayley says. “The option is now the default setting for all

deliveries, locally produced in the UAE from recycled materials while reducing the waste of natural resources.” In the current global climate, slowing down and carefully considering your purchases could help turn the tide away from fast fashion. As more of us consider our impact on the planet and the mark we leave behind, making small changes such as buying less and better does not feel like such a big ask. “I think you need to always follow your personal style and what is true to you, go for the pieces you love and that you know you will wear for a long time – black, neutrals and leopard print will always transcend the seasons,” advises Hayley. “Also invest in

sustainable basics that you will wear every day, such as t-shirts and denim. A big part of being sustainable is not just about buying into sustainable brands, but also making sure the pieces you buy from any brand are going to last – throwing away less is a huge part of the cycle. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about each person making small individual changes that collectively add up to a positive impact for everyone.” Shop the Sustainable Steps edit on ounass. com now.

WO R D S : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

STEPS you know you’re genuinely shopping sustainably? F E AT U R E

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Eight years after The Luxury Closet’s launch in the MENA region, it’s now a global success. Founder Kunal Kapoor discusses how the appetite for pre-owned luxury items has grown and how it has “disrupted the whole value chain of fashion”, adding a sustainable edge WORDS: OLIVIA MORRIS

MILLENNIAL MINDSET Trends have continuously come and gone in the fashion industry, but with sustainability at the forefront of people’s minds, consumers have become a lot savvier and more conscious when it comes to their shopping habits. Someone that knows about this trend all too well is the founder of The Luxury Closet, Kunal Kapoor. “Consumers’ luxury-shopping habits are changing; they’re taking into consideration what ownership really stands for and its definition, along with the impact it has on the environment too,” he tells Emirates Woman. This movement and mentality has largely been spearheaded by the millennial generation, according to Kunal. “They think differently and have a louder voice with social platforms and have the power to affect their family’s decisions too,” he explains. “Over 50 per cent of millennials consider resale value of a luxury item and are influenced by the sustainability movement and factors before purchasing a premium item. This coupled with the fact that pre-owned items are priced around 60 per cent less than retail prices, it creates a very attractive proposition for customers.” It’s the sustainability movement that Kunal has been championing for eight years, joining well before it became mainstream. Soon after The Luxury Closet’s launch in 2012, it was clear how big the appetite for secondhand was in the UAE. “It was obvious it was a much-needed service as we had very strong traction from early adopters,” Kunal explains. “I remember we sold our first bag on a beta site, even before we had officially launched.” Nearly a decade on, TLC now has an inventory of more than 40,000 unique items available to purchase from top-tier brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Rolex, Hermès and more. A lot of the luxury items come from the fashion-

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able and expensive wardrobes of the most stylish women in the UAE. While you might assume there’s some risks buying secondhand, TLC’s rigorous authentication process guarantees customers are investing in the real deal. “Each month we bring in thousands of items from around the world to our processing centre in Dubai where we have a team of 14 authentication specialists inspecting each item before it goes online,” Kunal says. And buying secondhand doesn’t just mean consumers are adding to the sustainability movement, but there’s some incredible savings to be found, with up to 60 per cent off retail price at TLC. The most popular items for the site include handbags and fine jewellery from brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. “UAE residents, especially expats, are very familiar with circular fashion and tend to buy pre-loved items all the time,” the founder says. “Our target audience includes anyone from a fashion enthusiast to a regular shopper interested in grabbing a great item at a fraction of its original price.” The secondhand luxury market has become so successful, brands themselves are now teaming up with big-name resellers around the globe. Burberry has announced a partnership with The Real Real, another luxury secondhand website; Ralph Lauren have teamed up with Depop, a secondhand shopping app; and Neiman Marcus has acquired a minority stake in Fashionphile, a Dhs734,500,000 ($200 million) reseller of luxury handbags. “This is proving that large retail corporations are also riding the wave which has led the pre-owned model to become the fastest growth sector in the industry,” Kunal says. “Secondhand luxury shopping has disrupted the whole value chain of fashion. Before, design-


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ers exhibited their collections in shows, advertised in magazines, worked on an Open-To-Buy model with sales estimates, factory production schedules, flooding the shops with new arrivals every season, then discounting what didn’t sell, eventually destroying what got left behind. It’s an unsustainable model that relies on mass production and consumption.” After an extremely successful year, TLC has hit it global with their latest launch in Hong Kong and expanding their teams in the Kuwait

and KSA markets. As for what’s to come, Kunal sees a bright future not only for TLC, but also for the wider secondhand luxury market. “We see the penetration of pre-owned to start accounting for one in 10 purchases in the next few years,” he predicts. “Ten per cent of the luxury marketing will be in resale, and we see ourselves as the number one player in this category. In real terms it means The Luxury Closet will become one of the largest and most visited shopping destinations in the region.”


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A Modest Act

What message do you want to convey through your book, Modesty: A Fashion Paradox? There are a few messages I hope to convey to readers. Firstly, that there are different levels of modesty and varying degrees of covering up, and that Muslim women’s dress codes have historically been tied to different political agendas. Also, modest fashion is not a solely ‘Muslim’ movement and that although the mainstream fashion industry may has embraced it now, modesty is far more than a passing trend or buzzword.

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How do you think the modest dressing movement has evolved? The modest dressing movement has evolved tremendously over the past decade, with modest fashion first being deemed frumpy and matronly, to now being featured thoroughly in the likes of Vogue. While there have been a number of different factors, like the rise of faith-based brands and businesses, platforms like modest fashion weeks which have helped elevate designers, and the increase in covered-up garments on catwalks, I believe the influx

Middle Eastern journalist Hafsa Lodi, talks to us about why now is the perfect time to publish her first book exploring the global modest movement


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of modest fashion bloggers on Instagram is what really helped catapult the appeal of modest fashion on a global scale. From their phones, women adhering to modest fashion lifestyles can now find an infinite amount of style inspiration from across the globe, and modest fashion trends like layering shirts under dresses, dresses over jeans, bucket hats or beanies in place of hijabs and beaded barrettes clipped to the sides of hijabs, have become instantly accessible and replicable. You don’t have to be Muslim, or wear hijab, to emulate these trends; they are inspiring women from all walks of life. Dressing modestly can now be on par with looking fashion-forward, and the trends are constantly changing seasonally, making the movement endlessly exciting to witness, and participate in. Did you expect modesty to turn into a multibillion-dollar business? Does the money element dilute the message? As a child living in the United States, adhering to a relatively modest dress code, I always felt somewhat outcast among my peers, and never expected modest fashion would become a popular mode of dressing, let alone a multi-billiondollar business. The financial incentives fuelling modest fashion are difficult to ignore – retailers are simply catering to the spending power of affluent Muslims and those who are from the Middle East. The bottom line is that these big Western brands and fashion houses are motivated by money, and not by a commitment to diversity or any desire to embrace different cultures. In some ways, this might dilute the overall message, while also taking away potential business from smaller, homegrown fashion labels who have worked tirelessly to provide designs for modesty-conscious consumers. But at the same time, the movement has helped normalise modesty in fashion, which many women, regardless of faith, are thankful for. What did you take away from speaking to fellow modest fashion makers, Halima Aden and Mariah Idrissi? I had the opportunity to speak to hijabi models like Halima Aden, Mariah Idrissi and Ferial Moulai, while putting together this book. Halima and Mariah have become global ‘faces’ of the modest fashion movement – Mariah was the first hijabi model to land a global fashion campaign in 2015, and Halima was the first hijabi on a fashion week runway. Both women have opened the door for Muslim women in fashion, and have inspired so many girls to pursue careers in the industry. Thrust into the spotlight, these young Muslim women who wear the hijab are ‘visibly Muslim’, and often find themselves taking on the role of being an ambassador for all Muslim women, when Muslim women

actually make up a diverse spectrum, with differing beliefs and opinions. Even Halima and Mariah have some dissimilar views. For Halima, modelling is an occupation: she’s signed to a modelling agency and takes on runway jobs with luxury designers at fashion weeks. Mariah, however, told me she wasn’t comfortable with the prospect of being both a hijabi and a runway model, and she prefers to just take part in fashion shoots, which are attached to stories echoing her opinions about topics like faith and diversity. I think it’s important to remember that while these young women have become celebrities in their own right, and stand for important causes about inclusion and diversity, every Muslim woman in the mainstream spotlight (and by extension, in the entire world) has her own views, beliefs and set of modesty guidelines. How would you define modesty today? Modesty is subjective – every woman has a different idea of what modesty looks like. I think by mainstream standards, modest clothing covers at least, the knees and the shoulders, at most the wrists and ankles, with the option of covering the neck and head as well. But it’s important to remember that modesty is also a virtue – so how you present yourself and behave, can be modest too. Being kind, humble, calm and composed are all components of acting modestly. What can we do to encourage more diversity in the industry? To encourage more diversity in the industry, fashion designers can increase their usage of coloured and plussize women in campaign shoots and on catwalks, and we as journalists and stylists can help by featuring diverse women in our editorial shoots, and on our magazine covers. Personally, I think this is especially effective when multiple models are used in group images. It’s a strong reminder that all women, regardless of age, heritage or religion, have a unique and personal place in the overall fashion narrative. What have been the biggest takeaways for you while writing the book? It was very interesting to learn about the historical evolution of Muslim women’s dress codes in Middle Eastern countries, and I think that


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readers may find some of these details surprising too – like the fact that the hijab has actually been banned in some Muslim-majority countries. Another thing I discovered, was the sheer passion and fervor that fuels the rhetoric about Muslim women’s clothing, especially when it comes to the hijab. Women, and even men, all have their two cents on the topic, even if they have no personal experience or relationship with the hijab. Emotions rise, tempers flare and heated arguments ensue so quickly when the hijab is the subject of a conversation. It’s fascinating how a piece of cloth, and a woman’s decision to cover her hair with it can stir up such intense feelings, and as we’ve seen, even influence political policies. One thing I learned about the overall experience, was that it takes lots of patience to be an author. I’m accustomed to the world of newspapers, where you write a couple of features a week, and see your stories in print the following week – sometimes even the following day. Putting together a book is a long, gruelling process of editing, re-writing and editing some more, before your project has any semblance to an actual physical book. Where do you want to take the conversation to next? I’ve been reporting about fashion for more than a decade, and have admittedly, become obsessed with it. For me, online shopping is a weekly habit, and I buy new clothes far more frequently than I should. I’d like to explore how consumerism and social media have combined together to affect the lives of millennial women in such an impactful way, leading to an excess of waste, time, money and infatuation with material goods. Would you say female writers are supportive of one another’s work? I can’t speak for all female writers, but I try to be supportive of others. I recently started writing book reviews, and have been focusing on reading the work of under-represented female voices, like Egyptian-British journalist Alya Mooro, who wrote her novel The Greater Freedom: Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes, and African-American hijabi Leah Vernon, who wrote Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim. From what I’ve seen on Twitter and Instagram, #bookstagram is a rising trend, and there’s a niche group of female writers and readers who are focusing on diverse female authors in the realm of new and upcoming books. On their platforms, they post reviews and share their thoughts about the books they find worthy of being read – I’m hoping Modesty: A Fashion Paradox makes its way onto these lists!



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Colouring is no longer just for play time. LA-based jewellery designer Jacquie Aiche believes this simple activity can exercise the mind and ease stilne yourWoman, soul is craving... this elegant totem is aspecially positive sign. It represents the for stress. Aiche has designed this piece Emirates with and calm in help tackle current events, take of a break present. Admire theso beauty Motherfrom Nature Takepeace time to practice themind art oftostaying your screens and discover your creative side. that surrounds you every day, and emulate the calming energy she carries. Representing peace and fr d , I have always believed that crossing paths with



The dove has been known as a spiritual symbol across cultures and generations.

The dove is a message of peace, here to remind us that life is beautiful and everything will be okay. EW_052020_P58_Lifestyle_Opener Jacquie.indd 58

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If you are a workout fanatic, the idea of creating a personalised home gym may have crossed your mind. If you’re not into exercise you will be with Technogym’s premium Personal Line of iconic equipment that ensures you can exercise wherever, whenever. Born from a collaboration between Technogym – with its three decades of research experience in developing fitness and wellness products, and world-renowned Italian interior designer and architect Antonio Citterio, the equipment is designed for home wellness and is the perfect example of function and form. In line with Technogym’s focus on overall wellness the Kinesis Personal allows you to do more than 200 workout moves in less than one square metre of space. If cycling is what appeals, then look no further than the Bike Personal. Along with eye-catching design by Antonio Citterio, the Recline, Run and Cross Personal are equipped with UNITY, the latest swipe-screen

interface. This offers you access to a totally personalised professional virtual training experience including your training programme data, apps, websites and favourite TV channels. And they don’t stop there, you can also access your personal data from your smartphone or from the web to keep track of your progress from anywhere. Technogym is known all over the world as The Wellness Company – a company that has helped to develop the hedonistic concept of fitness into a true lifestyle. And having equipped 65,000 wellness centres and over 100,000 homes around the world, you don’t have to worry about making time for exercise as Technogym has you covered. This is innovative training at its best. www.technogym.com/ae


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Meditation is a practice used by many different cultures to quieten the mind. Despite some misconceptions, it’s now easier than ever to implement the practice into your daily life with a host of new apps and guides that promise to deliver stillness and a sense of peace WORDS: CECILIA D’SOUZA

A Peaceful Mind Meditate. We have all probably been told to do this at one point in our lives, but where do you begin? With lockdown and working from home, looking after the health of our minds has come to the forefront like never before. Here we look at how, with a little discipline and effort, we can train our mind to focus, tune out negative thoughts, become more productive and learn more about ourselves. What is Meditation?

Meditation is a simple practice which can help reduce our stress levels, increase calmness and clarity and promote happiness in our lives. It’s not about stopping our thinking or emptying our mind. Rather, it’s more about paying close attention to our physical sensations, thoughts and emotions, or as Oprah Winfrey, who is a huge fan of meditation, says: “The outside world is constantly trying to convince you you’re not enough. But you don’t have to take the bait. Meditation helps you resist. What I know for sure, and have had to learn through much trial and error is that the voice that truly matters is the silent voice of awareness, consciousness and aliveness.” There are different effective types of meditation, and the degree of success differs from person to person. There are many popular types of meditation to get you started. Head-

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space is one of the most downloaded mediation-based apps currently. The guided format is particularly useful to beginners as it uses illustrations and visuals to talk you through how the mind behaves during meditation. It gradually leads you through the techniques and suggests ways you can integrate them into your everyday life. It’s ideal for those who struggle with unguided meditation (or silent meditation) where you simply sit in silence and pay attention to your body and thoughts. As Jacquie Sadek, the spiritual guru of Body Tree Wellness Studio, says, meditation is not the cessation of thoughts but rather watching your thoughts like a silent witness who reveals itself to you within the spaces of your


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thoughts. She explains that meditation allows our minds to experience stillness, peace and clarity. It also opens up intuition, insight, spiritual vision and foresight. The first step, she says, is deciding how you will sit and being able to sit in a comfortable position as well as creating an environment that induces relaxation. It’s important to consider a quiet space without a fussy background, lighting a candle, burning essential oils, wearing comfortable clothing, playing soothing music and choosing a specific time in your day that you know you will be able to commit to the meditation. As a beginner start with five minutes and use a timer. Each week add an extra minute or two. Interestingly, Sadek taught meditation to herself by focusing on tying her shoelaces. Each time her mind wandered off she would untie the shoelace and then tie it again until she reached a state of pure focus or mindfulness. It’s possible to do this through many simple tasks like washing the dishes, cooking, walking, sweeping, vacuuming, fixing your bed and more. The idea is to be mindful and focused, she says. That is meditation. Also an avid practitioner and meditator is Seva (which means selfless service for the betterment of the community), co-founder Shadi Enbashi. For her meditation is a practice of going beyond the analytical mind to clear the subconscious mind from limiting beliefs that play a big role in the way our reality is shaped. She says that one of the common misconceptions is associating meditation with relaxation. Feelings of relaxation can be experienced at certain stages of meditation, but it isn’t the ultimate goal of meditation. Meanwhile, alternative medicine pioneer, doctor, selfhelp guru and New York Times bestselling author, Deepak Chopra, says: “Meditation is a progressive quieting of the mind until you get to the source of the mind, which is pure consciousness.” He has dedicated his life to helping human beings unlock their true potential and discover how to reach a heightened awareness and higher consciousness. A prominent figure in the New Age movement, Deepak has written a total of 90 books. He has also starred in The Mindfulness Movement documentary, sharing his personal story about how mindfulness has transformed his life. Recently in an interview to EuroNews, he explained how people can reach a daily state of enlightened awareness with four simple steps: “Press the pause button for a moment in your life. Observe yourself and your reaction to react all the time. And then, use the S.T.O.P. formula. S – stands for stop, T – take three deep breaths and smile, O – observe what’s happening around you and inside you and P – proceed with compassion and awareness.” He is also in the process of creating a digital AI version of himself, called Digital Deepak. If you want to hold a conversation, join the waitlist on digitaldeepak.ai.

Simple meditation steps for beginners • Sit or lie comfortably. Don’t slouch – but your back doesn’t need to be ramrodstraight either. Use extra pillows under your knees or anywhere else to make yourself comfortable. • Close your eyes. It helps to bring into focus our body experiences. • Make no effort to control your breath. Simply breathe naturally. Focus your attention on your breath and how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Don’t try to control the pace or intensity of your breathing and if your mind wanders bring it back to focusing on your breathing again. • Begin with this practice for two or three minutes each day and then lengthen your timing. It may take days, weeks or months to extend your timings.

Other types of meditations

Body scan: This technique is designed to sync your body and mind by performing a mental scan, from the top of your head to your toes. Transcendental meditation: This is a simple, natural and easily learned technique that’s done twice a day sitting comfortably in a chair for about 15-20 minutes. It is about allowing your active agitated thinking mind to just settle down and access the sense of calm that lies deep within every one of us. Float therapy: This is one trend that is catching on fast. It’s all about matching the water temperature to your skin temperature and letting yourself float. You can also add some Epsom salts to the water in the tub and play some soft music to enhance your experience. Zen meditation: The goal is to find a comfortable position, focus on breathing and observe your thoughts without being judgmental. Breathing: Proper breathing is essential in mediation. Often, unwanted thoughts may emerge in our minds, and we tend to engage in them. This disturbs our peace of mind and, in turn, our breathing. Without breathing we cannot go into withdrawal of the senses and it ultimately stops the meditation process.




Insigh Timer


10% Happier

Your gym membership for the mind. Besides guided meditations the app offers sleep music and animations to help you better understand meditation.

Calm is a portal to develop your peace of mind and help you relax.

Offers more than 30,000 guided sessions that tap into every emotion rattling your nerves, relaxing music tracks and therapeutic pep talks.

Great for anyone looking to take control of their emotions and quickly calm their nerves.

While this app believes chaos will reign, with its help you can be a little hap-pier and deal with everything a little better.


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The Unwind

Bespoke, hand-crafted luxury candle brand Lava, delivers customised fragrances and exotic scents that inspire, enchant and unwind 62 emirateswoman.com

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Lava is the brainchild of Sheikha Amna Abdulaziz Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi. Founded in 2016, this Emirati-born brand is set to become the go-to the globe over for those who like their style and substance in equal measure. Carefully considered design merged with a mindful approach to brand growth and a superlative taste in scent makes Lava our one to watch What do your first 30 minutes of the day look like? My usual morning routine starts with a prayer followed by yoga which always helps me to refresh my thoughts and give me motivation and inspiration to have a fruitful and productive day. Did you always want to have your own brand and how did you know it was the right time? I have always been reading and researching brands – how they started and developed, what was their inspiration source and how they came up with the vision and carried it internationally. I have always been interested in creating a brand that is based on creations, inspiration, hand craftsmanship, mixed with complicated luxury scents inspired by nature and surroundings. Four years ago, I discovered what tickled my irrepressible creative spirit and my passion for growing a business. It all started when my father gifted me a candle-making set in Ramadan. I found the perfect creation that would allow me to put my handcrafting and scent mixing passion in a luxury elegant product. I started with creating three different candles which are: Moon, Star and Cube – a mix of oud, amber and different scents, wrapped in a package I designed. I have found the greatest support and admiration from my family; this was the time I knew I wanted to have my own brand. It can be rare to have both the creative and business side of the brain – you have both. Did it come naturally from the outset? I have always been encouraged by my family to research and read to expand my knowledge and find my passion. I have always found myself interested in all kinds of businesses – it is what triggers my creativity. Therefore yes, I have developed both sides. In my opinion when you gather both, that is always the secret recipe for success. What has been the biggest hurdle since starting your own brand and how did you overcome it? Of course building a brand takes a lot of effort and time – you need to search and understand your product, the market and your audience. I can say my biggest concern was the reaction of the audience when I introduced the first local candle brand inspired by my country and how to take it internationally. However, the results and people’s responses were very encouraging. Lava is both precision designed, as well as beautiful. Did creating the brand itself take

time and how did you refine it to where it is now? Yes, Lava candles are very carefully designed, as each candle has a story to tell and a place in UAE that it was inspired from – whether it was the sea, desert or buildings. Creating the brand and the collection came after big efforts, time, research, meditation and careful thinking. I take my time in creating each collection, designing the shape of the candle and mixing the right fragrance coupled with the design and feel of the candle. Why do you think Lava has been able to establish such a loyal client base since the beginning? Lava has a royal client base, but at the same time our clients are from everywhere and every age in UAE and GCC. Lava’s candles are all produced in the UAE. How did you select the factory you work with and what was the initial process when you launched your first collection? Proudly, Lava candles are made in Ajman in the UAE in the Lava workshop. We mix the fragrances, design and handcraft the candles. Some of the raw materials used are carefully picked from top places around the world. You’re able to ship throughout the GCC and globally. Do you see any buying patterns in terms of scents based on regions or countries? We do have clients all around the world especially in the GCC. What has been surprising is that clients from different parts of the world are interested in woody and oud scents. At Lava we always make sure that the right components are mixed with oud and amber to suit everyone’s tastes whether it’s here in the GCC or around the world. What in this market is luxury? The most luxury aspects of our candles is the burning hours and the burning technique. The candle has a very long burning duration and melts in a perfect way that will protect the design ‘candle walls’ all the way until the candle burns out completely. The most expensive element in the candle is the fragrance. We always guarantee a high percentage of the finest components in all our candles. How do you approach client engagement and retention? My team at the Lava HQ work on a daily basis to enlarge our database and make sure our current returning clients are always happy. We have different strategies of approach which cover all kinds of social media, monthly press releases and attending important events. A good product done with passion will always guarantee a customer who will return. Which Instagram accounts do you follow for inspiration? Luxury, emerging, local and inter-


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national brands covering a wide range of fields. Which candle should we pack when we travel and why? It depends on the buyer. Whenever we travel we always like to take a fragrance from home, so we advise to take the scent that brings you peace and cosiness to your soul whether it is lemon, oud or vanilla. Very soon we will be launching our travel collection. You will be able to carry the scent you love in a small container around the world. Do you have a signature scent for your home? All my candles and fragrances are very close to my heart as each one has been picked very carefully, but the closest to my heart is the Gold Treasures candle – a fragrance that always brings happiness to my day. Have you created any bespoke custommake scents for clients? Yes, at Lava we offer the service of creating bespoke candles. We offer options and ideas for designs and fragrances. We have created bespoke candles for so many clients in different retail fields. You use natural ingredients in your candles. How important was it adhering to this throughout the brand? Lava is strongly known for its unique natural fragrances. I have selected from natural elements which has allowed me to create the fragrances that I am 100 per cent happy with, which in turn, has brought on a lot of support and loyalty. Can you suggest a particular scent which is ideal for gifting? I think all Lava scents and candles are ideal for a thoughtful gift. We have candles for summer, winter, lovers of the desert, oud, vanilla, amber, lemon and even clove. Do you have any pre-bedtime rituals? My usual pre-bedtime ritual is planning my next day’s ‘to do list’ which always helps me to manage my time and evaluate the day that has just passed. It’s also very important for me to spend quality time with my family – the first and strongest supporters in my life. What effect has social media played in the launch of Lava and its growth as a brand? Social media is one of the strongest weapons we have today. It has helped us to raise awareness and gather a loyal database. Of course, you have to strengthen your brand with all levels of marketing (not only social media) such as press releases, events and word-of-mouth to make sure you are targeting everyone. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out? I can summarise it in a quote: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell. Hard work and time will show you the results you are looking for. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Unfortunately this year is difficult. I hope and pray everything will turn out better soon. My Ramadan this year will be at home with my family preparing for my future collections and planning how to take my brand internationally.

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Parts of Four at ATTUALE

Deep Rose, Dhs330-680 depending on size Subtle and sweet, with delicate scents of flowers flicker throughout the Parts of Four Deep Rose Candle for an exotic fragrance to warm any space. Made in Bali by local artisans, it leaves delightful trail, and is housed in a copper cylinder-shaped vessel.

Parts of Four at ATTUALE Deep Rose Dhs 330-680 depending on size Subtle and sweet, with delicate scents of flowers flicker throughout the Parts of Four Deep Rose Candle for an exotic fragrance to warm any space. Made in Bali by local artisans, it leaves delightful trail, and is housed in a copper cylinder-shaped vessel.


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Bella Freud

Oud, Dhs247 available at Ounass.com Diptyque’s Oud candle is a journey between East and West. A mysterious and woody composition is enhanced by oriental facets of incense, and warm, intense notes of patchouli and sandalwood.

Giant Rose candle, Dhs1,465 The Giant Rose candle envelopes the room with comforting botanical scents of lemon and rose, warmed up with notes of musk, amber and sandalwood.

1970 large scented candle, Dhs415 Bella Freud’s gold candle strikes an opulent mood, infused with luxuriously intense notes of vetiver, sandalwood, oakmoss and myrrh – a heady combination of incense popularised in the 1970s.


Cire Trudon


Eau d’Égée No.3 scented candle, Dhs380 This white Eau d’Égée No.3 candle is selected from L’Objet’s Parfums de Voyage collection which is inspired by the sun and spirit of the Aegean Sea. The white porcelain vessel is decorated with a black number three and is filled with hand-poured paraffin wax which is scented with head notes of fig leaves, heart notes of pepperwood and base notes of oak.

Ottoman, Dhs302 Net-A-Porter.com As the oldest candle manufacturer in the world (founded in 1643) Cire Trudon’s Ottoman candle has top notes of cinnamon, clove, saffron and Turkish rose blended with honey tobacco and smoked leather at the heart while musk and patchouli round off the warm exotic scent

Casa con Colonne Otto-scented candle, Dhs590 at MatchesFashion.com Fornasetti’s white Casa con Colonne candle plays homage to the stunning architecture of its native Italy with a detailed print of a stately columned home. The ceramic vessel and lid house hand-poured vegetable-blend wax that is free from toxins and infused with the notes of the label’s signature Otto scent – lavender, thyme and cedarwood.



Tom Ford

Orange Blossom, Dhs140 available at Ounass.com Transport yourself to a traditional home in Marrakesh with a revitalizing scent of orange flower, rose and musk. The small travel size is ideal for small spaces when you want just a subtle scent rather than anything overpowering.

Fleur Fantome, Dhs312 The perfect addition for a minimalist home, Fleur Fantome is a balanced bright scent with top notes lemon Petitgrain leaves and rhubarb which are enhanced with tulip extract and violet leaves at the heart, while galbanum, heliotrope and suede for the base.

Private Blend White Suede candle, Dhs543 Charming and wild, as expected of Tom Ford, this candle is an elegant addition to any space. Hints of leather and suede that feel smooth and delicate thanks to musk. There are also elements velvety rose and warm amber.


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Attitude of Gratitude

During this special month, we thought it would be wise to stop, take stock and to think about what mindfulness means to us and what we’re grateful for. We asked some of the most incredible women we know to do the same... Her Highness Sayyida Basma Al Said FOUNDER OF WHISPERS OF SERENITY CLINIC What does mindfulness mean to you? Mindful for me, means peace. Being more mindful taught me to stop running and to appreciate everything around me. I’m also mindful to appreciate my family... So, mindfulness keeps me living in the now. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? Practices that bring me peace and make me feel focused are swimming, music (especially classical) and little things like just sitting down and allowing quiet time. What three things are you most grateful for? I am grateful that I have passion and I’m able to love, especially toward my family and kids. I’m also grateful for my team and clinic, as they are the ones who make me feel good for achieving all we do. Lastly, I am very grateful for living in a country that has peace, because without it, I can never find all of the points above. Feeling at peace

and to feel safe is the most important. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Usually every Ramadan, we decorate the house with lanterns, crescent moons and we light the trees in the garden. For me, the main thing in Ramadan is the gathering but this year, we’re not be able to do it. Still, I’m going spend it with my main family and I’m going to connect with people and call them or video call them as sadly we need to practice social distancing. I am still able to communicate with them, talk, share news and food because what’s important is the emotional communication and that is what I’m going to keep on going. And in a way, I’m looking forward to this year’s Ramadan because usually in the other years, it’s really hectic with work and having to be outside the home. This year we get to spend more time at home to read Qur’an and to have time for our Islamic practices. Everything can be positive, it depends on how you look at it and I am choosing to look this experience in a very positive way, I’m choosing to learn new things, giving my time to pause and to be more mindful.


Abeer Al Otaiba FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF SEMSEM What does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness for me means treating one another with grace and compassion and trying our best to impact positive change through our words and actions. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? As a mother, wife of an Ambassador Minister and business owner, I am constantly in motion so sticking to a routine is important as I juggle my various roles. My family is my source of peace; being a mother who is present is my number one priority, so I always put my kids first. In spite of my busy schedule, I also make a point to set aside time for exercise – kickboxing is my workout of choice as I find it incredibly therapeutic. What three things are you most grateful for? My family and their health, which is most important at a time like now, as well as the opportunity to impact change and help our community. I’m also grateful for my friends, near and far. How will you be spending Ramadan this year? I love being able to welcome friends and colleagues to our home and share in the holy tradition of Ramadan. Since circumstances won’t make it possible to gather this year, I look forward to reflecting with my little family over home cooked meals. The unexpected extra time with my children has been a blessing – they are blissfully happy and innocent in all of this so I am loving the frequent hugs, funny chats and outdoor walks.

What does mindfulness mean to you? This is the perfect time to feel and be completely submerged in mindfulness. During COVID-19 I’ve started to notice my internal being and external. The stillness of things has brought a new kind of zen to beautiful moments that we would have missed in busier times. So, to me it’s the deep appreciation of being alive. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and foManal Rostom cused? I have been practicing intermittent fasting and deep breathing EGYPTIAN RUNNER, MOUNTAINEER AND NIKE + RUN CLUB COACH both bring such clarity to my mind and body. What does mindfulness mean to you? It’s your ability to focus on the very moment you are living in and try to shut out all the voices and distractions inside your head. What three things are you most grateWhich practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? Praying five ful for? My family, my health and my deep passion for story-telling. times a day and taking some time to meditate first thing in the morning. The app ‘Calm’ has been my go-to solution to stress especially during to lockdown. How will you be celebrating Ramadan What three things are you most grateful for? Family, health and my current living location, this year? I will be cooking daily for my staff as they moved in with us. I Dubai, being one of the safest places in the world. will also Zoom with my mother, sisHow will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? It’s scary to know that it will be so different ters and brother to stay in touch and this year. I plan to pray as usual and read Qu’ran but mostly from and at home. Hopefully do celebrate the spirit of the month. a few online Iftars and Suhoors with family and close friends on Zoom if lockdown persists.

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Sheikha Madiyah Al Sharqi DESIGNER & FOUNDER OF MADIYAH AL SHARQI What does mindfulness mean to you? I think mindfulness for me is being empathetic through everything you say and do, and creating a positive influence when you extend that awareness to the people around you, to your business practices, and even to yourself. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? Apart from balancing time between taking care of my business, family duties and engagements, I find that’s important to take time for myself. Maintaining a regular fitness routine and healthy lifestyle have always helped keep me centered physically and mentally. What three things are you most grateful for? My family, friends, and my entire team – I get to have these amazing experiences with their help and support which I’m always grateful for. How will you be spending Ramadan this year? Ramadan is a special time because I get to spend extra quality time with my family, enjoying each other’s company over Iftars and Suhoors. It’s also an opportunity to slow down, rediscovering old books and films, and getting inspired for next season.

H E Dr Maryam Mohamad Fatma Matar MD PH.D, FOUNDER & CHAIRPERSON, UAE GENETIC DISEASES ASSOCIATION What does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness is a practice of carefully focusing attention and awareness of present moment, making conscious decisions and be an observant without judgment. We have scientific evidence to suggest that mindfulness indeed enhances our mental, emotional and physical health and cultivates our wellbeing. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? As a genetic scientist, I am a huge believer in these principles: meditation practices and adhering to healthy habits like adequate sleep, healthy and balanced diet and moderate and regular physical activities. What three things are you most grateful for? Gratitude is both the art and the science of living a fulfilled life. The three things I am most grateful for are: my privilege to be born as an Emirati woman and have opportunity to serve my nation, UAE; my family; my mentor and president of UAE GDA and UAE Genetic Diseases association, volunteers, scientific experts, members of board and societies. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? The holy month of Ramadan is always very special and an opportunity to reflect on my privileges, blessings of God and to connect with family, friends, community and expanding my learning. This Ramadan is especially a month of compassion and solidarity, towards the public service providers, healthcare and essential service teams working in our country and worldwide.

Salama Mohamed UAE VLOGGER FOCUSING ON INSPIRATIONAL CONTENT What does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness to me is focusing on what’s going on in my life right now, not holding on to things from the past, or worrying about things in the future, but being aware of my mental state and my family’s mental state in the moment. It’s about being kind to myself and aware of what others might be going through during these difficult times, and showing compassion. An important part of mindfulness for me is also seeing the situation for what it is and reminding myself that like all things, this too shall pass inshAllah. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? The act of prayer is a daily practice that gives us a strong sense of peace and strength by default, it allows us a time to stop everything

Raha Moharrak MOUNTAINEERAND THE YOUNGEST ARAB AND THE FIRST SAUDI WOMAN TO CONQUER MOUNT EVEREST What does mindfulness mean to you? To me its awareness in both micro and macro scales, meaning being away of things inside you and the external factors as well, such as your mental and emotional health and being apathetic and sympathetic towards those around you. It’s an important balance that we need to be fully present and aware of ourselves on a deeper level, not just being aware of the here and now but also the why and when. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? Sports has always been my go-to for focus and funnily enough, organising brings me peace – the first thing I did when lockdown happened was go on an organisation rampage! I only started feeling badly home sick once I ran out of things to organize. What three things are you most grateful for? My health, my family and the life I have lived. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? No matter how crazy my schedule is or how far I go for my adventures I try very hard to be home for Ramadan. Sometimes I’m halfway across the world in the middle of nowhere, but I still try to be there for a bit because there’s something very special about being home for that month.


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we are doing five times and day and no matter what we are feeling we stop, breathe and be truly grateful for the things happening in our lives, both the good and the bad. Another thing is the ‘Calm App’ – it’s my goto application every day for my meditation and mindfulness practices. Every evening before I go to bed I mediate with the ‘Daily Calm’ session, the ‘Daily Calm’ is guided meditation with a short talk at the end on a specific topic that teaches us how to stay grounded, centered and more focused in our life and practice. What three things are you most grateful for? Firstly, I am grateful for our leadership and healthcare workers who have dedicated their lives to ensuring our health and safety, I am grateful to all those on the front lines fighting again COVID-19, they have shown us that in the hardest of times they are the truest of heroes. Secondly, I am grateful that my family and I are able to stay at home and safe during these challenging times, we are aware and understand that for many that is not the case so we are doing what we can to help and support. And finally, I am grateful for my family, they bring so much love and joy to my life every single day, and push me to become a better human, creator, wife and mother. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? I know there might not be much to celebrate given what is happening in the world, but in my opinion that is why Ramadan couldn’t have come at a better time. The Holy Month is a time to reflect, to deepen our connection with Allah and help other people. I am aware these are things we do in our daily lives, but during Ramadan those acts of reflection, kindness and help for others is magnified. Our goal is to celebrate those acts by doing everything we can to help and support other people, the world needs it now more than ever.

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Basma Masri

Zahra Lari



What does mindfulness mean to you? Its meaning has changed as my understanding of it having evolved over the years, stemming from my own healing journey as well as the journey of my yoga students, and from the children we work with at Superhope. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? Yoga for sure. After co-initiating Superhope and meeting with incredibly powerful children, a part of the experience made me realise that I did not know how to process pain constructively, and that snowballed as I encountered different events which triggered an anxiety attack one day. I was then determined to find a tool to get me out of it and to never experience it again. The tool was yoga, and with yoga comes deep breathing, journaling, and paying attention to what I fuel my mind and body with. What three things are you most grateful for? Right now, my health, my family’s health, and my yoga community that I’ve built on YouTube. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Well, even though we are in isolation already, I would like to isolate myself even more during the day so that I could go inwards and listen to my inner dialogue. When we surround ourselves with a bit of silence,ww it’s amazing how loud it gets on the inside, and by journaling that dialogue, I get to release some of that noise and learn what it’s trying to tell me, and why. The aim here is to truly try to become a better version of myself in 30 days, even if just a little better.

What does mindfulness mean to you? To me mindfulness is very important. It shows that I’m in control of my thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness is the ability to focus only on the present and not on the future. I try to do this in my everyday life and during my daily training. This doesn’t mean I don’t set long-term goals, but I focus on day-to-day actions to slowly get me there. This will help me focus more and reduce stress and pressure. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? In my opinion the best way to bring peace and help you remain strong and focused is by meditating every day. Meditation will help your body remain calm yet focused on what needs to be done. I’m trying to do this every

morning even if it’s only for five minutes because it helps my mood and gets me ready physically and mentally for the day. What three things are you most grateful for? I’m most grateful for my family, my health and my strength. These three things are the most important foundation to my success and happiness. Without my family’s support and guidance, without my good health, and without my strength to push through struggles I wouldn’t be the person I am today. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? This year Ramadan will be different for all Muslims around the world. We’re all in the same situation of self-isolation but stand united to get over this difficult time. I will spend this time with my family and continue to do exercises at home to stay healthy and active. I recommend this for everyone not just for their physical health but also for their mental health and wellbeing.

Enjy Kiwan PRESENTER & MC What does mindfulness mean to you? I have spent all my life dwelling on the past and planning for the future. And for the first time with all that’s happening around us, I realized that I need to be present, be mindful of the little things that took away the most important thing for me which is living and enjoying the moment. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? Being with my kids brings me peace beyond words. Being with them fully with no distractions. Their innocence brings me so much joy and purpose, spending time with them makes feel useful. Their unconditional love makes me feel that the world is still okay. What three things are you most grateful for? I am so grateful for my family, health, and optimism – at times like this has proven to be very important. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Ramadan this year is going to be tough. Not only because we won’t be having the usual Iftar gatherings, but I have been finding comfort in my morning coffee, I’m hoping that I will get in touch with my spiritual side as I’ll have more time for that. I’m hoping to spend less time on social media, more time praying and reading. Having said all of this, I have been in a very good place with all that’s happening. I got to know myself better and pinpointed the weaknesses I can work on.


Hanaa Ben Abdesslem TUNISIAN MODEL What does mindfulness mean to you? For me mindfulness is fully experiencing a moment. If my mind has wondered to the past or the future or the stresses of the present I bring myself back to the moment using all my senses. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? It is about not only being where you are right now but experiencing it as well. Not thinking about the past, the future, all the things happening in the world. Asking yourself questions to come back to present moment, meditation, practicing yoga and workouts and train your mind to see the positive. I also surround myself with people who have good energy and who also think positively. This helps me have peace of mind and stay strong. What three things are you most grateful for? My health, family and the people I love are safe and how much I have been able to accomplish in my life and my career so far. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Unfortunately, I won’t be able to celebrate Ramadan with my family this year because of the situation. I will still be celebrating with a few friends and my husband on a Caribbean island.

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What does mindfulness mean to you? Paying attention to the signs, being thoughtful of the little things in life. Taking things slowly, diving into the things I love and being aware of my feelings and my thoughts. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? Reminding myself why I’m doing what I’m doing, counting my blessings, gratitude, listening to meaningful music, talking to my life coach and therapist and playing with my dog. What three things are you most grateful for? My health, my family and my best friends. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go to the mosque or tents for Iftar and Suhoor. Instead I’ll be spending my Ramadan by fasting and having Iftar with my family and I’m counting my blessings and thanking God for it. Honestly at this point we all have to be grateful for our health and that we have access to food and a house.


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Waad al-Kateab

Sheikha AlMheiri



What does mindfulness mean to you? For me, mindfulness is about enjoying the peaceful times and taking time to feel grateful for where I am right now. It is very important. I am happy to have a busy life with many different work projects but this can be a lot and it is sometimes overwhelming so I also try to spend time with my family. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? I have to spend lots of time inside on my laptop so I enjoy being outside for a walk or playing with the kids in the fresh air and sunshine. At night every day Hamza, my husband and I sit on our sofa watch movies and series – this has become our nice routine where I feel some peace. Also, one of my favourite things to do is to cook. So, when I am focusing on the ingredients and the recipe and making the food, I find that I can switch off my mind from work. What three things are you most grateful for? Family, friends and my work. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Unfortunately, there is no real feeling of Ramadan in London where we live, but every year we try to make our own. We will do crafts with the kids to decorate the house and we will cook lots of traditional meals as well as trying through ‘Action For Sama’ to support amazing campaigns for people in need.

What does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness for me is the focus of being present, engaged and grateful in the current moment. Mindfulness is the ability to focus my attention, thoughts, emotions and body by being engaged and in a tranquil state. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? I am a big advocate of a correlation between mental health and fitness. It took me years to find a way to disconnect from within and from my busy days and focus internally on my peace of mind on the daily. My daily workout session is a good one to two hours of rebalancing, clarity and escaping from the daily hustle of the business world. What three things are you most grateful for? Family, friends and health. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Ramadan for me is an important month to reset my body and mind. Detoxing the body, maintaining my fitness levels and freeing the mind for more religious meditations. We will celebrate in Dubai with unity and closeness.

HE Reem BinKaram DIRECTOR OF NAMA WOMEN ADVANCEMENT ESTABLISHMENT What does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness is essentially a heightened sense of awareness of oneself and one’s environs. Practicing mindfulness enables me to be fully present in my ‘here and now’, to purposely focus my attention on my daily experiences, on my thoughts, feelings and actions. These acts of mindfulness ground us, enable us to notice and appreciate the little things in life, accept things we cannot control and ultimately, be the best versions of ourselves. For me, mindfulness is being aware in each and every moment. It means taking responsibility for what I am think-


ing, saying and doing, and if it is not the experience I want, I change it. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? My work is a very important part of my life. It allows me to build on my strengths and gives me great satisfaction at the end of the day. Exercise is very important physical and mental strength so I can push boundaries fully energised. Meditation is part of my daily routine – it removes stress and helps me centre myself. I turn to praying for inner peace. What three things are you most grateful for? I am grateful for this life that I am able to lead; that I am able to help and support those in need; for the good health and for the relationships that have helped me become the person I am now. I am immensely grateful for the resilient and positive community I am a part of, and for this I have to thank our wise leadership for providing support and care to all citizens and residents of the UAE, equally without exception or bias. How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? Ramadan is a period for peace, introspection and thanksgiving. This year, I will be observing Ramadan with a focus on developing more compassion, self-discipline and inner resilience.

What does mindfulness mean to you? To me it is a state of mind when you feel that you are in total control of your brain and the current moment. It is the ability to be able to observe things without judgment or pre-assumptions. I’ve always tried to be mindful in looking at things and when making decision. Which practices bring you peace and allow you to remain strong and focused? I like to paint because I can be in total peace while doing so. The process also helps clear the mind and heals Fatma Al-Otaiba the body of emotional trauma. I also FOUNDER OF ODEEM meditate and pray on a daily basis. What three things are you most grateWhat does mindfulness mean to you? Mindfulness to me mean being aware of the present and appreciate being in the moments – it’s something I remind myself of constantly and try ful for? I’m so grateful to be part of my best now more than ever to always be mindful. Which practices bring you peace and ala loving family; to be healthy and strong; and to have my profession. low you to remain strong and focused? My faith is my strength. I also stay active physically, as it is when I feel most energetic and focused. Painting also is peace to me – it’s when I’m How will you be celebrating Ramadan my most calm. this year? In Ramadan I like to read historical and spiritual books. So, What three things are you most grateful for? My family: they are the love and happiness in I’ll have my selected books for this my life. My health: it is the most important currency. My country: it is our safe haven. holy month. In addition, I’ll continue How will you be celebrating Ramadan this year? We will be keeping our Ramadan rituals working on some visual projects inas normal as the past years, within what we are able to practice given the current circumstances. We will stay connected with our loved ones, family and friends, by calling them. I cluding video art, painting and edithope we will be able to celebrate Eid with our loved ones. ing old footage.


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The Overwhelmed Brain

Plug & Play

Reflect, recharge and develop great ideas through the power of the podcast

With a raft of topics covered like anxiety, depression, fear, obsession, panic and even fragile relationships, this show will help you achieve less stress and streamline your happiness. Become empowered and honour yourself so that you can make decisions that are right for you. Mindfulness, compassion and being in the present moment are only components of a bigger picture. The goop Podcast


In this fast-paced world, being busy seems to be an ingrained habit that we must adhere to. Very rarely do you see people stop in their tracks without good reason. We always need to be scrolling, on-call, seeing people or doing something. To

help you switch off and just be with your thoughts and yourself, podcasts are a great way to unwind. EW has rounded up some top picks for you to listen to, from food to self-help to mindfulness or fashion – we’ve got you covered

Wellness and lifestyle brand goop, founded by A-list actress Gwyneth Paltrow, launched its podcast in March 2018. It’s safe to say if your first guest is Oprah Winfrey, it’s going to be a hit thereafter. Gwyneth hosts the podcast alongside Elise Loehnen, her Chief Content Officer for the brand. The pair chat with industry leaders, culture changers and leading thinkers in the hopes to start new conversations on topics and shift thinking. How to Fail

Hosted by author and broadcaster Elizabeth Day, this podcast focuses on the things that haven’t gone quite right in life. Elizabeth chats with a guest each week about how they learnt from their biggest failures in life and how those failures led to their later successes. The podcast has been so successful, Elizabeth released a non-fiction book off the back of it last year titled, How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong. A great listen during self-isolation. Happier with Gretchen Rubin

If you’re looking for someone to give your mindset a healthy and productive boost then Gretchen Rubin, author of the number-one selling book The Happiness Project is the person for the job. Gretchen’s hugely popular podcast has had over 95 million downloads where each episode gives advice to those looking to combat stress and anxiety in order to be, well, happier.

Deliciously Ella

You’ll probably have already heard of Deliciously Ella if you’re a health-conscious eater. In 2012, Ella Woodward founded her blog which led her to publishing her first book in 2015. Two years ago, Ella launched the Deliciously Ella podcast with her husband Matthew Mills, and it’s become hugely successful. In each episode the couple are joined by guests in the wellness and health arenas, discussing a range of topics from happiness, how to reframe your life and how to build a happy and healthy brain and more.

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Homegrown in the UAE, this podcast is all about championing women and watching them thrive. After 17 years of climbing up the corporate ladder, Rana Nawas took a change of direction and launched the When Women Win podcast. Focusing on gender equality and female empowerment, Nawas has hosted the likes of Tessy Antony de Nassau (former Princess of Luxembourg), Hala Gorani, Mona Ataya and more. Happy Place

Hosted by British television presenter Fearne Cotton, Happy Place discusses everything from mental health, to what happiness is, relationships, loss and more with a celebrity guest each week.


When Women Win


4/27/20 2:00 PM

Sitting comfortably?

With so much time spent at home, we know how important it is to compartmentalise. Make sure you carve out some alone time with the best chairs to curl up in, whether you’re reading a book or scrolling through your social media feed WORDS: AMY SESSIONS

Clockwise: Rattan Chair Dhs1,040 Zara Home; BUSKBO Armchair, rattan, Djupvik white Dhs645 Ikea; Paulo Bent Ply Leather Chair Dhs4,770 West Elm

From left: 1970s Le Bambole Lounge Chair by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia Dhs38,568 First Dibs; Carla Venosta Ultra Rare ‘San Martino’ Lounge chairs Dhs12, 855 for 4 chairs, The List; SINCLAIR II - TBL1106 POA Marina Home


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4/27/20 2:01 PM

Rule Your Mind

In these increasingly unprecedented times, mindfulness and meditation are crucial to our wellbeing. As we stay indoors, we can use this time to learn to be happy with the smaller joys in life. But how exactly do we go about it? We have picked 10 of the best books out there to give you a helping hand 72


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4/27/20 3:24 PM

Real-World Mindfulness for Beginners: Navigate Daily Life One Practice at a Time WORDS: CECILIA D’SOUZA

by Brenda Salgado Major changes are a part of life, but dealing with them can be overwhelming at the best of times, let alone right now. With 10 of the most-trusted mindfulness experts featured in the book, you will find simple techniques on how to navigate difficult situations with clarity and courage. Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan For Finding Peace In A Frantic World

by Mark Williams and Danny Penman Everyday life can be a frantic whirlwind, leaving many focusing on the issues we experience, which results in us forgetting how to live a joyful existence. We get so caught up in the ‘little things’, we often end up missing the most important parts of our lives. Based on the techniques of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), this lifechanging international best seller reveals the secrets to living a happier life – one that’s less anxious, less stressful and less exhausting. You’ll be surprised by how quickly these techniques will have you enjoying life again. Will The Real Me Please Stand Up?

by John Powell The book is a compilation of 25 recommendations for good communication. It is about discovering yourself by peeling back layers and becoming aware of exactly how you are living your life. It offers the necessary tools you need to make changes in your life for personal happiness and growth. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

by Eckhart Tolle According to Oprah Winfrey, this book is one of the most important books of our time. It functions as a guide for everyday living and puts an emphasis on how important it is to practice mindfulness, in order to be in the present moment. The book teaches you how to detach yourself from your ‘ego’ and outlines how it will help you to enjoy a better life. As Tolle writes, “The ego always wants something from other people or situations. There is always a hidden agenda, always a sense of ‘not enough yet’”.

by Haemin Sunim Modern life demands a lot out of us, and feeling constantly overwhelmed has somewhat become the accepted norm for many. In this book Sunim offers guidance on ways to be calm and mindful, while sharing his wisdom on the beauty and joy that slowing down can bring to our lives. We can only learn and adapt. Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster

by Linda Graham You don’t have to have suffered from huge tragedies or hardships to find great value in this book. It showcases ways to cope and thrive with any level of adversity – from annoying daily life struggles to sorrows that break our hearts. The book explores ways to attune to and convey basic emotions such as


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empathy, sharing kindness, practicing gratitude and more importantly showing some compassion to yourself. As that old saying goes, we can’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we respond to it. Make Peace With Your Mind

by Mark Coleman How often do you find it difficult to forgive yourself? More often than not we’re ready to forgive our loved ones in an instant, but when it comes to being kind to ourselves it’s a totally different story. Our inner critic – the voice inside our heads – constantly reminds us we are not good enough. This gem of a book offers constructive insights into what creates, drives and disarms those selfdoubts. How we can let go of regrets, raise self-esteem and accept our own vulnerability without compassion for ourselves? Wherever You Go, There You Are

by Jon Kabat-Zinn Jon Kabat-Zinn has been teaching the tangible benefits of meditation for decades and is widely regarded as one of the finest teachers of mindfulness. In this book, he provides an easy way for people of all ages to unlock the calming powers of the mind through simple suggestions. For example: how can we view challenges as opportunities for improvement, and how can we use meditation to better our everyday lives? Silence: The Power Of Quiet In A World Full Of Noise

by Thich Nhat Hanh “The practice of mindfulness is very simple. You stop, you breathe, and you still your mind. You come home to yourself so that you can enjoy the here and now in every moment,” says Thich Nhat Hanh. This book is about avoiding non-stop thinking and allowing for deep listening, to cultivate inner peace and healing. There are lots of suggestions on how to be happy in the present moment without getting carried away by past sorrows, future worries or the stressful present. Fully Present: The Science, Art and Practice Of Mindfulness

by Diana Winston and Sue Smalley In a nutshell, mindfulness is really about waking up to the world around us and living in peace and harmony with oneself. Between work, home chores and our digital gadgets, we often find that we do not have the time to relax and simply enjoy being in the present. In the long run, stress and anxiety can get the better of us, which is where meditation comes in. The ancient art has been scientifically proven to boost our health and happiness, and this book you will find out how to get there.

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Mood boosting and muscle leaning, Pilates is exactly what you need to get through self-isolation C O M P I L E D : D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R

the few people in the world who worked with Joseph and Clara Pilates in their studio. Located in Barsha Heights, PURE Pilates has become known as one of the best studios in Dubai, and although it’s closed for the moment due to the global pandemic, it doesn’t mean you can’t carry on feeling great at home. Foustok has put together a comprehensive guide to key exercises that target different muscles in the arms, back, abdomen and legs. So slip into your Lululemons and let’s begin. Arms

Susanna Foustok, Founder of PURE Pilates @purepilatesdubai

Devised by German anatomist Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates has gained global popularity for offering numerous benefits including strength-building, improving flexibility and relieving stress. Ranging from classical floor Pilates, to reformer Pilates with exercises performed on a machine, the practice requires small movements focusing on various areas of the body. But taking away the props, Pilates requires



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mainly your own body weight for effective results, which means it’s incredibly easy (and budget-friendly) to practice at home. Founder of Dubai-based studio PURE Pilates, Susanna Foustok, has been teaching Pilates for 17 years and she is the only person in the region to have completed the prestigious Masters Program ‘The Work’ under the mentorship of Jay Grimes – a First Generation Master teacher and one of

Push ups: This is a great arm exercise as you can use your body weight to strengthen all the muscles around the whole arm, shoulder and their connection to the back. Start in a plank with your hands directly under your shoulders. Keep the collar bones wide and chest open while pulling the abs in and lengthening the tailbone down to the heels. Make sure your head is in line with the spine and not dropped down. Bend your elbows back towards your ribs, lower the whole body down as one piece and then press down to the mat to straighten the arms. Pro Tip: Make sure your head stays in line with the spine and doesn’t drop forward. Keep your shoulders down as you bend your elbows. Use your feet to create more length and strength in the push ups.


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Double leg kick: Back exercise that hits that blind spot right at the top of your spine. This is the anti-tech neck exercise that everyone needs. Lying on your stomach with legs straight and heels squeezing together. Turn your head to one side and place your hands behind your back as high as you can – palm on top of palm – and lift your stomach of the mat. Then kick the legs towards your seat three times. The legs return to the mat, you then lift your chest up and forward while you straighten your arms and reach them as far back and up that you can. Do five sets. Pro Tip: Make sure your neck stays long and the arms lead the way to the lift. Your abs need to stay lifted so that you don’t arch your lower back and the extension comes from the upper spine. Think long and low.

Pro Tip: Keep your shoulders down your back. Press the bottom front ribs down to the mat to lift the top of your shoulder blades off the mat. Every exhale, try to curve a little more over the front ribs.

SIide leg series: These moves hit all the muscles around your hips and give you long and lean legs. Pilates is all about a two-way stretch so in every movement your goal is to elongate. This stops the muscles from getting tight and bulky. Lie on your side with your top hand in front of you on the mat and bottom arm elbow bent behind the head. Angle your legs 30 degrees in front of you. Front/back: Reach the top leg forward and back keeping the leg hip height. Try to reach as far back as you are bringing the leg forward. Your goal is to stretch the leg further and longer with each rep keeping your body completely still. The bottom leg is working to help maintain stability. Do this for 10 reps. Up/Down: Reach the top leg up as far as you can without letting the top hip collapse. Make it a long reach and not a kick so you are not using momentum. Again, the goal is the longest trajectory with the top leg. Do this for 10 reps. Big circles: Reach the leg forward, up, behind you and then touch the heels together. Try to control each part of that circle and keep reaching out through your big toe. Do five circles and then reverse. Small circles: Bring the top leg behind your body without moving your spine. Reach backhand and do 10 tiny circles each way. Do the circles with control in the hip socket without moving the pelvis.

WHAT YOU NEED From left: Limited Edition Euphoria bottle Dhs850 Gem Water on ounass.com; Mat Dhs250 Lululemon; Navigate printed cotton-jersey tank Dhs417 P.E Nation on net-a-porter.com; Shorts Dhs370 The Upside; Yoga Luxe Dri-FIT stretch bodysuit Dhs420 Nike



Hundred: Great for warming up the body and getting the blood pumping. This is the first Pilates exercise on the mat and you will hit your abs straight away. Start on your back with your knees bent in your chest. Lift your head up reaching your arms by your hips. If you are strong you can straighten the legs out to 45 degrees or lower just as long as your whole back can stay on the mat. Pump your arms up and down vigorously breathing in for five pumps and out for five pumps. The aim is to reach 100 pumps in total.


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4/27/20 2:04 PM

Expert advice from the leading health clinic explains exactly how to have a healthy and balanced Ramadan C O M P I L E D B Y: D I A N A B E L L- H E AT H E R



WELLNESS As we are a few days into the Holy Month of Ramadan, our bodies are still adjusting to a new routine. To keep you on track, we’ve asked expert Dr Ziadé, who is based in one of the most celebrated wellness destinations, Clinique La Prairie – the worldrenowned medical spa and clinic – on how to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit during the month. Focusing on balanced meals and healthy sleep, Clinique La Prairie is notoriously difficult to get into. You have to be of a certain calibre to enjoy days away from the rest of world and have some of the best doctors attending to your every wellness need. Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe and Pablo Picasso are just some of the prominent clientele who have historically taken advantage of the clinic’s progressive medical expertise, spa therapists and the exciting collection of traditional and alternative philosophies. Having been part of La Prairie since 2016, Dr Ziadé is a certified specialist in rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, while also specialising in musculoskeletal medical ultrasound scanning (SGUM) and manual medicine (SAMM). The Food The Balance Ideally, your Iftar meals should consist of only one carbohydrate, with protein-rich foods to counteract lean muscle loss. Eating a combination of whole-grain carbohydrates with lean protein for Suhoor will delay hunger pangs and provide longer sustenance. Your meals should also include vegetables, fruits rich in vitamins (orange/kiwi/ lemon) with carrots (vitamin A) and cereals which are a source of Vitamin B. The Portions Avoid breaking your fast with a feast. Instead, opt for dates which are rich in protein and lipids and provide an excellent way to break your fast because of their rich content in natural sugars, as well as being a good source of fibre.

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The Heat There is a tendency to ingest excessive spices when breaking fast, such as peppers, zaatar and sugars – all of which increase levels of sugar in the blood, leading to possible diabetes and obesity. As spicy food weakens your digestive strength, try to opt for mint infusions of fennel, basil, chamomile and cardamom which are easier to digest. The Hydration Clinique La Prairie recommends drinking herbal green tea after your heavy meal and before your Suhoor every morning, to keep your body purified in a healthy and natural way while awakening your metabolism. This can also reduce the feeling of hunger throughout the day. The Digestion Aid For Iftar, include some natural yogurt or laban in your meal as it is great for aiding digestion. Add seeds to your salads and sauces as they are rich in carbohydrates. Bake your favourite food items instead of frying them as it’s easier to digest. For sugary food items, consider using natural sugars such as honey or raw cane sugar instead of using sugar preservatives to avoid constipation. The sleep Keep Your Body Hydrated The lack of fluid intake during fasting hours can result in mild dehydration, fatigue or headaches. As a result, try to remain hydrated following Iftar until Suhoor – consider smoothies, fresh fruity drinks – which are full of vitamins – or even soups made with fresh vegetables which supply water to nourish your body and eliminate toxins. The Workout Working out is one of the best ways to remain healthy in the Holy Month as it allows your body to stay in shape and keeps you rejuvenated and also maintains your sleeping patterns. During Ramadan however, it is best to postpone working out until after the fasting hours to avoid dehydration. Forgo participating in very strenuous activities, but rather go for aqua gym, swimming, Pilates and yoga, which work on the elasticity of your body as well as have a calming effect on your mind. The Power Nap Napping for longer than 20 minutes a day, a lack of exercise and eating heavy meals just before bedtime, is a recipe for disaster, especially for your sleep

cycle. If you do end up consuming a heavy meal later in the evening, then it’s best to wait for one to two hours before going to bed. The Anti Caffeinating Try to avoid consuming caffeinated beverages before bedtime to avoid unwanted alertness and difficulty going to sleeping at night. For a good night’s sleep, use an infusion of verbena, chamomile and hot milk. Clinique La Prairie’s Better Sleep Programme If you do end up ruining your sleep

“Winston Churchill and Pablo Picasso are just some of the prominent clientele who took advantage of the clinic’s progressive medical expertise”


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cycle during the Holy Month, you can always check in to Clinique La Prairie’s Better Sleep Programme. It aims to help you reconfigure your sleep patterns through a combination of medical tests, stress-relieving techniques and holistic treatments. In only five nights, and under expert medical supervision, insomniacs can rediscover the magic of sleep with CLP’s Better Sleep Programme, reduce stress levels and improve the quality of sleep even after returning home.



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Being constantly connected makes it almost impossible to find time to really switch off. Even on holiday, people maintain their morning run and keep up with emails – often finding it difficult to accept detaching from work. In the spirit of ensuring you take care of your mind, body and soul, we’ve rounded up seven luxury wellness resorts and retreats that are a must-visit. Gaia Retreat & Spa, Byron Bay, Australia Located in the tranquil setting of Byron Bay, New South Wales, the Gaia Retreat & Spa is one of Australia’s most awarded boutique wellness retreats. Founded in 2005 by Grease star, Olivia Newton-John, the resort focuses on pampering and relaxation, offering guests the option to create a completely bespoke experience during their stay. The retreat gives the ability for guests to totally disconnect as there are no phones and limited WiFi access. There’s a range of activities from yoga to meditation to boxing to

organic cooking classes and more. There’s also a luxury spa giving your body and skin the rejuvenation it deserves. What we recommend: The Detox Deluxe. This package cleanses, rebalances and restores your body. During the treatment you will experience a steam room session with an organic Dead Sea salt polish with green tea and minerals which aim to stimulate the body’s lymphatic system. Guests are then wrapped in a body masque full of purifying minerals, which helps flush toxins out of the body. ITC Grand Goa Resort and Spa, Goa, India Situated in South Goa, an island off the coast of India, the ITC Grand Goa Resort & Spa is surrounded by 45 acres of gardens and lagoons, promising a relaxed and intimate getaway for guests. There are a range of yoga classes that take place on the resort’s beach front gardens, using the pranayama breathing methods with yoga


A Healthy Mind Seven must-visit luxury wellness retreats

Amanpuri, Phuket

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poses to help guests relieve stress and be in tune with their body’s rhythm. Their spa also offers a wide range of treatments focusing on improving breathing and digestion. What we recommend: Ayurvedic ritual – Marma Abhyanga – this treatment encompasses energy point stimulation and long soothing strokes taking guests through a natural deep cleansing process helping energy levels and overall mind and body balance. COMO Shambala Estate, Bali Labelled a true “retreat for change”, this luxurious getaway located near Ubud, Bali, houses a range of resident experts including a dietician, yoga teacher and Ayurvedic doctor. With top of the line gym facilities, zen surroundings for hiking and other activities, spa therapies and nutritionally balanced meals on offer, the goal of this retreat is to leave guests with lasting changed habits. Guests can immerse themselves in a full range of programmes to reset and recharge. Or you can opt for one-off treatments, too. What we recommend: The Cleanse programme. Working with the resort’s wellness experts, this programme helps to increase energy levels, balance hormones and improve digestion. You’ll receive a tailored diet plan for the duration of your stay, participate in regular yoga classes and nature treks, undergo cleansing treatments and more. Anantara Spa at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort For a rejuvenating and relaxing staycation getaway look no further than the Anantara Spa at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort. With 24 treatment rooms available including a holistic cocoon room and an Ayurveda room, there’s plenty on offer in the spa, as well as a range of activities including yoga and Thalasso wellness treatments – you’ll reach peak zen in no time. What we recommend: The Rejuvenating Experience. Using Natura Bisse products combined with the balancing of chakras and the use of precious gems, you’ll reach a total state of relaxation. In the 120-minute treatment you’ll experience a nourishing exfoliation and a regenerating massage. Guests are also treated to the Diamond Experience Multisensory Facial which will give your skin long-lasting hydration and bring natural brightness to your complexion. Atzaro, Ibiza This luxury resort nestled in the heart of Ibiza, far away from the parties and wildness, is a wellness retreat encompassing yoga, yogirate and Pilates all in an idyllic sanctuary amongst the aromas of orange blossom and lavender. As well as yoga, some of their specific retreats include


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Amanpuri, Phuket

health coaching sessions, art therapy, silent walks and sharing circles and detox rituals, including tongue cleaning and oil pulling. What we recommend: Atzaro Mediterranean Treatment 80’. As well as all of the above, enjoy an exfoliating and wrapping treatment complete with organic products derived from the Ibiza area. Six Senses Laamu Maldives If we’re talking about relaxation and rejuvenation we can’t possibly forget about the Maldives. With an array of on-land and overwater villas, this resort makes use of the natural materials it’s surrounded by, encouraging guests to reconnect with themselves. There’s nine unique treatment hubs dotted around the resort right on the beach and amongst the leafy landscape. Not only can you enjoy nourishing treatments, there’s yoga and meditation available on a roof-top studio. What we recommend: Elakizhi. This helps to improve circulation, joint pain and mus-

cle tightness using herbal leaves, powders and spices which are warmed in mediated oils and then massaged into the entire body. Amanpuri, Phuket, Thailand To really get away from it all, this is the place to be. Set on the idyllic shores of one of Phuket Island’s most white sandy beaches, Amanpuri gives guests the opportunity to reach peak peace and serenity. Focusing on wellness, the resort has a medical grade Holistic Wellness Centre. The centre offers a range of different programmes including weight management, cleansing, life resets and stress management, all of which are tailored to the client’s personal goals. What we recommend: The three-day detox and cleansing programme. This is the ultimate chance to purify the body and refresh the mind. With a range of treatments including lymphatic drainage massages, detoxing body wraps and private sessions to focus on cleansing the body, this will give you a true chance to hit the reset button.

COMO Shambala Estate


ITC Grand Goa Resort and Spa


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Never is there a more considered investment than a timepiece. Hermès Nantucket miniature watch will dazzle for generations to come Watch, Dhs25,580 Hermes

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