Meet Pooja Adam, a Doha based British fashion stylist/blogger!

US: Tell me about yourself and your career so far, how did you become a fashion stylist?

P: I studied a fashion course at university in London which led me to work in buying luxury retail women’s clothing. I was always interested in trends and style – that led me to pursue my passion as a stylist when I moved to Doha. I started by styling myself for my blog and eventually others.

US: Describe what is a wardrobe stylist, what actually you do as a stylist?
P: A stylist will create a look or theme for a client to visually interpret and enhance their brand image seasonally through clothing, shoes and accessories, whether it is for a magazine, an individual, a photoshoot or editorial.

US: How you become a stylist?
P: Personally I did it from my experience through working in retail in stores and head offices. I was always interested in visuals, whether it is a look or theme. My advice to anyone who wants to do it can take a course in one or some of the following subjects:
fashion, media, editorial and trend forecasting.
You can then work as a personal stylist in a retail store to get some firsthand experience.

US: What are the qualities that a stylist need to have? in other words what are the skills and qualifications?
P: I have a graduate degree in fashion merchandising which covered some of the topics I mentioned above. I also have 10 years’ experience working in the retail industry. A wardrobe stylist knows and understands two things very well:
1. Which trends are currently in season
2. A woman’s / man’s body type and what shapes and silhouettes suits them

US: What is the biggest misconception people not working in your field have about your job?
P: That it looks easy and you can just put brands and looks together and they can work. That is not the case when you have pressure to be commercial and keep to certain brand aesthetics.

US: What challenges do you have as a stylist?
P: – To balance being overly extreme when putting a look together.
– Availability or access to certain clothes or styles.
– When the most popular items get sold out. Seasonality – eg. When you can’t wear jackets in the middle east because it’s too hot but you want to do a winter shoot.

US: Where do you get your inspirations/ ideas from?
P: Magazines, fashion bloggers, UK based companies, art work, colours, seasons, fashion brands.

US: Who or which organization do you work for? Is your work, projects based? Can you share some of the inside scoops?
P: I style all the looks for my own blog, I have worked on styling projects with certain brands for instance –one was with Levis and Glam magazine for the levis store opening. I styled a model for the W Doha snapwalk wearing Per Lei Couture. With magazines – I styled a photoshoot with oh la la magazine which was on the front cover and I am in this month’s Ahlan magazine for a shoot I co-styled with Karen @clumsyandchic. Stay tuned – There is a really cool video I worked on festival styling which will be coming out this week – it is an Instagram collaboration.

US: What are you most memorable projects?
P: Every single one has been a pleasure to work on.

US: What are the challenges that you face being a stylist here in Qatar?
P: The weather is definitely a challenge –you have to pick shooting times or get burned! (Literally). I love mixing designer and high street pieces and there is not a lot of choice for high street over here like back home in the UK!

US: What goals do you wish to achieve in the future?
P: Definitely more of the above! The magazine shoot with Oh La La was especially a cool opportunity.

US: What do you do on your free time?
P: I am a full time fashion blogger and stylist. They both work hand in hand. I also like to shop, look for trends, inspiration, travel and cook!

US: How would you describe your personal style?
P: Colourful, bubbly, standout – the clothes do the talking so I don’t have to!

US: What is your favorite item in your closet?
P: I love my bleached denim jeans from American Eagle – they are ripped and have two colours of denims sewn together!

US: If you could choose a celebrity closet to shop in, who’s would it be and why?
P: Alexa Chung – she is a clothing icon for me! She does effortless chic so well and she’s super chilled out whilst looking cool!

US: Everyone loves a good deal, what are some of your favorite places to find budget buys?
P: H&M is definitely up there! New look is great too for buying fashion for less!

US: What items do you feel are worth splurging on?
P: A good coat, pair of boots, handbag and jeans will always last longer than trends!

US: What trends are you loving right now?
P: 80’s and 90’s style dressing – the cool statement tee, shoulder pads, chokers, bright colours, mix n match outfits.

US: Which trends to you want to see disappear?
P: I honestly don’t know! I like a lot of trends at the moment so I’ll have to try them out first to see which ones suit me!

US: If you could choose anyone to give a makeover, who would it be and why?
P: I love this idea, I think I would love to makeover one of my friends who is my age and is a mom – she spends all her time looking after others and deserves to have someone to remind her that she can look and feel special and doesn’t need to buy new things – just style up her current wardrobe.

US: What’s the best style advice you’ve received?
P: Most recently when we met Paul Andrew (the footwear designer), I asked him what was his number one footwear style tip and he said it was to walk 10 steps in a new shoe before you buy it. I wish I had that advice 10 pairs of shoes ago!

US: Let’s say you could travel back in time to one fashion era, where would you end up?
P: Right now – the 80’s

US: What did you like about that period?
P: I am an 80’s child! The pop culture, the shoulder pads, sequins, bright colors and clashes still inspire me!

US: Who is your favorite designer and why?
P: Coco Chanel because she created a lasting brand legacy and she changed the way women dressed as her legacy.

US: What styling advice would you give other women?
P: For the easiest Spring style update invest in some white jeans and wear white with white whether its casual or dressy it will look great.

UK: What is your advice for those who aspiring to be a stylist out there?
P: Get some experience – work with a stylist or personal shopper for the day.
When you need to make a style decision – go with your gut feeling above all else!

For more information on Les rebelles squad:
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Why do women love handbags so much?

Why do we find bags so desirable?  Is it because it has the power to show how fashion savvy we are or is it a symbol of a woman’s earning power

From it’s humble beginnings as the little purse tucked into the folds of women’s clothes two centuries ago

to becoming one of women’s most desired and prized possessions; through the multiple socio economic  changes  bringing  about its own set of opportunities, with the modernization in the transport industry also contributing greatly to the  luggage industry introducing suitcases, dressing cases, hat and shoe boxes .

The way the right bag can make us feel goes far deeper than just being a way of carrying things around, leaving most women feeling naked  without their handbags.

With it’s progressive popularity, the late 19th century and early 20th century saw the appearance of the most luxurious handbag design houses, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Hermes and many more.

As women gained financial independence, so  did the handbag industry gain great momentum making the ultimate 21st- century object of desire, for women from all walks of life.

Our bags contain a “survival kit” for daily life in the urban jungle – from make-up, money and keys, chewing gum, mobile phone, Ipads, leaving men perplexed about the complexities of what women carry in a handbag  mysterious and would never dare to invade its privacy.

For a true bag-lover, an iconic bag is about  finest traditions of pedigree, quality and craftsmanship, the appeal that it retains  decades later as it did the day it was first worn, all these put together are almost beyond price.

The most obvious attributes for a “it”  bag being the striking designs with clean lines , the handcrafted stitching on a the finest leather and  the combination of functionality and luxury  – be it,  Its  distinctive quilting, the handcrafted stitching on the finest leather, the addition of  gold chains, the distinctive underarm  baguette or the unmistakable  oversized padlock with added glamour, not forgetting it’s association with an influential personality and clever marketing.

 What about personalized handbags?

Gold Soleil International a Canadian startup, produces uniquely designed  high-end customized purses and accessories embellished with crystals, gold plated frames, and supreme leather; Clean lines,  glamorous yet  functional with great attention to detail.

Clients  custom design their own handbags and accessories with the addition of  a metal imprinted  monogram in the language of their choice and  a touch of carefully selected embellishments which is synonymous with  signature style.

Fatima Sarah the founder and creative Director of Gold Soleil International is a Canadian born educator whose  own personal style speaks volumes about her passion for style and sophistication.

Fatima Sarah’s love  and dedication to children combined with her passion and commitment to her  profession, has contributed to the establishment and development of a  CSR program into her business model –  a portion of the proceeds assists in funding  charities that provide education to underprivileged children in rural areas.

In conversation with Fatima Sarah, she shares her story with me

US: How did you get started?

FS: What started out as designing and making personalized gift items for friends and family, turned into Gold Soleil International. Unlike most people in this industry, fashion is not a hobby or neither my passion. I was never fond of brands but wore whatever I felt just looked good. Being a teacher in an international school, my first vision of Gold Soleil was creating a product that anyone could wear. Something that promoted diversity and was unique.

US: Did you study design at school or did the process come more organically?

FS: This surprises many, however, I am an elementary teacher and had no background experience in designing or branding or marketing. However, business was always a passion, I get that from my dad. I always took the top business awards in my high school because when I enjoy something, I give it 110%


US: What is your main source of inspiration when designing?

FS: Creativity is an enigmatic aspect of human experience; it is often difficult to identify what it is that drives this impulse and the elements that inspire any artist’s work. For me, I would have to say my inspiration was art, specifically Arabic art and calligraphy. Being a teacher in the Middle East and in Qatar where there is a lot of appreciate for art, that was my initial first push. When I started making my personalized items in Chinese, Armenian, Hindi, Bengali and other languages, the beauty of the different names and writing scripts have inspired some of my later designs.

US: Why Handbags and accessories?

FS: Back when I was in university, that is when I started picking up on fashion a bit more. I had a big thing for oversized handbags and clutches, but could never really find one I loved. They were always too small or all black. They were just boring. Clutches were not a big accessory at this time. I would attend weddings and events and never had a clutch that went with my outfits, so I wanted one that was pretty on the inside ad unique at the same time—it’s just something fun.

US: The aesthetic of your collection is quite understated yet elegant, is this part of your personal style?

FS: I find it ironic as well when I see designers who don’t really dress up and tend to be safe, also the same when I see hairdressers with horrible hair haha. However, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld tend to reflect their brand or put some effort in their style. The beauty of Gold Soleil is each item reflects the personal style of the buyer, so it has nothing to do with me. The color, name, plating even shapes all reflect each individual.

US: What is the best part about being a handbag designer?

FS: If I ever like a bag style or color, I just make it! I also use my bags daily, which is important, because I want the items I make to be usable and not something that is not practical. The bigger handbags I use it daily and like most women, we fill our bags with a lot of things, so making sure it’s the right size and style is important. Same goes for the personalized jewelry.

gold soleil logo.png

For more information on Gold Soleil International



Facebook: gold soleil intl

Twitter: @goldsoleil

Instagram: goldsoleil