This Dubai Handbag Designer Let Us Nose Around Her Super-Chic Home…
Discover where Amanda Navaian finds her cut-price designer goodies…
Profession: Creative Director of Amanda Navai
When we were first introduced to Amanda Navaian’s handbag collection it was love at first sight, from the bold colours, architectural influences and exotic skins to the little lion heads that sit atop her signature styles… We were sold.
A move to Dubai 12 years ago saw the accessories designer become the first home-grown brand to launch in Bloomingdale’s Dubai in 2010 and today her iconic designs are also stocked in Tryano, Abu Dhabi and Saks Fifth Avenue, Bahrain. It’s fair to say that the accessories designer has cemented herself firmly on the Middle East’s fashion map.
As expected, her floor-to-ceiling windowed apartment with dramatic views of Downtown and the ocean is just as artsy, down-to earth and colourful as her personality.
I don’t have one particular style that defines me. I love the rock chick look, but at the same time I love flowery dresses and looking feminine. I also have a thing for urban street style. I experiment and have fun with clothes but my go-to is heels, jeans, a smart blazer and killer accessories. If I had to sum it up I would call it a fun mix of minimal Scandi-cool and bold Iranian glam.
My style secret:
I always try to wear great accessories that add pizazz to an outfit. I like to invest in unique and classic blazers as they are real staple pieces and I try to focus on quality over quantity. I think one important factor when it comes to dressing is understanding your body type and what suits your figure best, I think I do this well – I can secretly make my body look better than it is by wearing the correct style for my figure.
I’m not much of a bargain hunter when it comes to accessories as I always get worried that a bag or my shoe size will sell out when it comes to sales. However, when it comes to clothes I’m the biggest bargain hunter ever. I don’t really follow seasonal trends and I don’t feel the need to wear the latest collections when I go to events.
Instead, I love to buy classic, timeless pieces that will last forever. If I go to New York I always make sure to go to Barneys and Saks outlet stores. I went last year and bought six pairs of J Brand cargo pants and jeans for around Dhs180 each. In Beirut I always visit Plum outlet which stocks lots of amazing Isabel Marant pieces.
I love the bohemian-rock style of Sienna Miller and Kate Moss. I also love Blake Lively’s style. A friend of mine Layla Mazaheri has great style and is such an inspiration to me – she always looks good and on trend in a very effortless way.
My Chanel pearl army style jacket is a classic. Another piece is a Balmain embellished jacket from Olivier Rousteing’s first collection for the house – he even came out and took a bow in this style at the finale of the runway show. I will always treasure the handbags from my first ever collection, I’ve kept all the first samples, they will always be special to me.
In Dubai I shop at Bloomingdale’s Dubai and Harvey Nichols-Dubai as you can find everything under one roof. Most people assume its all high-end but they actually have a great (affordable) contemporary section. My favourite store has to be Level Shoe District – I just feel happy walking in there. I like to shop in store rather than online as I enjoy the whole experience but net-a-porter.com and matchesfashion.com are really great.
Uniform of choice:
Jeans or cargo pants, a T-shirt and a blazer. More recently I’ve been into jumpsuits too – they’re so comfy and easy to wear.
I’m not the most organised person, but I try to keep everything organised by colour, and divide between casual and dressy.
Every woman should own:
A great blazer, a classic winter coat, the perfect little black dress and a classic black clutch.
My day-to-day wardrobe:
As I don’t go into the office on a daily basis I tend to dress more casual which is usually jeans, a tee and a nice bag or a long flowery dress.
Best fashion advice I’ve ever been given:
My friend Layla Mazaheri is my go-to person when it comes to fashion advice. She taught me to appreciate quality over quantity and invest in timeless and iconic pieces, hence my obsession for blazers.
Images: Farooq Salik