Having successfully worked with many key luxury brands globally, Sheikha Dana Al Khalifa is an expert in the power of collaboration

Today, we are more connected than ever. Globally we can access a wealth of everyone from designers to influencers though the power of a DM and so a new era of collaboration has evolved. One of the first in the region to adapt to the rise in social media from the outset, Sheikha Dana Al Khalifa launched TheOverdressed 11 years ago – and has since collaborated with a wealth of key luxury brands.

First inspired to launch her blog in 2009 due to feeling “lost”, the decision changed Al Khalifa’s life forever. With over a decade’s experience in the industry, the blogger and entrepreneur has seen the drastic change in the dynamics that has happened in the social media landscape over the last 10 years. In a world where staying relevant to your followers is key, Al Khalifa has managed to do this with style and integrity working with the brands that she feels fit her own personal brand. From walking down the catwalk with Dolce & Gabbana in 2018, to collaborating with designers like Chloe and Jimmy Choo, Al Khalifa is an expert when it comes to collaboration. Emirates Woman recently caught up with Al Khalifa to discuss all things brand collaboration and the power behind it, what she feels has changed about the online space in the last 11 years and the hurdles she has overcome along the way.

On collaborating with big brands…

It has been an honour to work with such powerhouse brands. The relationships came about very personally. I like to take a natural approach to things, so dealing with powerhouse brands has been easy and a pleasure because I work with people whom I can now call friends.

 

 

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What the power of collaboration means…

To be able to share something I like, with an audience willing to listen is honestly something I am still getting used to. I like bringing to the forefront beautiful things that might have gone amiss because it is not a mega brand. I love niche brands, I like artisanal, to be able to keep these “metiers” alive by bringing to the forefront brands that use them heavily is quite powerful.

The empowering side of being a creator…

I am a serial sharer, it brings me joy to make introductions that people benefit from. I thrive on people telling me, “I still use my bag from the pop up you did of that cool brand.”

The Inspiration…

I started because I was lost, my life had changed 180 degrees. One minute I was in London working in fine jewellery, studying for my LLM [Master of Law] and living a fast-paced life. I had pangs of homesickness in the midst of it all and was desperate to come back to Bahrain. So, I came back and my life was like a blinking cursor at the beginning of a blank document. I had to do something for my soul, other than my job as a newly graduated junior associate at a law firm.

TheOverdressed 2.0

The OverDre-ssed Pavilion in 2014, collaborating and collating together with incredible jewellery brands. It has been a lot of fun and a lot of work. I learned so much in a short period of time, and continue to do so. But one of my most important moments was when my previous boss walked into the Pavilion and said, “You look much happier doing what you love.”

How blogging has changed…

It lost a lot of the authenticity that came with ‘blogging’; nobody – including myself – writes anymore. The online space has taken a very commercial turn and not for the better. Since COVID-19 hopefully a lot of the funds previously used on influencer visibility will be funnelled to make businesses more sustainable to support local producers of craft.

The advice…

That you don’t have to fit in a box.

The motivaton…

I am driven and determined to create the life I want to live provided by me, for me and my family. My father has worked – and still works – incredibly hard, and from him I learned that success is small successes, little silver linings and many failures. From my husband I learned the intricacies of dealing with people and creating proper financial structures, which I am still very bad at to his utter dismay!

On Overcoming hurdles…

My first major hurdle was starting TheOverdressed. I had no idea where I was going, or what I was going to do, or how I was going to do it, I just knew I wanted to do something different.

The second hurdle was starting TheOverdressed Pavilion, it was such a thrilling yet scary moment. There were times I wondered why I was doing this, and those were the moments that were heavy and demanded a lot from me mentally.

My third hurdle is on its way – stay tuned!

The future…

COVID-19 shed a lot of light on things I felt were stagnant. Stay tuned – I am working on something exciting.

On what power means…

Power is influence, respect, kindness and generosity.

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Images: @moezachour2