One of Dubai’s most popular personal stylists shares her shopping secrets
Nina Iskander is a personal stylist and image consultant based in Dubai, with a client base including a cross-section of the city’s most stylish women, as well as local celebrities. Her name is a constant on best-dressed lists and inside the little black books of socialites who call on her to dress them for exclusive events.
What do you love most about being a personal shopper?
Personal shopping is a fun and enjoyable job. In particular I get pleasure out of helping people to pick the best items that suit them, boosting their confidence.
Which brands do you love and why?
It’s very hard to name some brands as I love all of them. As a certified image consultant, we learn a lot about the different style personalities, which covers all the brands, from high end or high street fashion, everything from H&M to Hermes.
Which home-grown boutiques do you frequent and why?
I am always looking for the new boutiques that offer unique fashion for my clients. Urbanist in Boxpark, Boutique 1, LE66 and big department stores such as Harvey Nichols Dubai, Bloomingdale’s… the list is endless.
Are there any local designers that you will always go to?
I like the authenticity of the locally based designer, Effa – Fashion. She designs contemporary abayas, jalabiyas and elegant evening gowns. She cares for the quality and pays great attention to the details, which is appreciated by the clients.
Can you explain why the shopping scene in Dubai is so hot right now?
Dubai is now considered a main shopping destination just like the fashion capitals: London, Paris, New York and Milan. A constant flow of excellent offers and discounts make it a more attractive destination, and in Dubai you will find brands from all over the world, which makes it a unique place to be and a particularly fabulous shopping city.
Who are your clients?
My clients are those who come for assistance to pick the right items. Lots of people get confused and overwhelmed with the varieties and won’t know where to go to find what they are looking for. I work with all ages and nationalities to assist in reaching their fashion goals, whether it be for a particular event or simply to refresh their look for every day.
What do you buy for yourself?
I have a lot of shoes. I always buy shoes, they are the focus of all of my outfits.
What are your top five shopping spots?
The Dubai Mall and Mall of Emirates are my favourite big malls for their variety. The Outlet Village for the obvious reason that you can find the best bargains there, and the smaller, more accessible malls like Mercato Mall and Burjuman Mall as they are easy to navigate. The malls in Dubai have everything anyone needs.
What's the best time to shop in Dubai?
I love the Dubai Shopping Festival [held annually in December/January]; it allows people to get great bargains from almost all the shopping malls in Dubai. I personally like Mall of Emirates and The Dubai Mall as both have enormous varieties that fulfill all your shopping needs.
What should people invest in when shopping in Dubai?
Always invest in watches, handbags, classic shoes and jewellery that doesn’t go out of fashion. Try to avoid buying into trends unless you are sure they suit you.