“My hair controls my life, literally,” laughs Yalda Golsharifi. “If it’s curly, I have to dress young and free and playful. If it’s straight I like to look a little more sleek and edgy.” As a digital influencer, Yalda is no stranger to media attention and she handles herself, and her unruly hair, like a pro. Although born and raised in Kuwait, a stint in LA, where she had a clothing boutique, left a lasting, and laid-back imprint on her style, which she describes as “fun and feminine with a touch of cool.”
For someone who loves fashion so much, “I don’t shop much,” she tells Bazaar. “I think it’s because I’m constantly surrounded by clothes in my line of work,” and she says, “I’m very picky about what I have in my closet.” When she does let loose in Kuwait’s shopping districts, it’s places like Harvey Nichols, Designer’s Empire and The Valley LA which rise to the occasion, although she prefers to shop online for her gym gear at the likes of Iloveyoga.com. Yalda admits her biggest weakness is clutches, “I love collecting unique pieces,” she says, before reeling off a list of her favourites, which include Lulu Guinness, Amanda Navai, The Cartel and Cult Gaia. She also reveals an obsession with shoes by the Beirut-based Lebanese brand Poise. “I just love up-and-coming and independent designers,” she enthuses. Yalda also has an appreciation for fine jewellery, although prefers to avoid big names in favour of daintier styles and more unique designers. “I love delicate jewellery and every time I find a piece I love, I wear it for weeks or even months, but then I move onto the next,” she reveals, citing Suzanne Kalan – whose finery is all handmade in LA – as her current accessory squeeze.
Yalda puts her sartorial skills down to growing up with a mum who “kept up with the latest trends and always looked her best.” She said it encouraged “a little passion to grow inside,” and she’d sketch dresses as a little girl. “I’ve always been very experimental with my style. I’ll forever have a love for Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren. These brands were a big part of my life as a little girl, so they hold a special place in my heart.” Yalda also has an eager audience at home as the mum of two girls, Leila, 7, and Sasha, 3, who she wants to encourage to take a light-hearted approach to fashion.
She considers American actress Olivia Culpo her style icon who looks “beautiful” in everything she wears. “It’s her attitude that allows her to pull off any look,” because “it’s about how a women carries herself in what she wears” that makes or breaks her. Ultimately, as long as she can “motivate and inspire her social media viewers to be the best versions of themselves,” that’s what makes Yalda happy.
Yalda Golsharifi wears: Dress, KWD2,317 (Dhs28,232), Rubin Singer at Bloomingdale’s - Kuwait. Shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti. Bag, Roger Vivier