Amina Al Abbasi credits her husband, Mohamed Raees, for encouraging her to ditch her day job and pursue her dream – to open her own art gallery. “I’m a banking and finance graduate and used to work in a bank,” the 27-year-old owner of Amina Gallery says. “Mohamed really encouraged me to jump-start my career, follow my dream of becoming a full-time artist and start my business.”
That was three years ago. Now, the artist and lifestyle designer who brought her love of fashion and art together, “by having my paintings printed on clutches, tote bags and pouches” is attracting attention both at home in Bahrain and on the international art scene.
In 2014, Amina was the recipient of an entrepreneurship award from the Bahraini government, the same year that her collection was stocked in Harrods, London.
“The day I quit my job and started my own business was a complete life-changer,” the accomplished brunette says. “It made me a different person, more passionate about what I do, more proud. I want to inspire other people to pursue their dreams.”
With her company supplying boutiques in every GCC country, and the Amina Gallery taking up residence in the prestigious jewellery district of Bahrain’s Seef Mall, Amina clearly has a strong sense of both self and style, an attribute she says was inspired by her mother. “I like to go through old pictures of her when she was my age and see how elegantly she dressed,” she smiles, “I noticed that her style still fits in with our time, so it inspired me to dress in a timeless, classic way.” That transpires into classic wardrobe essentials, starting with a white buttoned shirt, “that I can dress up with an embellished skirt for a night out or dress down with jeans for the day,” she says.
Alongside her mother, Amina takes sartorial direction from Queen Rania of Jordan. “I absolutely adore her style. Her elegance and simplicity are stunning, and I love how modest yet feminine she always looks.”
With a vision to “make art a lifestyle, and for it to be attainable even for people who don’t have space to hang a piece of art on their wall,” Amina is the perfect embodiment of living an artful life in the most stylish way possible.
Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Charlotte Blair. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence. Location: Riffa Fort Bahrain