It was a friend who first pressured Fajer Fahad to consider buying a black dress. “I had never worn black,” the 28-year-old says. “Growing up in Kuwait, I had always worn colours, as black was always so synonymous with an abaya. But my friend in Paris took me to Azzedine Alaïa’s boutique, and Azzedine came in to help me choose one. It was a real ‘Ah-huh’ moment.”
It was while picking up the dress up from the boutique, following some alterations, that she got talking to Azzedine. “He asked what I was planning on doing after I finished university and I told him I was starting an internship at Lanvin. He said he wouldn’t have it and that I needed to work with him.” That was five years ago, and Fajer spent the next four years working her way up from intern to director of special collaborations and head of public relations. “I learned so much from him,” she says of the mentor that took a chance on her.
These days, Fajer splits her time between Dubai and LA, where she works for luxury beauty brand Violet Grey. And with her LA residency, her wardrobe has taken on a whole new twist. “Here, I tend to wear jeans, a white T-shirt and a Balenciaga leather jacket,” she says. More tricky is finding the perfect white tee, according to Fajer. “White T-shirts are so versatile. They can be paired with jeans, a skirt, anything, really. So far, the best I’ve found are from The Row.” Fajer credits her mother for teaching her the importance of investing in such staples. “Trends come and go,” she says, “and my mother really taught me the importance of classic pieces. Coloured jeans, off-the-shoulder shirts, they all go out of fashion quickly, so you really need your key basics.”
Something else she has a weakness for, is a statement accessory. “I’m not really into jewellery, but when I find a piece, I’ll get it. I really love chokers; they accentuate my long neck. There’s a bit of a cool ’90s vibe about them,” she says. “I actually found the beautiful gold choker that Carmen Kass wore in the J’adore Dior campaign, in a vintage store, so I have that too,” says the Net Set Style Council member – the first Arab woman to be recruited by Net-a-Porter as a brand ambassador.
“I truly believe that people take you seriously when you dress the part,” the fashion chameleon says. “And you feel more confident when you look your best. It is the confidence that people trust and respect.”
Photography: John Tsiavis. Styling: Katie Trotter. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence. Hair and Make-Up: Brendan Robertson. Location: Violet Grey