There is one thing Ola Mohsen wants to make perfectly clear: fashion needs to be fun. “I love Iris Apfel’s quote,” she muses of the 94-year-old New York fashion icon. “She says, ‘More is more and less is a bore!’ People shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and go a little crazy with colours or prints or accessories.”
That said, the budding Egyptian fashion designer says she’s sure that she’s had many a sartorial disaster. “I’ve probably blocked them out though!” she laughs.
Mother to a 10-year-old daughter, Ola says she wishes Millennials had the courage to step away from trends. “I’d like younger girls and teenagers to dress in their own style and what suits them, and stop copying what’s in common just to fit in. Most girls copy each other, they’re too afraid to be creative.”
Counting Dries Van Noten, Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and Isabel Marant among her favourite labels, Ola says it’s how she styles individual items that creates the magic. “I just like to put together different pieces; I like layering and mixing prints and textures. It needs to be enjoyable.”
Currently preparing to launch new brand O’Random, and continuing to run her Cairo-based pop-up shop Clothesminded, Ola says the wardrobe styling consultancy she started doing
“on the side for fun” is also taking off. “I’m loving it so much I see it becoming a profession for me in the near future,” she says.
The 42-year-old agrees that her attitude to style is indicative of her life outlook in general. “I like to think of myself as a free spirit. I just follow my heart.”
Photography: Victoria Adamson. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence