Lubna Osman

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / Feb 27 2017 / 19:34 PM

40, Sudanese/French

Lubna Osman

“A girl cannot have a better guide than her mother,” opines fashion designer and consultant, Lubna Osman. “I have loved fashion since I was a little girl. I was always so amazed by my mum who would wear the Sudanese thoub in a very elegant way.” Now, Lubna, who is currently based in Dubai, also fuses traditional elements of her Sudanese heritage with her Parisian upbringing. “My style is inspired by both of my cultures: the oriental prints, femininity and details from Sudan, and the casual, easy-going, fun fashion of Paris.”

Her favourite designers represent the different facets of her style and the stamps on her passport. “I loved Alber Elbaz’s fluid and feminine creations for Lanvin; I wore one of his dresses on the day my husband received a decoration at the Elysée by President Nicolas Sarkozy. Elie Saab does exceptional work and I am amazed by his talent with every new collection and Stella Jean, whose audacious designs bring a breath of fresh air to fashion.” Interestingly, Lubna says her style changed when she moved to Dubai, but not in the way you might think. “It was different because the weather wasn’t the same as when I lived in Paris. In Dubai, it’s easy to wear whatever you want and like.”

Before dedicating herself to being a full-time mother to her three boys, Emad, 16, Amr, 13, and Ali, 10, Lubna graduated from a course in haute couture design from ESMOD in Paris. Being chosen for ESMOD’s 170th anniversary international fashion show was a career highlight, alongside working for Balmain and Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. It was while she was studying at the college that Lubna received the one piece of style advice that she still carries with her to this day. “I was having a conversation with one of my teachers about how to match pieces and he said to me: ban the total look.”

Regardless of her outfit (that’s never matchy-matchy), Lubna finishes the look with one of her treasured handbags. “I’m obsessed with Chanel 2.55’s and Hermès Kellys and Birkins. I started my collection when I first received one as a present.” Just how big is the collection now? “I have around 21 pieces from Hermès and 15 from Chanel.” On the opposite end of the scale, her other wardrobe essential is the humble t-shirt. “I love a white tee, I believe it’s an indispensable part of any dressing room. After all, Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is supreme sophistication.”

Lubna Manany wears Elie Saab dress, her own. Photography: Ethan Mann. Styling: Samah Elmeri. Words: Maddison Glendinning. Hair & make-up: Blowout & Go. Location: W hotel Dubai- Alhabtoor City