Maysson Al Otaiba

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / Feb 27 2017 / 19:32 PM

29, Emirati

Maysson Al Otaiba

“My style pretty much keeps to an East-meets-West aesthetic,” designer Maysson Al Otaiba tells Bazaar of her dress sense. “I love the intersection of classic Western silhouettes with interesting touches of the Middle East, such as jewellery. While in the UAE, I tend to wear fewer layers than in London, with its ever-changing forecast.” Growing up, Maysson lived in Abu Dhabi, Rabat and London, and each of these places has had an impact on her present day style. “I draw upon what was around me: traditional jewellery from Abu Dhabi’s Bedouin tribes, vibrant colours in Morocco and style on the streets of London.” Moving to London, Maysson says she not only learnt important lessons when it comes to dressing – “Whenever I wear a suede bag, jacket or shoes, it always rains. I’ve learned to stick with leather and dress for the climate first” – but also that being fashionable helped forge friendships. “In London, there are two great ice-breakers: the weather, and fashion.”

Being a designer has its perks, particularly given that the clothing she designs for her eponymous label is everything she likes to wear on a daily basis. “I wear every piece I create for Maysson. Sometimes I mix it up with high street labels, luxury brands and standout accessories from my travels in North Africa and the Middle East.”

Other than her own line, Maysson favours Chanel as she “admires the seasonless and innovative designs Karl Lagerfeld creates,” Gianvito Rossi heels “paired with jeans, a t-shirt and a leather biker jacket,” Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad for special occasions, and Suzanne Kalan jewellery is her “go-to brand for accessorising – it’s edgy but timeless.”

When she returns to the Middle East, Maysson says she admires the progress of the fashion scene here. “The fashion is a reflection of the culture and the Middle East is constantly evolving. It has been wonderful to see abayas taken to a couture level and how natural looking make-up has become more chic.”

Maysson Al Otaiba wears Maysson Qismah maxi skirt, her own. Photography: Racha Al Otaiba. Words: Maddison Glendinning