Rue Kothari

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / Mar 1 2017 / 20:50 PM

45, British

Rue Kothari

Rue Kothari has always had an eye for design, though her plans for a career in fashion were somewhat thwarted at an early age. “I remember as far back as being seven and wanting to be a fashion designer. When I stitched my fingers together in needlework class at school

I thought perhaps it may not be the job for me. I love design in all its forms – the structure of a garment is just as inspirational to me as the design of a beautiful building.” It’s fitting then, that after working as the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Interiors for four years, Rue is now the fair director for Downtown Design where her appreciation for design is put into practice daily. Plus, she’s passionate about showcasing the talent the region has to offer. “I’m a vocal advocate for the regional design industry, when presenting or giving talks around the world,” she tells Bazaar, and after moving to Dubai from London 13 years ago, Rue says she’s never looked back. “The freedom to deliberate your next move is a luxury we so rarely have in life. The best decision I ever made was moving here.”

Despite not pursuing a career in fashion, it’s something that brings Rue great joy every day. “I absolutely love getting dressed every morning,” she says. “Playing with putting different pieces together to get a new look is the one thing that gets me out of bed.” Rue says her style is “edgy and urban, never consistent and always has a playful element” adding that there’s “lots of black with unique detailing.”

Her most loved items run the gamut from pretty to practical. “I love my new butterfly boots from Sophia Webster – they’re so playful and make me feel prettier the moment I slip them on and I live in my new leather skirt from Vince, it’s incredibly flattering and versatile.”

There is another item that holds a special place in her wardrobe. “My little Fendi baguette, inspired by deco motifs and colours, is utterly unique and goes with almost nothing else in my wardrobe, so it’s a special treat to give it an outing.”

Although Rue shops less frequently these days, she buys smarter. “It’s more about buying investment pieces that will stand the test of time. And I have a strong sense of what I love and what looks good on me, so I don’t make fast fashion impulse buys that end up languishing in the wardrobe with their tags still on.”

A collector of jewellery – “I have boxes and boxes of beautiful pieces that my daughter Inara loves exploring” – Rue never takes off her Selim Mouzannar diamond necklace and ring. “They were both gifts from my mother to take the sting off turning 40. In fact I see them as a celebration of how my life has flourished since I entered my 40s.” On this point of embracing her age, Rue explains, “The older I get, the more ambitious and determined I become. When you pass 40 you have a sense of security that comes from within. You know what you want from your life and how to get it. I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been right now.”

Rue Kothari wears Fendi jacket and skirt. Gianvito Rossi shoes, her own. Payal New York bracelet and bangle. Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Samah Elmeri. Words: Maddison Glendinning. Hair & make-up: Blowout & Go. Location: KOA, Al Barari