Faiza Bouguessa

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / Mar 1 2017 / 22:24 PM

34, French/Algerian

Faiza Bouguessa

There are three places that Faiza Bouguessa considers to be home: “The first is Old Town in Dubai, which is peaceful, close to work and the centre of now. The second is Romans-sur-Isère in the South of France where I grew up and my family is today, and the third is Setif, Algeria, where my roots are and the rest of my family lives.”

France was instrumental in her interest in fashion. “Growing up in France had its impact as fashion is an important part of the culture of the country. For example, fashion weeks are always closely covered by the media. When I was about 12-years-old, I decided that I would be a fashion designer, and that has remained my career goal until three years ago when I launched Bouguessa.”

The successful designer also credits her grandmother with teaching her about style. “The time that I have spent with my grandmother has shaped the person I am today. I could feel the love she had for me floating in the room when she was around. We had a very deep relationship and we were very close. My grandmother would take me downtown on Saturdays to little shoe boutiques. I am from Romans in France, which is best known for its longstanding tradition of shoe making, and she would buy so many shoes that she had to keep some on the side to pay them the next month. She was the chicest woman I know.” Unsurprisingly, Faiza has inherited her same of love of shoes, counting Aquazzura and Chanel amongst her favourite brands. “I have a weakness for them. It must be hereditary! I have so many that I stopped counting a long time ago. I also have a few new pairs that are still in the box.”

Describing her own style as “monochromatic, classically chic, and minimal with a hint of masculine touch” Faiza says she likes “to dress with basics that are perfectly proportioned such as my pair of Levi’s 501, my oversized white shirt dress and long black blazer from my Basics collection and a black blazer from my A/W16 collection which I have worn again and again.”

When it comes to the finishing touches, Faiza loves “Monica Sordo jewellery as the pieces go perfectly with my collections and L’Afshar and Nathalie Trad clutches.”  While she’s “not attached to a lot of items” there are two that she cherishes. “One is my engagement ring and Cartier wedding band, which remind me of the most important person in my life, and the other is a traditional Algerian gold belt that my grandmother gifted me.”

And although today her designs are worn by some of the region’s most stylish women and she herself is part of this year’s Best Dressed line-up, Faiza admits that it’s been a journey. “I had a phase in my teenage years when I used to dress in very baggy clothes, like a rapper. I used to braid my hair and wear a bucket hat,” she says with a laugh, “What I learned from it? That to express yourself through your style is the best thing. I have no regrets.”

Faiza Bouguessa wears Bouguessa abaya and trousers. Gianvito Rossi shoes, her own. Payal New York ring. Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Samah Elmeri. Words: Maddison Glendinning. Make-up: Blowout & Go. Location: Cheese Tower