Mariam & Fatima Abdulla Al Hendi

BY Harper's Bazaar Arabia / Mar 1 2017 / 22:27 PM

31 & 28, Emirati

Mariam & Fatima Abdulla Al Hendi

Although related, sisters Mariam and Fatima Abdulla Al Hendi could not be more different in their approach to style. “I’m classic with a twist,” Mariam, a mechanical engineer explains. “I love to match a classic abaya with a bold shoe for example. I love to be edgy and I get inspired by the country I am in. If I’m in Japan for instance, I’ll go that extra mile, go a little bit crazy, or if I’m in London, I just live the role of a grungy outcast with a love of leather.” Fatima, a TV presenter, is the exact opposite, “My style is conservative, very safe and classic. I hate taking risks with trends; instead I depend on key or statement pieces for the ‘wow’ factor. I try to keep my outfits simple, yet sophisticated.”

They credit their mother with their interest in fashion. “My mum, as well as my sister, just know what looks good. They have an eye for detail that few are born with,” Mariam says, as Fatima adds, “My mother had the biggest impact on me. She would buy me shoes and add accessories and ribbons just to make them different and special. She’s an artist, and my sister and I inherited a great sense of style and a love of colours from her.”

There are a few things the pair do have in common; a love of shopping for one. “I have a problem I know, but with all the pretty stuff out there how can you stop yourself?” Mariam says of her shopping addiction, which draws her mostly to handbags (she owns nine Chanel ‘Boy’ bags and counting) and footwear. “I love shopping at Level Shoes because I’m obsessed with shoes so it’s dangerous having all of my favourite brands just a few steps away from each other.” Fatima agrees, saying that she shops regularly because “the struggle is real when it comes to choosing what to wear. I always feel like I have nothing to wear and I lack clothes, shoes, accessories. I love wearing newly-bought clothes. I get bored of what I buy fast so I am always on the hunt for new things.”

They also share a love of jewellery. “They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, well in my case they might be my long-lost sisters,” Mariam says with a laugh. But for Fatima, her one true sartorial love comes in the form of the Hermès Birkin. “I have four currently and cannot wait to grow my collection. I love the size 25-inch and I  would travel to Paris just to get one.”

As a mechanical engineer, Mariam loves being fashionable in the least fashionable industry. “I am a woman that is proud that I can achieve and produce work that is just as good as my male counterparts without having to sacrifice any of my female traits. I will beat them at their game with perfectly manicured nails and Dior heels.”

Left: Mariam Al Hendi wears top and trousers by Vilshenko at Right: Fatima Al Hendi wears jacket by Gucci at Zuhair Murad dress, her own. Photography: Ethan Mann. Styling: Samah Elmeri. Words: Maddison Glendinning. Hair & Make-up: Blowout & Go. Location: One&Only The Palm