“Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it,” begins Nahed Soueid Atallah. She should know. She is the vice president of merchandise planning for Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdale’s, Ounass and Nisnass – Al Tayer’s new lifestyle destination. “I work in fashion so shopping is a non-stop activity, particularly with our new online ventures,” she tells Bazaar. Nahed has two daughters, Raya, 27, and Nour, 24. The eldest, Raya, works as online content marketing editor at Nisnass and shares in her mother’s “love of fashion.” When their career paths initially crossed, they made a pact to keep work and family life separate but Nahed can’t “deny that feeling of pride” when Raya is presenting in a meeting and she loves having someone “to debate fashion trends with.” Nour, the younger of Nahed’s daughters is digitally and sports-oriented. “She has been dancing since she was five, first classical ballet, then with Sharmila Dance School.” Nahed celebrates the differences in her girls, believing that “fashion should be a reflection of who you are” and you shouldn’t “compare yourself to anyone.”
Having always loved fashion, Nahed recalls designing clothes and having them made at the age of 18, and had her first taste of fashion shows while modelling during college. An advocate of “empowering women in the workplace,” Nahed is now a model of a different kind – a role model for career women. “I believe you can be strong and powerful and kind at the same time. You should have passion in everything you do, and you should have fun. Otherwise it’s not worth it.”
Needless to say, such a prolific role in luxury retail results in a privileged and fine-tuned wardrobe. In amongst the hoards of luxury fashion buys lie a few firm favourites, including Nahed’s first Chanel bag which she has had for “over 30 years,” and an Alexander McQueen eveningwear dress which was part of the designer’s last collection.
She has an appreciation for the kind of basics that bind a wardrobe too, including “all kinds of white, black and grey T-shirts and tank tops,” Gucci slides from the past three seasons, and white Gianvito Rossi booties – her “favourite trend” of the moment.
Nahed believes what makes a woman stylish is the “ability to be versatile, trendy and make a statement whilst being true to herself, her body type, and her taste.” Her favourite ensemble of this season celebrates just that, “Wide-legged cropped white pants from Kobi Halperin, a long black turtle neck top by Alexander Wang, Gucci white slides with black net socks, and a Cult Gaia silver bag.” Collectively, they sum up her “elegant”, yet always “fashion forward” style.
When it comes to shopping Nahed doesn’t have to look very far, with a world of retail at her fingertips, but she admits there’s one thing she can’t buy in Dubai, her Ambre perfume from Reminiscence. “People actually know I’m in a room from the scent. I always get it from Paris or Cannes.”
Nahed Soueid Atallah wears LoboRosa pyjamas, Cult Gaia bag and Gianvito Rossi shoes, all Nahed’s own. De Grisogono jewellery.
Photography: Chris Milo. Styling: Teresa Karpinska. Words: Elaine Lloyd-Jones. Hair And Make-Up: Blowout&Go. With Thanks To Marina Social.