Since moving to the Middle East in 2005, Louise Nichol has helmed the region’s two leading fashion publications: Grazia Middle East and Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. Louise, 34, has over 13 years experience as a journalist, starting her career on UK fashion industry publication Drapers in London. Currently editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, over the course of her career Louise has interviewed the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Victoria Beckham, Tom Ford and Kim Kardashian.
1. Who is your current favorite local designer and why?
From an entirely personal perspective there are two locally-based designers whose pieces I have hanging in my wardrobe: Ayesha Depala and Madiyah Al Sharqi. For me, they produce the most commercially compelling collections. I only wish I had the lifestyle to accommodate pieces by some of the region’s talented eveningwear designers!
2. what are your 3 wardrobe essentials as a new mum?
Anita nursing bras (from Figleaves.com), cotton T-shirts (I like James Perse) and my Anya Hindmarch ‘Oakley’ nappy bag.
3. How important is it to have a platform like Fashion Forward in the region?
It is always important to nurture and foster young talent, but it is vital to do so within the context of creating viable design businesses. This is what Fashion Forward has recognised, with its mix of educational talks and panel discussions alongside the catwalk shows. I like the acknowledgement of driving forward towards a sustainable design industry rather than launching yet another Dubai Fashion Week, without a credible industry behind it. We’re not there yet, but with initiatives like Fashion Forward, we will be soon.
4. As a blogger who focuses on conservative stylish/trendy fashion. We have stylish icons like Sheikha Moza and Dsaaks (Indonesian Blogger) to look to for conservative fashion inspiration. Conservative/modest fashion is an untapped niche in a region where women are mostly covered or dress modestly. What is your view on the importance on tapping into this market?
We photograph a wide mix of women who live in the region, many of whom are covered to varying degrees. We would like to photograph more, but often cultural restrictions prevent us from doing so. I feel passionately about bringing Middle Eastern women into the pages of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia wherever possible. Ultimately we are an international title, with responsibilities to international advertisers, but our heartbeat is most definitely local.
5. If you could visit any decade which would it be and why?
The 2030s would be cool. My daughter will be 18-years-old in 2030 and the world will be a different place by then. I’d love to get a head start so I can prepare her!