Inside a Dubai Fashionista's Closet

Ahlan! delves into the wardrobe of businesswoman and fashionista Zahirah Variawa
ByLindsay JudgeMonday , 28 April 2014
Zahirah wears dress 46664, shoes Saint Laurent, cuff, H&M
© ITP Images
Zahirah wears dress 46664, shoes Saint Laurent, cuff, H&M
Shirt, Leigh Schubert; trousers, Zara; shoes, Christian Louboutin; ring, Bloomingdale’s
© ITP Images
Shirt, Leigh Schubert; trousers, Zara; shoes, Christian Louboutin; ring, Bloomingdale’s
“Rings are my statement accessory. I have so many that I don’t know where to keep them all!”
© ITP Images
“Rings are my statement accessory. I have so many that I don’t know where to keep them all!”
 “Statement cuffs are a great way of glamming-up a day look for the evening.”
© ITP Images
“Statement cuffs are a great way of glamming-up a day look for the evening.”
Zahirah could open a store with all of her accessories!
© ITP Images
Zahirah could open a store with all of her accessories!
“I love to source pieces from countries while I’m travelling abroad. This dress is by a South African designer.”
© ITP Images
“I love to source pieces from countries while I’m travelling abroad. This dress is by a South African designer.”
Only a cupboard this big could fit all of Zahirah’s accessories!
© ITP Images
Only a cupboard this big could fit all of Zahirah’s accessories!
Zahirah never goes to an important meeting without a fab pair of heels. Here are some favourites by (left to right) Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Nicholas Kirkwood
© ITP Images
Zahirah never goes to an important meeting without a fab pair of heels. Here are some favourites by (left to right) Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Nicholas Kirkwood

South African-born Zahirah is managing director of strategic brand management agency Think Liquorice. As a busy working woman it’s hard to believe she still has time for fashion, but we were delighted to discover the colourful treasure trove of clothes and accessories that makes up her wardrobe. 

How would you describe your individual style?
Simplistic, chic and functional. I tend to invest in signature pieces and make them a key feature in what I wear. Bright colours are a must, and accessories are my weakness! 

Who is your style icon? 
My grandmother. She is the most elegant woman I know. From a very young age I frolicked around in her closets and shoe rooms… trying on all her heels and clothes that she had bought travelling the world with my grandfather. I learned nearly all I know about style from her and she still continues to be on-trend even in her 70s! 

Which celebrity’s style do you love the most?
There isn’t one in particular but I really admire Victoria Beckham in her recent years, as well as Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Middleton – classic, feminine and sophisticated. 

Favourite designer? 
This season it would be Saint Laurent. 

Favourite high street store? 
Zara. 

And your favourite online store? 
www.net-a-porter.com

What are you top trends for Spring/Summer 2014?
Prints and floral as well as monochrome. Lots of bling and embellishment is essential. 

How do you dress for work? 
My week varies depending on what I am doing on each day. For a photo shoot I’ll wear boyfriend jeans, a vest and blazer, or if I am planning to meetiimportant clients I will opt for something smarter, such as wide-leg trousers with a shirt and heels. 

How do you take your dress from day to night?
If I know I’ll have no time to change before a night out I’ll wear something like a little black dress, or an outfit I can make more glam by shedding a layer or two. I will also add statement accessories to my look for the evening.

What are the items you’re currently lusting after? 
A black Prada tote bag – it’s an essential for all the travelling I have coming up in the summer. 

Best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever been given?
Embrace your shape. Know it, love it, dress it. 

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