Hala Alharithy is a Saudi stylist, personal shopper and image consultant who has managed to help a number of Saudi women turn into fashionistas in no time. Her love for fashion and style prompted her to make a career out of her passion. She has been styling for well-known socialites in Saudi Arabia and has recently styled for the Ralph Lauren fashion show in Jeddah.
Alharithy gives us a sneak peek into her life and shares her secret for staying on top of the game.
For those who don’t know you, who is Hala Alharithy?
I am a proud Saudi woman, a proud daughter of an amazingly inspiring father and mother, and a proud wife of an encouraging husband and mother of two beautiful boys. A fashion addict and shopaholic at heart, I have decided to turn my love for fashion and shopping “habit” into a career. I appreciate art in all its forms and encourage and hope to inspire Saudi woman to follow their dreams and help benefit our flourishing society.
When did you first discover your love for fashion?
Growing up with a beautiful Lebanese mother who constantly followed the latest fashion trends, lead me to realize my love for fashion at a very young age. Starting from the age of eight I remember and have been told by my family members that I used to choose my own clothes when going out and that if I didn’t accessorize enough (have big earrings on, bracelets, rings and hair bands) that I wouldn’t be satisfied!
Describe your personal style and your inspiration?
Truly my mother was my inspiration may God rest her soul. She was well known in Jeddah and Lebanon as a beauty and fashion icon. Always elegant and classy in her style and mannerism she inspired me to believe that style is finding who you are and being true to yourself and that elegance is the ultimate and enduring form of fashion. After living abroad in the US most of my life I would say my fashion style is comfortable and relaxed first off, then dramatic and romantic second.
How do you describe the fashion scene in Saudi Arabia compared with other countries?
We have so much potential in this great nation to create our own fashion trends and move forward in that realm to express ourselves globally through fashion. I have never met more creative people than here in Saudi especially in Jeddah. The people are so full of life and passion and are eager to express themselves through different forms of art. I have no doubt that one day Jeddah will be the next hub for designers, stylists, and artists.
How did you launch your career as a fashion stylist?
I first began my venture into styling about two years ago. I used to shop and style close friends and family. Gradually, more people began to inquire and request my services and I realized that I have a knack for styling, which encouraged me to pursue a career in this domain. I began first with a certified intense educational course from the internationally renowned Sterling Style Academy based in New York City. After earning the degree, I came back to Jeddah and launched my new career.
You have a background in psychology, how did that help you with your work now?
Having a background in psychology and currently working on my Masters degree, I realized that it played a significant role in understanding my clients’ needs. To me styling is a form of self-healing; it helps restore people’s confidence and self-assurance by cultivating their outer appearance.
What are the challenges you are facing as a fashion stylist in Saudi Arabia?
The term fashion stylist is still new to Saudi Arabia. I constantly get asked what it means. The difficulties I am facing is that not many people are open to the idea of seeking the help of a stylist, they feel it is embarrassing or reflects their lack of style, when in reality it is not. You would be surprised at how many fashionable ladies come to me seeking advice on certain styling tips.
What are the essential items that should be in every woman’s closet?
Comfortable flattering jeans, nude pumps and a bright colorful bag, which expresses your personality and style.
Consider our readers as your clients, and take us on a journey of styling.
With my first-time clients, I begin with a consultation session, which consists of a questionnaire to help me understand the clients needs and wants as well as their own style and how much they are willing to change it. It also helps me get a better idea of their coloring and their body type in order to be able to dress them more appropriately in terms of what suits them more.
You are known to work with people with different budgets, how do you accommodate the different needs with those budgets?
Yes, I do work with different budgets and don’t mind it at all. My aim is to help and enhance a person’s life even if it is through something as simple as this. I pride myself in being able to work with realistic budgets in terms of personal shopping by purchasing trendy and in style items for my client without constraining their finances.
You are also an image consultant and a personal shopper; do you reflect your personal taste on the client or come up with their own style?
I truly believe that people have their own personality and individuality that makes them unique, and that should never be hidden or pushed aside. Firstly, I gauge how far the client is willing to go to change their personal style and work from there to help them find the trends that best suit them individually.
If they let me involve my personal taste completely I do so, if not I will go step by step with them at their own pace to find where they are comfortable in a style that is trendy and still true to themselves.
What are your future plans and where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
I see myself a few years from now creating the first fashion and image consulting firm in Saudi Arabia. I am also working on setting up my own concept store, which would also involve a styling service on demand.