Hala Alharithy: One of the first fashion stylists in Saudi Arabia

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Updated 23 July 2013
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Hala Alharithy: One of the first fashion stylists in Saudi Arabia

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.

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WWE stars soften up to Jeddah children to introduce anti-bullying campaign

Updated 25 April 2018
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WWE stars soften up to Jeddah children to introduce anti-bullying campaign

  • Al-Oula is a non-profit organization targeted to break the cycle of poverty
  • WWE stars sat down in front of 30 students from the institution

Jeddah: The children of Al-Oula –- a non-profit organization targeted to break the cycle of poverty –- had the most thrilling school trip as they came to see World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars Mojo Rawley and Mark Henry in King Abdullah stadium on Tuesday.
The stars sat down in front of 30 students from the institution and softened up as they shared stories from their childhood and introduced their anti-bullying campaign “Be a Star.”
The stars shared personal stories and the difficulties they have faced.
Dean Muhtadi, 31, better known by his ring name Mojo Rawley, told the children: “We are different in many ways but sometimes you have to focus on the similarities and positive aspects of others.”
Mark Henry, 46, opened up about his past: “When I was young people would call me names and were mean to me, so I decided to become the strongest person in the world.
“I won three world championships in three different world countries that had nothing to do with each other and I am very proud of myself for not letting the mean comments get to my head.”
Henry was world heavyweight champion, and is also a two-time Olympian and a gold medalist at the Pan American Games.
Later the children had the chance to talk directly with the stars. Rawley is originally Palestinian, so he spoke in Arabic with some of the children.
Henry told one of the students: “If someone is troubling you, don’t give them the satisfaction of letting the comments or actions affect you, and immediately tell your teacher or your parents or any adult, and they will help you through your problems.”
The children then took pictures and were given tickets to the WWE Royal Rumble show on Friday.
“Jeddah is a very family-friendly and a culture-loving city, so I love being here,” Henry told Arab News. “The only difference is the language. Apart from that everyone is very nice and warm.”
On the Royal Rumble, he said: “Get ready for the best entertainment you have ever seen with your own eyes.”
“For someone who comes from an Arab background, this is a historic achievement and it will be remembered for ever,” Rawley said in an interview with Arab News.
“When I first found out that we agreed to a ten-year partnership, it was the coolest thing to find out.
“I am very fortunate to be a part of this long-term partnership which will give the citizens a long time to understand and give us enough time to develop our brand here in Saudi Arabia.
“Last year the show in Riyadh was a small, non-televised show but it was one of the coolest experiences of my life, so I am very excited to perform in this grand-scale show. It’s going to be an amazing show. It will rival Wrestle Mania, which is the biggest event of the year.”
Jana Marwan, a nine-year-old student, said: “Everyone told us that the wrestlers were scary but they weren’t. In fact they were very friendly. They taught us how to look out for ourselves and I had so much fun. I am thankful to them.”