Author: 
Rima Al-Mukhtar, [email protected]
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2010-11-03 23:07

And he is using the popular social network tool to establish confidence, and in the process, himself in his own inimitable style. Nahar gives advice through his Facebook page and from behind his stylish mask. “My Facebook group has attracted many people — from Saudis to international Facebook subscribers who ask me for fashion advice,” he said.
The mysterious mask is a symbol of fashion and art to the 24-year-old fashion adviser. “I have to admit that the mask is what attracted people to me, they kept asking me about it and why I am wearing it in every single picture I take,” he said. “My answer is always that it reflects my own style, which is classic and unexpected.”
He added: “Many people thought I had a distorted face or had third degree burns like in a movie. I thought it was funny because they skipped the concept and focused on the mask, and that’s when I decided to keep it on and make it as my signature.”
The mask was inspired from his studies in English literature. He sees literature as an art that expresses emotion through prose and poetry, and the mask reflects the golden age when Queen Victoria used to host costumes parties and people wore masks. “The mask is like a character that I added to myself, which I learned about from my background in English literature and from reading classic books,” he said. “I bought this mask a while ago when I attended a carnival in Paris just because I liked it.”
The Saudi stylist renovates himself in more than one way, most importantly by traveling and attending fashion runways. “I travel almost twice a year, especially in September to attend fashion week in London and Paris. I also go to Spain and East Asia aside from the Middle East,” he said.
“Attending fashion shows is very important to me because I get the general idea about the fashion season from it, I also update myself from fashion magazines and websites that are created to show new trends.”
Nahar added that he also likes to observe street fashion because it shows what people are into and what is wearable to them rather than seeing models and designers who tell people what to wear and what not to be dressed in.
When asked about what attracted him to styling he said: “I was raised in an artistic environment, so my family is divided into two sections: Fashion and interior design. My mom used to teach me about colors and what matches with what, and above all, how to look presentable wearing trendy clothes.”
As Nahar grew older, people around him grew fonder of his sense of fashion and asked him for tips and that’s how he started his business. “It was a simple start of my work where my cousins and friends used to call me up and ask me about clothing and style,” he said. “I later decided to go bigger by helping other Saudis who travel a lot and desperately need fashion advice to match the international trend without making a mockery of themselves.”
“Saudis and other people from the Gulf area are being stereotyped internationally and I want to change that. They see us as rich people who don’t know how to dress, and I don’t blame them because all we do is wear designer outfits that feature the logos to make sure others know that we are wearing expensive costumes,” said Nahar.
Even worse, he said that Saudis copy trends from music and television icons, which backfires on them. “Following the wrong celebrity might not go as planned and make the imitator look horrible like the time where men started to have an afro haircut or when they started to wear ultra low-waist jeans and show off their boxers not knowing that this is a fashion crime,” he said.
According to Nahar, having no support from society, the government or media is the biggest obstacle a Saudi stylist faces. “I am sure that I’m not the only male stylist in the Kingdom and there are many but we don’t know about each other because we are not socially acknowledged,” he said. “We need to be out there and we need more attention and consideration because what we do is very important.”
He added that many Saudis need to learn how to dress and are desperately in need of fashion advice. “There are no academies to teach fashion styling in the Kingdom. Even worse, salesmen here don’t know how to help customers or offer advice. They just want to sell the products with no consideration to the style or trend.”
This is as opposed to other countries that have fashion stylists and advisers in big malls and designer boutiques, as well as fashion adviser companies that help people develop their own style.
“In my opinion, you don’t need a fashion certificate to be stylish, but you need guidance and direction,” he said. “In terms of college qualifications to become a fashion stylist, you actually don’t need any. All you need is a passion for fashion, for texture, for color and a real feel for fashion as well.”
Nahar wishes to start his own fashion brand, be a fashion designer and open stores all over the world — of course, his mask will be the logo.
 

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