Since achieving her Masters Degree in Marketing & Management, Allia Al Rufai has spent many years working in the fashion industry as a Fashion Stylist and Consultant.
We spoke to her to find out what her experience of working in the industry has been like so far.
Allia Al Rufai fell in love with fashion at a very early age. She thinks she first caught the fashion bug on one of her many trips abroad when she remembers being 14 and badly wanting to wear Patrick Cox shoes (they were all the rage in London in the late 90s and early 2000s).
“I used to watch Galliano’s early couture shows for Dior and just be in awe of every small detail that went into putting on a show like that.”
Allia was soon realising her dream of working in the fashion industry when she landed a job working as a stylist on the esteemed Bollywood film ‘Fashion’ with director Madhur Bhandarkar. Looking back on the experience Allia says that Bollywood is a crazy industry. “You have to learn to work hard long hours, to listen and to learn quickly. I was incredibly lucky to start my career with ‘Fashion’, it was such an amazing experience and fortunately I was able to learn from the best people working in the fashion industry at the time.”
Straight from the set of ‘Fashion’ Allia was chosen to be part of the team to head up Harpers Bazaar in India. “It was the most exciting time for me. Every day was a new challenge, every editorial shoot and cover story had to encompass the essence of Bazaar, so we constantly had to decide what Bazaar stood for and try to introduce and infuse that into the Indian market. Each day was a learning experience.”
While Allia does miss the ‘crazy’ magazine life and hopes to one day pick up where she left off, she loves being a fashion stylist and consultant because the work is a lot more varied and offers greater creative freedom. Not to mention being self employed has many perks, including being able to go on holiday whenever you want!
In between the occasional fashion event, a typical working day for Allia starts with a hearty breakfast followed by meetings, sourcing, and more meetings with the team. These meetings usually involve many mood boards and look approvals. Shoot days are not as glamorous as one may think; they are extremely hectic long days which can start at 6am and range from between 10 – 18 hours. It is however, Allia assures me, “loads of fun if you love your job.”
The best thing about being a fashion stylist for Allia is the constant change. “Seasons change, fashion evolves. It keeps you on your toes – you always have to be predicting what is next as well as what the current trends are. I am distracted easily, so I’m lucky to have a job that I’m not bored of.”
With big brand credits such as Nivea and Sunsilk and top celebrity clients, Allia has an impressive oeuvre. We can only imagine how hard it must to pick just one stand out moment. However while Allia agrees that is the case she says that her most memorable moment was being selected by H&M as a fashion influencer and being featured on their global instagram page. “It was just wonderful to be recognised for my achievements within the fashion industry and to be appreciated for my personal style.”
Despite all her success, Allia has no plans to slow down (‘just a holiday, maybe’) and would love to study photography and learn trend forecasting so that she can get more involved in the creative direction side of her business.
And for all you budding fashion stylists, Allia’s advice is “watch and learn. Work hard, get a good internship and always be two steps ahead of your mentor. Anticipate what they will need. When you’re asked to do something your reply should be it's already done.” That’ll impress them!
1. Who is your biggest style inspiration?
I love Giovanna Battaglia I think her style is very versatile.
2. What is your favourite fashion trend at the moment?
Sneakers with everything! Fashion has never had a more comfortable moment!
3. How would you describe your personal style?
It's au courant effortless and easy chic with an edge
To find out more about Allia Al Rufai, click here
Image source: alliaalrufai, india-forums