Savoir Flair's Founder and Editor-in-Chief Haleh Nia and Editorial Director Grace Gordon outline our company's new Manifesto, and our intentions heading into a more ethical, intersectional, and sustainable future.
In the past 14 years, we’ve been through a lot together. You’ve seen us grow from the region’s first-ever digital publication to a 360-degree media company. You’ve witnessed our expansion as a team and as a business when we relaunched in 2015 as an infinite-scroll website and introduced our Arabic sister site, Savoir Flair Al Arabiya. You’ve experienced our early adoption of social media and content creation for the digital realm; after all, we’ve always been digitally native creatives. And, you’ve cheered us on as we launched SFX: The Little Magazine That Could (and Did), our milestone coffee-table book published by Assouline.
We hope through it all that we’ve become a trusted resource for you when it comes to mental health, important social justice issues, breaking fashion and beauty news, trends, and tutorials, groundbreaking interviews, cultural round-ups of the best places to eat at, visit, and patronize in the GCC, and beautiful editorial shoots that make you dream. After all, you are our reason for being.
You’ve also been with us through a pandemic that caused us to pause, pivot, and find a new way forward. We learned a lot of lessons during these difficult years, and we hope – as a magazine with a voice – to continue to change the dialogue around the status quo. We watched the entire human population reprioritize what’s most important to them, but then we also saw everything return to “business as usual” as if these unprecedented times (sorry, we do know how overused that phrase is) hadn’t actually taught us anything.
It’s been a time of deep reflection, so naturally, we have turned that scrutiny on ourselves. Although we look back with enormous pride on everything we have accomplished as a company, we realize we can always do better. This internal review of where we are and where we want to go has led us to the manifesto you are now reading. Our manifesto is built on four pillars: sustainability, a CSR initiative, a wider lens on the Arab diaspora, and a new outlook on content. But building a new structure for the company doesn’t happen overnight. We are striving for progress over perfection. What we can promise is that these are pillars we are actively working toward implementing. Here’s how.
Sustainability has long been at the core of Savoir Flair’s values. For example, while many others are just now championing the cause, our publication has been fur-free from day one. We have also written in-depth op-eds on the damage that fast fashion is causing the environment and human lives, pushed sustainable designers and retail platforms to the forefront, and advocated for slow fashion. But we can do more, and we can do better.
- Over the next year, you will see continued growth in the sustainability conversation, the provision of education and resources for our readers, accessible and researched guides on sustainable fashion, beauty, and more, a more vigorous focus on slow fashion in the luxury realm, and a pledge against the promotion of mass-produced fast-fashion brands.
- In a global first of its kind, the editorial staff at Savoir Flair are pledging to never shop or support fast-fashion brands again. Read the pledge here.
CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility and is a commitment that a company undertakes to uplift its community by holding itself socially accountable. With sustainability being our primary pillar, our CSR initiative will be an actionable project linked to reforestation in order to improve wildlife habitat connectivity and support biodiversity on our planet.
Arab and Regional Creators
While Savoir Flair has been instrumental in elevating Arab voices – designers, business owners, content creators, and creatives – from day one, our manifesto pledges continued focus on championing and profiling emerging Arab talent through our new editorial franchises.
- The Fifth Capital: Our objective is to make Dubai the fifth fashion capital of the world, and the initiative kicks off with a podcast called The Fifth Capital, hosted by Savoir Flair’s Editorial Director, Grace Gordon. The Fifth Capital will invite high-profile regional and international guests – including fashion designers, PRs, journalists, content creators, cultural commentators, and more – to the table to discuss Dubai’s rise as a fashion capital, what’s needed to sustain its momentum, and what can be done to support emerging talent in the region. The Fifth Capital will launch in 2022.
- SF Originals
- Acquired Taste: Launching in 2022, our original culture content vertical will feature prominent Dubai-based chefs as they take on a series of blind tests, and teach us their own spin on viral TikTok recipes.
- 7AM With: Entering its third season, our ‘morning routine’ beauty content vertical will now feature some of the biggest Arab names in beauty.
- SF Snoops: Ever wondered what a content creator’s real life is like? SF Snoops is our original entertainment content series that literally snoops on the personal lives of some of the coolest BFFs in the GCC.
- Fashion Fractions: Fashion doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, armed with our Fashion Fractions original fashion content vertical, we’re taking the guesswork out of getting ready in an easy, accessible, and snackable way, starring the most fashionable women in the region.
You’re going to notice some facelifts on the website: an improved look and feel, better shopping experiences, and most importantly, new verticals.
- New Verticals: In the spirit of constant innovation, we will be introducing exciting new columns and verticals to keep you excited and inspired by Savoir Flair. In the coming weeks, we will be launching new columns with a renewed focus on wellness and careers. Be on the lookout for:
- Little Black Book
- Office Hours
- Designer Dossier
If you’ve made it this far, we hope we’ve given you a strong sense of the changes we are making, and left you with excitement for the bright future of Savoir Flair and Savoir Flair Al Arabiya. We look forward to sharing these thrilling projects with you in the coming year, and we look forward to your feedback and support as we enter a new chapter as a company.
Haleh Nia & Grace Gordon