4 Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs Introduce the New Symphony

To mark the opening of the new Symphony pop-up boutique in The Dubai Mall and in honor of International Women’s Day, Savoir Flair caught up with four of its favorite Dubai women.

Rosemin Manji, Luxury Consultant

What’s a typical day in your life like?
I usually start by going through my e-mails and my to-do list, which I can’t live without. I am always working on different projects, from hosting designers in the region for niche events to contributing to magazines. Currently, I’ve been working on more brand-ambassador roles, which has been exciting.

How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I started very young, interning in my teenage years, and eventually made it to a fashion school in London. I was headhunted by Tom Ford in university and then my whirlwind adventure began in the industry. I learned more from him than I did in university in terms of brand management, people management, styling, and the business side of fashion. He was and is the best mentor.

What kind of shopper are you?
Now that I’m older and don’t have the patience to spend hours in the mall, I’ve become decisive when it comes to shopping. The buyers at Symphony are great as they select clothes that you can easily mix and match. Every time I go in, I can easily find something I love and build on with my existing wardrobe. The store has a really good edit of brands – I am a big fan of Razan Alazzouni and it is one brand I can only find here.

Previous photo (L-R): Asma is wearing a skirt by Valentino, heels by Saint Laurent, and bracelet by Paula Mendoza; Rosemin is wearing a dress by Balenciaga and heels by Walter Steiger; Narimane is wearing a dress by Carven and heels by Gucci; Natalia is wearing a gown by Carolina Herrera, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

This photo: Rosemin is wearing a top by T by Alexander Wang, skirt by Valentino, earrings by Paula Mendoza, and bag by Paula Cademartori, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

Asma Al Matrooshi, Designer

What’s a typical day in your life like?
My day starts very early as I wake up at 6 a.m. to do my yoga and meditation practice for an hour, have breakfast with my family, and then start checking my e-mails. I then go to my store for a couple of hours. After that, I might think of going to the gym, which I try to do twice a week. At around 5 p.m., I head back home. I usually go to sleep between 10 p.m. and midnight.

What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about what I do is that I can start and end whenever I want, as I have my own business. I love that I’m doing my own thing and growing my brand. I work best when I stay up late at night designing.

What kind of shopper are you?
I go shopping at least twice a week, which I would like to think is normal (but my family thinks I’m crazy). Symphony is one of my favorite stores, because the variety of designers and covetable pieces is so well curated that it makes me want to visit the store often.

Asma is wearing a dress by Rodebjer, heels by Walter Steiger, bag by Sophie Hulme, and cuff by Paula Mendoza, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

Natalia Shustova, Lawyer

What’s a typical day in your life like?
As you know, I am balancing my life between two jobs, in law and fashion, so everything is hectic and comes as a surprise. I typically start the day in my legal office and meet with my team. After that, I dedicate some time to my fashion team, planning shoots, or attending press events. At the end of the day, I come back to more legal work before finally spending some time with my family.

What do you love most about your job?
Law was always my number one priority, and I’m glad I made the choice to pursue it, because I still enjoy what I’m doing till this day. I’m just following my dream. I’m blessed for being able to meet so many different people through my two jobs. I absolutely love listening to their stories as I always learn something new – that’s probably the most exciting part of it for me.

What kind of shopper are you?
I shop almost every day, but I’m a smart shopper. I don’t really buy things just because. I make wise shopping decisions and invest in key pieces rather than trends. I shop more online, and online shopping at BySymphony.com is one of the most fabulous experiences ever, because the pieces arrive in beautiful bags and so quickly. It feels like a kind of posh concierge shopping service. Symphony is one of the most progressive retail platforms here in the region, because the buyers know exactly what women here want. Plus, they carry some exclusive designs. It’s my go-to place when I’m looking for evening dresses and gowns; it has an amazing selection of pieces from Zac Posen, Delpozo, and Rosie Assoulin.

Natalia is wearing a dress by Gucci, skirt by J.W. Anderson, shoulder bag by Sophie Hulme, and hat by Maison Michel, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

Narimane Kurdi, Luxury Consultant

What’s a typical day in your life like?
My work varies everyday. On some days I spend more time with the team brainstorming ideas and strategies and crunching numbers. On other days, it’s primarily meetings and networking that I focus on. I firmly believe in maintaining a balance in my life, so I love to catch up with my friends for lunch or coffee or see my nephew in the afternoons – I like that kind of flexibility.

What led you to start your own business?
I noticed that some luxury brands that wanted to carve a niche for themselves in this market found it difficult to get a foothold in the Middle East and mainly Dubai due to geo-cultural difficulties, so this is when I decided to fill that gap and set up my own luxury consultancy business by leveraging my extensive familiarity, expertise, experience, and contacts in the luxury market. I associated with prestigious names, such as key brands in the Kering group, like Alexander McQueen, Armani, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Jimmy Choo, and Stella McCartney.

What do you love most about the new Symphony?
The curation of Symphony and BySymphony.com is a perfect reflection of the women shopping in Dubai. Symphony has become a home for local talent to blossom, as well as a platform for international designers to showcase their designs. The attention to detail of the team members makes for a unique experience whereby I feel at home when I’m in the store, especially in the private lounge. The perfect balance of renowned designers and emerging designers makes it the place I want to shop for new and trendy pieces!

Narimane is wearing a shirt dress by Alexis Mabille, top by Chalayan, sandals by Malone Souliers, and earrings by Paula Mendoza, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

To mark the opening of the new Symphony pop-up boutique in The Dubai Mall and in honor of International Women’s Day, Savoir Flair caught up with four of its favorite Dubai women.

Rosemin Manji, Luxury Consultant

What’s a typical day in your life like?
I usually start by going through my e-mails and my to-do list, which I can’t live without. I am always working on different projects, from hosting designers in the region for niche events to contributing to magazines. Currently, I’ve been working on more brand-ambassador roles, which has been exciting.

How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I started very young, interning in my teenage years, and eventually made it to a fashion school in London. I was headhunted by Tom Ford in university and then my whirlwind adventure began in the industry. I learned more from him than I did in university in terms of brand management, people management, styling, and the business side of fashion. He was and is the best mentor.

What kind of shopper are you?
Now that I’m older and don’t have the patience to spend hours in the mall, I’ve become decisive when it comes to shopping. The buyers at Symphony are great as they select clothes that you can easily mix and match. Every time I go in, I can easily find something I love and build on with my existing wardrobe. The store has a really good edit of brands – I am a big fan of Razan Alazzouni and it is one brand I can only find here.

Previous photo (L-R): Asma is wearing a skirt by Valentino, heels by Saint Laurent, and bracelet by Paula Mendoza; Rosemin is wearing a dress by Balenciaga and heels by Walter Steiger; Narimane is wearing a dress by Carven and heels by Gucci; Natalia is wearing a gown by Carolina Herrera, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

This photo: Rosemin is wearing a top by T by Alexander Wang, skirt by Valentino, earrings by Paula Mendoza, and bag by Paula Cademartori, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

Asma Al Matrooshi, Designer

What’s a typical day in your life like?
My day starts very early as I wake up at 6 a.m. to do my yoga and meditation practice for an hour, have breakfast with my family, and then start checking my e-mails. I then go to my store for a couple of hours. After that, I might think of going to the gym, which I try to do twice a week. At around 5 p.m., I head back home. I usually go to sleep between 10 p.m. and midnight.

What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about what I do is that I can start and end whenever I want, as I have my own business. I love that I’m doing my own thing and growing my brand. I work best when I stay up late at night designing.

What kind of shopper are you?
I go shopping at least twice a week, which I would like to think is normal (but my family thinks I’m crazy). Symphony is one of my favorite stores, because the variety of designers and covetable pieces is so well curated that it makes me want to visit the store often.

Asma is wearing a dress by Rodebjer, heels by Walter Steiger, bag by Sophie Hulme, and cuff by Paula Mendoza, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

Natalia Shustova, Lawyer

What’s a typical day in your life like?
As you know, I am balancing my life between two jobs, in law and fashion, so everything is hectic and comes as a surprise. I typically start the day in my legal office and meet with my team. After that, I dedicate some time to my fashion team, planning shoots, or attending press events. At the end of the day, I come back to more legal work before finally spending some time with my family.

What do you love most about your job?
Law was always my number one priority, and I’m glad I made the choice to pursue it, because I still enjoy what I’m doing till this day. I’m just following my dream. I’m blessed for being able to meet so many different people through my two jobs. I absolutely love listening to their stories as I always learn something new – that’s probably the most exciting part of it for me.

What kind of shopper are you?
I shop almost every day, but I’m a smart shopper. I don’t really buy things just because. I make wise shopping decisions and invest in key pieces rather than trends. I shop more online, and online shopping at BySymphony.com is one of the most fabulous experiences ever, because the pieces arrive in beautiful bags and so quickly. It feels like a kind of posh concierge shopping service. Symphony is one of the most progressive retail platforms here in the region, because the buyers know exactly what women here want. Plus, they carry some exclusive designs. It’s my go-to place when I’m looking for evening dresses and gowns; it has an amazing selection of pieces from Zac Posen, Delpozo, and Rosie Assoulin.

Natalia is wearing a dress by Gucci, skirt by J.W. Anderson, shoulder bag by Sophie Hulme, and hat by Maison Michel, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

Narimane Kurdi, Luxury Consultant

What’s a typical day in your life like?
My work varies everyday. On some days I spend more time with the team brainstorming ideas and strategies and crunching numbers. On other days, it’s primarily meetings and networking that I focus on. I firmly believe in maintaining a balance in my life, so I love to catch up with my friends for lunch or coffee or see my nephew in the afternoons – I like that kind of flexibility.

What led you to start your own business?
I noticed that some luxury brands that wanted to carve a niche for themselves in this market found it difficult to get a foothold in the Middle East and mainly Dubai due to geo-cultural difficulties, so this is when I decided to fill that gap and set up my own luxury consultancy business by leveraging my extensive familiarity, expertise, experience, and contacts in the luxury market. I associated with prestigious names, such as key brands in the Kering group, like Alexander McQueen, Armani, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Jimmy Choo, and Stella McCartney.

What do you love most about the new Symphony?
The curation of Symphony and BySymphony.com is a perfect reflection of the women shopping in Dubai. Symphony has become a home for local talent to blossom, as well as a platform for international designers to showcase their designs. The attention to detail of the team members makes for a unique experience whereby I feel at home when I’m in the store, especially in the private lounge. The perfect balance of renowned designers and emerging designers makes it the place I want to shop for new and trendy pieces!

Narimane is wearing a shirt dress by Alexis Mabille, top by Chalayan, sandals by Malone Souliers, and earrings by Paula Mendoza, all available at Symphony, The Dubai Mall and BySymphony.com.

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A stroll through The Dubai Mall’s renowned Fashion Avenue offers an arresting glimpse of Symphony’s stunning new pop-up store. With gleaming marble facades and an elegant new logo curated by brand founder and esteemed entrepreneur Salama Alabbar, the region’s style-savvy women are magnetically drawn to the location, where they can find coveted international brands and an impressive range of emerging regional designers.

2016 is shaping up to be a big year for the retailer. Not only did Symphony launch its slick new pop-up, but it also re-vamped its online retail site, BySymphony.com. In addition to a new look and logo, the site is now more intuitive and consumer friendly than ever before, with original content awaiting your discovery alongside a staggering list of best-selling brands and must-have products.

To showcase the new store, Savoir Flair teamed up with Symphony loyalists and local influencers Rosemin Manji, Natalia Shustova, Asma Al Matrooshi, and Narimane Kurdi, four hardworking women who exemplify what it means to be a strong, entrepreneurial force in the region. Take an intimate inside look at the new Symphony store and catch up with some of our favorite “It” women, here.


Credits

Photographer Banan Al Awneh Fashion Editor Camille Macawili Photo Editor Maya Itani Makeup Artist Sarah of The AgenC  Hairstylist AJ of The AgenC

 

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