To kick off Savoir Flair’s #BestofBeirut series, we’re starting off on a lighthearted note with a showcase of Aya Jammal’s playful style. The Lebanese fashion buyer and stylist has a penchant for mixing the old with the new. As an only daughter, she has sole access to her mother’s extensive vintage collection and finds it second nature to mix these pieces with trendy items off the high street.
Jammal’s mother works in fashion, and her influence is visible in the aesthetic of the 30-year-old. She is undoubtedly an early adopter of fashion, and the type of person who takes her time to get dressed – anywhere between 15 minutes and two hours, depending on her mood. “I think of it as quality “me” time before presenting myself to the world. What I lack in time management, I make up for in attention to detail. The latter trumps the former in my books, don’t you think?” she says with a laugh.
This love for fashion transcends Jammal’s job as a womenswear and childrenswear buyer for a family-owned boutique in Riyadh. She also runs The Wardrobe Editor (a consulting firm that offers styling and personal shopping services) and designs jewelry for her friends and clients. “My work as a buyer requires me to travel quite a lot, so I end up doing most of my shopping abroad,” she tells Savoir Flair. Jammal reveals her favorite shopping spots, aside from the usual suspects (yes, that includes Zara), name-checking Le66 in Paris, Joseph in London, and Excelsior in Milan – and her mother’s closet, of course.
Scroll through to discover a week’s worth of eclectic looks from Aya Jammal in this special #BestofBeirut series.
Photographer Fouad Tadros Photo Editor Maya Itani
“I love layering – it’s one of the reasons that autumn is my favorite season. When I get to pull it off during the summer, I actually give myself a pat on the back.”
Aya is wearing an Adidas sports bra, a Zara dress, Topshop jeans, a vintage Versace belt bag, Yeezy x Adidas Originals trainers, and a Pull & Bear choker.
When and how did you find your personal style?
“My most vivid childhood memories involve me, aged eight or nine, lurking around my mother’s dressing room as she got ready to go out. She works in fashion, so it’s always been a major part of my life. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to grow up and dress just like her. It was the decade of Gianni Versace, and supermodels were the celebrities of the day. A part of me is still stuck in the early 90s – my vintage collection mostly consists of runway pieces from back then.”
“It wasn’t an easy shift to drop my skinnies for a wider silhouette. Instead of pulling a classic 70s look with these trousers, I went for an urban twist. I always think in themes when I dress up. This look is hippie-meets-skater.”
Aya is wearing a Gap jacket, a vintage Christian Lacroix top, Zara pants, Adidas Originals ‘Stan Smith’ sneakers, a vintage Chanel backpack, and Dior earrings.
Does your style reflect your personality?
“It reflects the sides that I’m usually too timid to show. I dress a lot more daring than I am as a person, if that makes sense. Sometimes, it helps me discover things I didn’t know about myself.”
“Sometimes I’m glad I’m an only daughter, because I don’t have to share my mother’s collection of gold-buttoned jackets. The ‘Medusa’ will always be an emblem of high fashion, in my eyes at least.”
Aya is wearing a vintage Versace jacket, a Vivienne Westwood ‘Anglomania’ top, Zara pants, Converse sneakers, a vintage Chanel bucket bag, and an Urban Outfitters choker.
How has your personal style evolved over the years?
“I must admit that I used to dress a lot safer during my early 20s. I guess confidence and personal style go hand-in-hand. The more comfortable I’ve become in my own skin, the more experimental and daring my ensembles have become. I’ve also learned that you don’t have to define yourself so rigidly – and this applies to every aspect of my life. Dressing up is fun, so why the need to limit your creativity because something doesn’t look very you?”
“This look is very me at the moment. It says ‘I take my fashion very seriously’.”
Aya is wearing a Chanel top, Space Style Concept pants, DSquared2 pumps, a Fendi bag, and Razan Alazzouni bracelets.
How do you dress up in the morning?
“In a way that won’t limit where I go next – that could be me rushing to the supermarket or heading to a ladies’ lunch-turned-window-shopping-spree. I rarely need to come back home just for an outfit change, unless I’m going dancing, in which case I prefer being in heels. It’s just so much more attractive to dance on your tiptoes.”
“I have a love/hate relationship with the color red, but this shirt was too cool to pass up. Feathers, gladiator sandals, and anything McQueen were just the trick to tone down the disco element of this look, taking it from night to day.”
Aya is wearing a Balmain shirt, Levi’s shorts, an Alexander McQueen clutch, Moschino sandals, and La Boheme earrings.
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
“Rebellion versus elegance (neither ever wins completely).”
“Lace pumps sweeten any ensemble… and boyfriend jeans need lots of sugar.”
Aya is wearing a French Connection T-shirt, Topshop jeans, Nicholas Kirkwood pumps, a Gucci belt bag, and a Terina ring.
Are you a bag person or a shoe person?
“I’m a belt person. It will always be the most transformative accessory to me.”
“Colors should either match or clash completely. I sobered up the outfit with black sandals, although I actually think that’s the most daring part.”
Aya is wearing an Adidas jacket, a Saint Laurent dress, a Chanel bag, Sandro sandals, and a Bershka choker.