I recently had the opportunity to meet fashion guru, Ainy Naim, who is based in London and has a job that involves consulting your favorite celebrities on what to wear for their next video, awards ceremony or, just a simple public appearance.
I am glad to be sharing this interview with you and let you know that we got Ainy to answer most of the questions that were sent to us after our Twitter announcement. Oh, and by the way, it happens to be the infamous celebrity stylist's birthday, today.
Happy Birthday Ainy!
|Ainy Naim, Designer & Stylist
B&B: Ainy, we hear that after your extensive experience with styling clients such as, Duffy, Katy Perry, the FACES and, Mel B, you are looking at tapping into Dubai's market with a project in hand. What sort of thing are you looking at?
Ainy: I absolutely love it here, especially the energy and I feel blessed to be here.
I am currently Co-Owner and working full time as Head Designer for a luxury t-shirt brand called Secret Circus which will be available this coming Fall. The designs are very spiritually enhancing, which I believe the world needs. As far as my styling goes, I have been really grateful to have worked with such amazing artists and celebrities on major red carpet events. I want to bring that Hollywood element to Dubai through my styling at Bullets and Butterflies.
B&B: What new projects do you have going that you can share with us?
Ainy:Designing for Secret Circus is my main project but I have been travelling all over the world working as a fashion consultant.
I recently travelled to Baku to over see a hot new concept boutique called Paparazzi in Baku Azerbaijan, it was such a blast.
I brought in a variety of brands that I thought the people of Baku would just love such as Giuseppe Zanotti, Ashish to Jason Wu.
B&B: Can you give us an insight into what trends you'll be sporting this summer?
Ainy: I had such an inspirational trip in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago. I love their ultra casual, comfy but chic style.
Brands like Lauren Moshi and Ground Zero, I think really know what their doing right now and are among my favourites.
I am also a bit of a sucker for retro or comic related accessories fashion pieces, anything Wonder Woman I go crazy for!
The jewellery brand, NOIR has really caught my eye with their DC comic themed pieces.
|Paris Hilton in Secret Circus
So in my opinion, I would say anything that makes a statement but in a casual way is what will be trending this summer.
B&B: What elements do you use for inspiration when working with celebrities?
Ainy: When it comes to famous musicians, I work around their personality and the type of music they are working on.
I generally know exactly what to do when I meet someone and hear their music.
Fashion and music are so similar because they are both about expression.
|Ainy with Pop Artist Katy Perry
B&B: What's your signature look?
Ainy: I love mixing classic vintage pieces with designer brands along with bringing my special customized touch somewhere in between.
I have to admit I am attracted to anything shiny, so I love customizing new and old pieces with a little bling (what girl does not love bling!).
When I am styling guys, I go urban retro but also customize and tailor according to their personality.
One look that definitely does not describe my signature look is..."off the rack."
B&B: What's your signature scent?
Ainy: I am obsessed with Arabic perfumes, but I like to mix it up a bit and blend with other scents.
I recently discovered the brand ODEN, while I was in New York City. It is really fresh and
changes scents throughout the day. Maison Martin Margiela is also always in my hand bag.
B&B: Can you tell us about your brand 'Secret Circus' and talk us through the vision behind the brand?
Ainy: The idea behind Secret Circus comes from such a positive and spiritual place. I am working with ancient symbolism that include my own custom designed positive life affirmations. I've tried to blend my personal style with spirituality to create a comfy, yet sexy look that is spiritually enhancing. I would say this is my most creative work yet and I can't wait to share it with the world.
B&B: Having worked with many designers and brands for your styling projects, who would you say are your favourites?
Ainy: That has to be the hardest question to answer! I appreciate and have such respect for this industry and everyone who contributes to it.
I'm humble for the experiences I gained after I graduated from St Martins. A truly priceless learning curve for me as a Fashion designer and stylist.
Off the top of my head, I would say Dolce and Gabbana, Giuseppe Zanotti, Manish Aurora, Patrizia Pepe and Body Armr are high up on my list.
B&B: Tell us about where it all started for you. How did you get to where you are now which, i must say, is a place that a lot envy you for?
Ainy: I always had an obsession as a child for making clothes for my dolls (I know!). My mom and grandma were also a big inspiration for me, they allowed me to choose my own outfits as a kid. At the age of 10 years old, I watched a documentary on Karl Lagerfeld that really got me interested in the fashion industry. My parents always told me the importance of education and had high hopes I would become a Doctor or a Scientist, but I was obsessed with Fashion and attended Central Saint Martins College in London where I studied fashion and marketing. Throughout college I interned at Julien McDonald where I fell in love with Swarovski crystals and had the opportunity to see Julien design for Kylie Minogues world tour. My very first ever styling job was styling Basement Jaxx at the Brit Awards, it is one of my most favorite memories because I started to really gain confidence in my work. My life just started to blossom from there, I went on to customize denim which ended up being worn by Ms. Dynamite, Faith Evans and Kelis. My family has seen me working around the clock for 10 years now, sometimes free of charge to proove myself, and it's been as tough as it's supposed to be in the real world. It feels amazing to have the opportunity to design for my own brand, travel the world and still do styling that I love so much. I feel very blessed.
|Craig David in Secret Circus's "Born To Rule" cashmere hoodie
B&B: Finally, can you give us a few styling tips for our readers and what you think is a great fashion investment at the moment.
Ainy: As I am a spiritual designer I have to say that beauty comes from within, try to enhance your energy by wearing pieces that compliment you as a person. Find shapes that work for you and choose colours that appeals to you.
I believe people should wear what they personally enjoy wearing and not over obsess over trends. Trying too hard to be up on the latest trends can appear obvious. Go with your gut feeling and wear what ever shape most flatters you, do not let the clothes wear you. Mix your wardrobe up a bit with vintage and designer brands and avoid big printed logos.