Every country’s style identity is unique. When you take countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait (all of which place in the top ten countries with the highest percentage of expats) you end up with a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and fashion, resulting in some of the most exceptional style identities in the world.
Influencers have long led the charge for styling advice online. However, considering that Middle Eastern consumers also have a reputational taste for luxury, it’s unsurprising that it’s mainly the professional stylists and shoppers who are in high demand. In 2022, Dubai’s Chalhoub Group purchased Threads Styling – the leading digital personal-shopping platform – in a move that’s indicative of how highly the region values fashion advice from those with style credentials.
Looking for a certified stylist or shopper to give your next fashion campaign weight? Here are ten of the best in the Middle East.
Styling services with Bin Haidar book up months in advance. She offers everything from personal virtual shopping to closet detoxes, as well as working with brands such as Jimmy Choo, Harvey Nichols, Charlotte Tilbury, and Kenzo. An affiliate stylist for Threads Styling, she splits her time between Kuwait and London and shares personal outfit inspo, shopping edits, and fashion advice on Instagram.
Elboumeshouli is a stylist and image consultant who heralds from Morocco. She’s currently based between Dubai and Amsterdam, where she balances styling for clients such as Burberry and Net-A-Porter with content creation. She loves neutral tones and her number one styling rule is “if in doubt, add a padded shoulder”.
YSL, Valentino, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, and Balenciaga are just some of the big names in Guzal’s styling portfolio. The Dubai-based stylist specialises in luxury and keeps her Instagram well-updated on her latest projects. She’s also the co-founder of Russian Social Club – an “elite” Russian-speaking networking club in Dubai – and luxe beauty salon Privé7.
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4. Rawan Kattoa
A stylist and creative consultant, Kattoa has worked with everyone from filmmaker Fatima AlBanawi to Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet. She typically leans towards neutral, sophisticated looks and consistently finds creative ways to showcase her talents on Instagram. For proof, just see her recent unboxing and styling series with Valentino and Hia Magazine.
5. Norah AlEisa
Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, it was Aleisa’s mother’s wardrobe that inspired her to become a stylist. Today she balances styling with creative direction and brand strategy, and has also dabbled in costume design. A pro at blending traditional and contemporary trends, she was recruited to style guests for The Saudi Cup in 2022.
AlHajeri had a killer year of styling in 2022, working with big names such as Netflix, Kenzo, Marie Claire Arabia, Swarovski, and COS. The Kuwaiti stylist, creative director, and costume designer has a keen eye for styling luxury pieces both in her personal and professional outfit inspiration.
The Saudi Arabia-based certified stylist is based between Khobar and Riyadh, where she also works as a fashion buyer. Her Instagram mainly documents her own wardrobe choices, but she also hosts regular styling workshops and curates fashion edits for the likes of online luxury retailer Ounass.
Haddad is one of a handful of stylists from the Middle East who has secured regular work at the Cannes Film Festival. He’s styled for L’Oréal, Versace, Chopard, Louis Vuitton, and more, as well as teaching aspiring stylists at FAD Institute and serving as a fashion columnist for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. Based in Dubai, he has teams across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and his dream client is Zendaya.
9. Sarah Isa
If you can count Dua Lipa as a client, you’re already a top-tier stylist. Not only has Isa styled the pop singer, but she’s also worked with MIA and regional fashion icons such as Rania Fawaz, Ola Farahat, and Dima Sheikhly. The epitome of cool – and also available as an image consultant, for any brands or individuals who want to learn how to be the same.
10. Osama Chabbi
Moving from Lyon, France to Dubai to pursue a styling career, Chabbi quickly recruited big names such as Level Shoes, Bulgari, Prada, FarFetch, and Nike as clients. He’s known for his fashion commentary on Instagram, where he shares his educated and brutally honest – but never needlessly snarky – reviews of fashion houses’ latest shows and collections.
By Chloe James, Middle East correspondent for CORQ. Picture credit: Oumayma Elboumeshouli via Instagram