12 Style Rules From A Cool Fashion Designer
12 Style Rules From A Cool Fashion Designer

12 Style Rules From A Cool Fashion Designer

Lisbon-based content creator and fashion designer, Zahra Omarji, knows exactly how to make a style statement. From her take on deconstructed silhouettes to her wardrobe essentials and where she finds her inspiration, these are her top style rules…

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Define Your Style 

“Describing my style in three words is hard because I tend to focus on opposites. For example, I like to pair something structured with something more romantic, so I would probably describe my approach as harmonious, edgy and clean. A blazer is the easiest thing to make any outfit look chicer. I prefer mine oversized or cropped – and adding jewellery and sunglasses are a must. A statement accessory immediately elevates any outfit.”

Focus On What You Like, Not Trends

“A piece of advice is to forget trends and just focus on what you like. I tried so many ways of dressing until I found my style. It was only when I decluttered my Pinterest outfit boards that I found out what I truly liked and was drawn to.”

I DON'T INVEST in many TREND PIECES because they all end up BEING A WASTE.

Find Your Formula

“Mine came from TikTok and it’s called the ‘sandwich method’. For example, wear a top that doesn’t match the vibe of the bottom but make sure the shoes do. That approach has saved me so much time when I didn’t know what to wear. That said, I usually pick my outfit the night before to save me stress in the morning.”

Invest In Key Pieces 

“The key pieces every woman should own include a good quality, timeless bag - and it doesn’t need to be designer. This black leather one from Osoi was my best buy of 2023; it goes with everything. The same goes for jeans and trousers. This year I invested in these jeans from ACNE Studios and a pair of black pants from my own label, Designation, that I know I’ll wear forever. Last but not least, I love a shirt with exaggerated details. Shirts can be dressed up or down, layered with dresses, with jackets, sweaters – the possibilities are endless – and I designed my own called the Suki Shirt. It’s cropped with these really cool heart details on the collar.


Stick To The Brands You Love

“My favourite fashion brands include Comme Des Garçons and Maison Margiela – I love how the latter deconstructs and then restructures its pieces. ACNE Studios is also a brand I enjoy and, of course, there's my own brand. I design each piece thinking about what I'd love to wear, and that's why my first collection was called ‘Love At First Sight.’”

Understand That Trends Aren’t For Everyone

“Certain trends aren’t for everyone. I don’t invest in many trend pieces because they all end up being a waste. I hate seeing fast fashion brands in thrift stores because you can see it was a trend that faded fast. I also don’t like mixing trend pieces together because that defeats the purpose of having any personal style. As consumers, we all need to be smarter about building a functional wardrobe. Not every trend is designed to be timeless – for example, I regret buying the Balenciaga Le Cagole bag – it was really expensive, and I barely wore it, but trying to resell it was not easy. Not only are the market prices for luxury increasing but the demand is lower because the quality does not improve. Nowadays I prefer mid-range brands because I’m supporting individual designers without breaking the bank.”

Dress For Your Climate

“There are certain pieces everyone should invest in for autumn/winter if you live somewhere like I do. One is a faux fur jacket because they’re so easy to wear. A good pair of black boots also go a long way, and I love these ones from Dear Frances. Another piece I can’t be without is a good structured grey coat – this one from Djerf Avenue really is a timeless choice. A pair of tailored trousers in a warm material will work hard for you and lastly, a piece like the Sonomi skirt from my own label looks so good under tailoring. For me, Dubai winters usually call for light dresses and skirts with a sweater or a tailored jacket and a nice pair of boots. I generally don’t wear much colour and my wardrobe is dominated by white, black, grey, light blue and pink.”

Give Your Clothes A New Lease Of Life

“If you’re in a style rut, it’s worth trying to restyle or repurpose some of your old pieces. I do this all the time – for example, cropping a blazer I don’t wear anymore, or putting some bows and lace on a pair of boots, which I did recently. I love taking what I have and trying to revive it.”


Stay True to Your Roots

“One accessory that’s always with me are my ‘jhumkas’ – a type of South Asian earring. I wear them every day because even though my style is predominantly western, my roots will never change. One of my favourite pieces right now is a skirt I designed that was inspired by a sari. Not only is it the materialisation of my culture in a more modern concept, but it’s also a piece that sparked quite a debate on social media. I love that it made people think – that’s what real fashion is all about.”

Invest In Your Shoes

“I think really good quality shoes are always worth the money because we use them every single day – comfort and durability are paramount. For me, that’s been the Margiela Tabi shoes and boots – and I’ve loved them ever since they resurfaced. I love how ‘weird’ they are – you either love them or hate them!”

If you’re in a STYLE RUT, it’s worth trying to RESTYLE OR REPURPOSE some of your OLD PIECES.

Take Inspiration From Your Icons

“My style icon is my mum. She used to make most of her own clothes and she showed me why it was important to think through every detail to make something special. She sparked my passion for design. I’m also inspired by Sang Phen. I discovered her on TikTok and love how unique her style is. I also love seeing posts from regional influencers such as Oumayma Boumeshouli because we need to see more Arab, Muslim and South Asian creators like her. Other people I love following include Regina Anikiy, Noore El Khaldi and Maria Alia Al-Sadek.”

Finally, Be Confident

“Knowing what you like and being confident in the way you carry yourself is much of what looking good comes down to. It’s not just what you wear, but how you wear it and how you feel in it that makes you stand out.”

Follow @ZahraOmarji on Instagram.


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