We’ve been dealing with this fashionable marketeer for many years now at bazaar, and when one of our editors finally got to meet the wonderful Adel Alansari, she was beyond fascinated. Between putting his intrinsic knowledge for the fashion industry to work at his day job and juggling a passionate relationship with the theater coupled with a new-found whimsy for all the things in life that are effortlessly chic, Adel Alansari inspires us to let go of our trend-driven tendencies to embrace our inner fabulous selves. His reasoning for this outlook on life boils down to pure logic, “Your individuality is your best accessory”
“I think I finally grew into my own skin a few years after moving back to Kuwait,” Adel told us as he sipped on his double espresso, and offered us more of Veranda’s renowned freshly baked goodies. He chose to meet with our editor at this location because he finds it very close to his heart, and we couldn’t fault his choice. Veranda is elegant, yet dramatic, quiet and loud at the same time, and these are all extremes that Adel can never resist. He laughingly added, “I am absolutely a person of extremes. Extreme dieter, extreme food indulger, extreme shopper…. you get the point!” Currently DKNY and Donna Karan Marketing Manager at Al Yasra Fashion, Adel is responsible for the marketing operatives for both Donna Karan and DKNY divisions in the entire region, and he loves it. ”DKNY is going through a major aesthetic shift that is going to deservedly bring the brand back in the limelight in our region. This year is going to be a big year being the 25th anniversary of the brand and all I can say is there’s plenty of exciting things planned ahead” he said.
He has progressively built a career in the field through utter professionalism, with no short cuts and a work ethic that is envied by many. People who meet him are sometimes intimidated by his no-nonsense attitude, and he attributes that to the nature of the business itself. Adel said, “I find it very strange that people think that I am intimidating, when I’m only doing my job. I’m actually very nice to people when I meet them, and that is at times misconstrued as being fake. Well, you can’t please everyone!”
Adel first became interested in fashion at the age of six years. He believes he got it from his mother, whom he considers as one of the most stylish people he knows. He stated, “I even have home videos of myself as a kid, being ridiculously picky about what I wanted to wear.” Working in fashion, however, wasn’t on his mind. Adel admitted that he wanted to be either a spy or mime as an adult, “I think this was because I always believed that there was something very fashionable and stylish about these personas. I was and still am very fascinated with one’s ability to put a mask on, to blend and adapt to your surroundings like a chameleon, it’s one of nature’s ultimate survival mechanisms.” During his day job, Adel looks to emulate the marketing practices that are fit for the prestigious fashion house that he works with. After work, however, he is most happy living the easy life, going with the flow. He is extremely passionate about the theatre and is head make-up and character designer at Staged In Kuwait, he also helps out with costumes and makeup for their shows. He is consumed by the stage, and sees the fascination that comes with character design by helping the actors transform their looks through his expert knowledge in character make up and costuming.
For someone who never studied costume design, or even fashion marketing for that matter, this mass communications and journalism major student sees theater in fashion and vice versa. As for working in the field, Adel gets his daily fashion fix and is always inspired. He deems that by working in fashion, his mind is open to so many new things and understanding the industry from a business standpoint is another ‘fascinator’ that Adel constantly craves. On DKNY, he believes that the company’s brand ethos is very subtle yet strong, and is relatable to people who are looking for style-oriented wardrobe choices. This style buff despises trends, and would love for people who are exceptional to stand out in their own uniqueness. He added, “I encourage this by being myself, and styling a lot of my friends in a manner that best suits them.” Yet another one of his many talents, styling, comes inherently to Adel, who also deems that he styles others far better than he would style himself.
Down the line, Adel’s dreams are rather simple. You might think that he would naturally start his own fashion label, or jewelry line, but you would be mistaken. All that he dreams of is a rustic farm home in Tuscany to live the slow life with his family, complete with their organic garden, and even raising their own chickens. It’s either that, or Plan B: a dinner-theatre in Thailand. Extremes!
Q&A WITH ADEL ALANSARI
What do you most value in your friends?
Being able to completely be myself around them and totally relax in their company, and vice versa.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Happiness is a farmhouse villa in the hills of Tuscany with my own veg and fruit garden, lots of dogs running around and my closest and dearest beside me.
What is your greatest fear?
I would say the ocean. I’m a total earth-child so flying or being at sea unnerves me.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My ability to move-on/let-go/turn the page really quickly. It’s an extremely useful defense mechanism I’ve built up over the years, but can leave a lot of collateral damage along the way.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Conformity and closed-minds.
Which living person do you most admire?
I don’t think there is one specific person. I admire people who make a difference. People who fight for what is right; equality, individuality, freedom of expression.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Shoes, it really is a problem. I’m getting better though, but it still is an issue. Let’s just say every week there’s new shoes at home.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I go through phases with phrases. I say ‘Brilliant’, and ‘by the way’ a lot.
What is it that you most dislike?
People who expect life to be handed to them on a plate. Only you have the power to be who you are, only you have the power to make your life happen. Sitting in the corner and moping or complaining just drives me crazy. If you don’t like it, get up and do something about it. I really dislike self-entitlement. There is a big difference between working hard for something because you want it, and expecting it to be given to you because you think you deserve it.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Play a musical instrument! I would love to be able to make music. But something fluid and not fixed. Nothing sounds more gorgeous than a piano but it doesn’t travel well! I want something I could take everywhere with me – I wish I could just whip out a harmonica and bust out some Jazz or something like that.
If you could have any job, what would it be?
Move over Joan Rivers! – HAHA! No, I would say it would be to run my own fashion styling company.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
My very own family.
What is your most treasured possession?
You can’t possess love, or people, or pets, so I’ll go very materialistic on this one. It would have to be… I seriously don’t know! I like materialistic things! Like my shoes, or clothes, or things I’ve gathered while traveling, but I can’t quite say I treasure something enough to mention it. I guess life! I treasure life, with all the bits and pieces that come with it.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Where would you most like to live?
In a little village close to Perpignan in the south of France, I also love Florence, it’s my favorite city.
What are your favorite words to live by?
When in doubt add more glitter! – Figuratively of course. What I mean is no matter what comes your way, no matter what you need to do, always give it your all, and add that extra bit of razzle dazzle and it can end up BRILLIANT!