“I’m a Pisces!” Rana El Zaied laughs good-naturedly as we drift off into another enjoyable tangent in the middle of our lengthy conversation. Rana has joined me today to talk about her brilliant career as marketing manager and creative director of campaigns, events and shoots for alyasra fashion, handling several shoe brands in her six years of being a part of the team. But, we find ourselves laughing like old friends, thanks to her effervescent personality! Creative, intuitive and displaying strong roles of leadership, it’s no wonder that this remarkable woman is such a valuable addition to Kuwait’s style scene.
“I’m strongly drawn towards creativity,” she continues, listing off the most adamant points of her personality that also define her work ethic. “I won second place across Kuwait in a drawing competition when I was in high school, and I guess that followed me into my career!” This is clear, as her dramatically curated outfit reaps different aspects of her personality. Her makeup is drawn on and painted with precision, winged eyeliner and a great red lip applied so perfectly you’d think it was delicately painted upon porcelain by a paintbrush. Her hijab is expertly placed in a chic turban fashion, and the rest of her outfit screams originality with elements of lace, modernly nostalgic stirrup leggings and black pointy toe stiletto pumps. “People always notice my eyeliner!” she laughs. “A Passport Control agent in Dubai stopped me once to ask me about my eyeliner because he and his wife struggle trying to get the wing right every time!”
And with the amount of imagination put into her look, Rana pays a similar amount of respect and mind to detail on her projects as a marketing manager and creative director of campaigns and photo shoots. “I’m big on creative concepts and vizualization – I especially love Mood Boards!” she says. “I love the creative process of making them. I’m very hands-on with my work. Some may think that with how I delegate projects is not exactly called… delegating” she breaks into laughter. “I just love stepping up! I stepped up when my father passed away, and my little brother and sister both made it to college, so I’d say I did well. When a job needs to be done, I tend to take charge. And when a job needs to be done, it needs to be done right, otherwise, don’t bother doing it at all!”
As for fashion, Rana had always appreciated it, but the magnitude of which it would become a part of her life was purely based on her profession. “I’ve just always loved creativity. My love for fashion has grown as I worked in the field over the past six years. But this was my first job out of university, and I’ve grown so much in it so it has become my life.” But creativity still reigns supreme, and Rana believes that fashion is a personal thing that many should embrace as an extension of themselves, rather than a way to fit in, which is fitting for someone who truly marches to the beat of her own drum. “It’s about standing out, and remembering that not all trends will look good on you. But who cares about trends! Make your own style!”
TRUTH OR DARE QUESTIONNAIRE
How would your mother describe you in one word?
How would you describe your mother in one word?
What is the most ridiculous question you’ve ever been asked?
“Are you from Malaysia or Poland?” – I don’t mind at all, but what gave it away? My turban or my big eyes?
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Jumped off a 530m construction building (under supervision, of course!).
What is your theme song?
“You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore (but the Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn First Wives Club version.)
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Where would you like to live? What is your dream retirement location?
Live: Between Paris and London.
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
Can two quotes be my first quote?
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind’ -Mahatma Gandhi.
“Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything” –Alexander Hamilton.
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
What do you miss about your childhood?
My dad, and being a clumsy carefree kid.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
Who is your favorite historical figure?
Leonardo De Vinci and Iris Apfel. (She’s historical, right?)
What in the world do you least desire?
What do you think is lacking in the world, which if there was more of would make the world a better place?
More ‘Mind my own businesses’, and less ‘opinionated airheads’.
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
Brutal Honesty, helpful and good taste #kiddingonthelastone #notreally
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
Stepping out of your comfort zone.