Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Shanghai, The center of Fashion and Luxury in Asia

The vast nation of China has always been a mystery, a country with over a billion population that only I have come to understand through the fiction stories, movies, news and friends that have helped shape my idea of this big country that is taking over the world. I was very excited about my first trip to Shanghai and was eager to begin providing explicit coverage through my blog.
That was the plan! After finally making it to the hotel and surfing the internet, I type my blog’s url in and to my surprise it didn’t work!   I start looking for other blogs and then I realized the blogger website was actually blocked!
So I decided to do usual regime online, Gmail, facebook and twitter after successfully entering my email I was shocked to find every social media network inapplicable and blocked by china! And I was sitting and complaining about the circumstances of the UAE. I didn’t understand the reason behind the governments descion to block such sites but more importantly from a business perspectives this nation opened an ample of opportunity for national companies to benefit from the money that can be made in social media and blogging in China. Then it hit me, this daunting image that China, making a majority of the world has been virtually secluded from the west, this could be another good reason why we do not know about the region.
Yet,There was a Buzz in the air of Shanghai, the same buzz that was felt in Dubai years before the recession had hit us hard, and the recession has clearly not damaged Shanghai, perhaps it has done the opposite, make it stronger! as the rest of the world had suffered and companies had to close doors to some of their flagship in North America and Europe, they are soon replaced their old bircksand began building new flagships in China.
The purpose of this visit was mainly for the INNO Luxury Summit that took place at the four seasons in Shanghai, I have always had a  basic idea of the large buying power Asia had on the luxury industry so this was a great opportunity for me to learn more about this market. 
Through this two days summit my assumptions turned into concrete numbers and evidence of how large is” LARGE” in terms of their buying power.
Speakers from the luxury industry such as BALLY provided us with their current updates of their success in the China market, Bally stores around the world make it clear to Chinese customers that their international branches include a Mandarin speaker, in addition, their success has led them to open in other urban cities other than the capital and Shanghai.
 Bally had announced their move towards online medium in China! Yes, shockingly as much as many of the high-end luxury brands have shown their distaste for the internet because luxury is hard to translate over the internet. The trend in internet shopping in Asia is larger than the US, thus the internet is becoming highly important for them to take part in. Number indicate that there are over 420 Million internet users in China and over 70% have used the internet to shop for something (South Korea has 97% of their online users shopping online) (Statistics from Reuters and ADCMA).
Similarly Ms. Maria E. GirĂ³n founder of Megadvise, professor and Author of the book spoke how social media today works towards helping Fashion brands, her statistics indicated that markets such as China have consumers with large buying power to be as young as 20 years old. Thus, these consumers are comfortable with technology and use it more often in their lives. As a result Giron states that fashion brands must  develop strategies that align with the internet.
I have come to learn through talking with various people in the forum and through observation that wealth and status was very important to prove, especially in the city of Shanghai. Entrepreneurs in china are growing vastly and to prove their profit and loss sheets were doing well can be seen in their attire, the Cartier watch, the channel bag and tiffany bracelet.  I was shocked to see the amount of designer labels present on the streets only to see there is a demand, I saw woman holding Gucci, Bottega Vennta and Channel bags everywhere! It was truly the home of Fashion.
The CEO of Miss sixty recalled how a young trainee on an internship pay actually manage to purchase a 300 dollar jeans, he asked her how she could possibly afford such jeans and she replied stating that she and her friends have put in money in order to share these jeans.
This is what it has come down to, the importance of being branded! The influence fashion has on this generation and their willingness to purchase even when they cannot afford just scares me.
It is interesting to see the world of fashion evolving; to become part of the industry you must speak the mandarin language and  that is the only way you can have a leg in the business.
I have come to realize Karl Lagerfield and Jimmy Choo don’t care about me anymore! It’s China baby all the way! And I finally understood why certain brands manage to hold large flagship stores in Milan despite low sales in Europe and you pass by their Shanghai branch and see it filled with customers like it was your average wall mart.
After leaving the forum, I was even more interested to learn about the industry in Asia and began my eager research about its brands and their industry of luxury and was utterly surprised by what I found. All of which I will present to you in my next blog!! 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Guess who crossed south the borders...well in the kitchen that is!

I went south of the border in the kitchen today! As for all those who know me, Stop laughing this very moment! I know my cooking skills are well ….okay they are under par, but I made sure I do not venture into this new adventure alone!
Thanks to MJ’s long history and amazing skills in the kitchen, we worked together to do the basic Mexican quesadillas!
Okay to be very honest, my contribution was quite minimal, but I am sure mona appreciated it!  I watched  and documented as the chef  MJ did her work most of the time so I hope you enjoy the pics as much as I enjoyed eating those quesadillas!!

P.S MJ has been great enough to provide us with her recipe :D 

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Krizia Spring/ Summer 2011, Milan Fashion Week

During my trip to europe, I had the chance to attend the Krizia Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion Show, I have loads of photo that I will be posting in my portfolio, so dont forget to visit

Thursday, 14 October 2010

My Entourage

There is no doubt my undying love for traveling. I am blessed to have had the chance to have visited 25 countries(soon 26!) and over a 140 cities around the world!
I have travelled with family, friends, colleagues but I realized my entourage always consists of my camera, I-pod and a Book all of which have constantly help keep me busy during my travels, from busses, trains, planes and cars I haven't realized that I have documented them over the travels! here are some photos of my books, my Ipod and my journey.

Book are available at Amazon:


Monday, 20 September 2010

Off to Europe!

Few hours are left before I am whisked away on my Emirates flight heading towards the European lands once again! I am quite excited to take a breather from my busy life here in Dubai! Despite my constant hours that are dedicated to job hunting I have been harnessing my multi-tasking power helping a friend with their business, work out and  and manage a social life with friends and family! Being busy, thats what Dubai does to you! I admit, I miss my St. Andrews life, everything was simple *sighs*

I shall make my debut first in Milan, sulk in and enjoy the great atmosphere of Fashion Week, only to be once again on another plane off to Munich for some family reunion and then head back to Paris to enjoy Fashion Week there too! 

Although I am quite familiar with all these cities by Now, I am not going to complain and enjoy this small fall break before I come back to be hit once again by the Dubai reality! I am quite excited because I have invested in a EOS 5D Mark II <3 it is the most beautiful creation by canon! My test shots were divine and out of this world! I cannot wait to try it out in Europe :) 

I will try to update whilst I am in Europe, but the possibility of that happening is very minimal!  

so Arrivederci, Au Reoir and Tchau!  

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Dear friends, family and bloggers!
I would like to wish everyone a very happy Eid Mubarek.
Ramadan 2010 passed by with a blink of an Eye, It was just yesterday that the end of Ramadan 2009 marked the countdown to my arrival to St. Andrews, beginning my new life in my beautiful disposition. 
Life is always funny that way and hope everyone around the world enjoy this next few days as much as I am hoping to!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Once upon a time... Lady Gaga was walking through the woods?

 So My friend I decided that it has been a while since we did a photo session together and were pumped up on doing a 21st century Red Riding hood theme! we found the clothes, the hood but after a couple of shots we realized we were missing an important element, can you guess?

A basket! after searching the whole house, we realized there was no basket so we had to improvise and went indoors and created a more Lady Gaga / Glamour shoot! 

as everyone knows, I adore B/w photos but my friend insisted on a color photo so here is one just for her