GEM TALK WITH RAMONA FAZELI, FASHION INDUSTRY ADVISOR
The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla.
My fascination with Ramona was born during a friend’s wedding in Ibiza. We were sailing towards Formentera surrounded by two hundred people and there she was: an alpha female, a fashion expert with a sharp eye for new trends and with a business expertise from Harvard in her pocket. Ramona spent many years in Europe and in the Middle East holding senior positions in the field of luxury as fashion director, brand manager and buyer working with Prada, Valentino, Dior, Hugo Boss and Brioni.
Name: Ramona Fazeli
Alma Mater: Textile engineering / International Trade & Marketing
Occupation: Fashion Industry Advisor
Languages: German, Italian, English, French and Farsi
LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: I love The Arts Club especially during the day, where you can relax and work in a beautiful atmosphere. Shoreditch House is another favorite spot. The diversity of London is fascinating, its like a never ending story where you always end up discovering new places.
DUBAI OR GERMANY: Germany is my home; I was born in Iran but raised in Germany and fortunate enough to capture both cultures without getting lost. Dubai is very multi-cultural which gives you the chance to get to meet so many people from different backgrounds and cultures. XVA Art Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of the historic part of Dubai, where you can enjoy Art from renowned Artists while having tea in the court yard. DIFC district is mainly where I spend the majority of my day, being the financial center of Dubai, it also offers many great galleries such as Opera Gallery and Cuadro Gallery. You can have lunch or great dinners at Zuma or and if you wait few weeks soon also in Cipriani.
IN THE BEGINNING : I have been painting since I was 5 years old. That said I was never interested in fashion design, I just wanted to become an artist and paint all day, but somehow I ended up in law school, as I was accepted by an elite university. However, soon after I knew I had to do something more creative hence I decided to follow my heart. After accomplishing my bachelor and masters, I was very lucky to work for Prada as a buyer for the German and Austrian stores and there I knew I have been right all along to fight for my dream.
DUBAI DEBUT : Coming to Dubai was more a personal decision: I was very lucky to work with one of the most powerful and inspiring woman in the region, Mrs. Ingie Chalhoub, who is till today my role model in many aspects. I have been responsible for Valentino in the Middle East and buyer for the multi brand stores where I had the chance to work with over 100 brands such as Dior, Galliano, Alaia and many more and then moving to another luxury group to head their Fashion department overseeing brands such as Hugo Boss, Brioni, Joseph etc. Dubai offers a great platform to connect the East and West and it’s a great place for personal growth.
HARVARD: Harvard was a life changing experience: I decided to take the course as I believe you should never stop learning. There was a moment in my life where I had a great position , a great team but I felt I had stopped learning and developing myself. Hence the course in HBS gave me the opportunity to meet so many different people from different industries, from Google, to aviation and Healthcare, you learn so much from personal interactions. The HBS faculty was and is sill very supportive. We all still keep in touch and share how we apply what we have learned during the course in our lives
POWER COMES FROM: Within.
LABEL EDITED: In 2014 I launched a global business development and strategy consulting firm, specializing in the luxury retail, fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries.
BEAUTY ESSENTIALS: I am totally overwhelmed with all this contouring trends as most of the time I prefer no make up days , but my favorite products are YSL lipsticks and Make Up Forever foundations. I love perfumes – my current favourite is Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle.
TOPSHOP OR CHANEL : Both, I enjoy going to Topshop as much as I enjoy Chanel or any other luxury brand. Today I also look at what each brand stands for and represents besides their products; each company’s culture and values play a big role too. I am a big fan of Celine, Saint Laurent and, of course, I religiously follow Prada. The latest additions to my wardrobe are two Prada Jackets.
GEM STYLE: I love pieces with an interesting story behind. I feel it is great to wear vintage pieces, although someone recently told me that when you carry a vintage piece you carry a part of the history of the precede. I have a wide collection of golden cuffs and a cobra ankle bracelet from Egypt, similar to the one which Cleopatra wore when she went hidden inside a carpet to meet Caesar.
FIRST JEWELLERY: My father gave me a gold ring with 7 diamonds for my 18th birthday. I used to count the diamonds every night as if they could fall off, I wasn’t afraid of losing them but I just wanted to show my father that I can take care of his gift. Today appreciation is the most valuable gift you can give anyone.
MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: I can’t go out without my watch: its sporty and big and Rolex gives also this casual feel especially when you are dressed up. And I never leave the house without a golden cuff or golden bracelets: my favorites are from Gripoix , the oldest jewelry makers for Chanel jewelry.
PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING: De Beers!! The one & only.
ROLEX OR CARTIER: I admire Patek Philippe: their craftsmanship, their values and everything they stand for.
MEN JEWELLERY: I believe every man regardless of his financial capacities should wear a watch that represents his personality.
FINE JEWELLERY: Craftmanship.
JEWELLERY AS AN INVESTMENT: Jewelry has certainly helped many people to survive during wars or financial bankruptcies but at that time you will probably end up selling your jewels under market price. I don’t think the value of jewellery appreciates with time; on the contrary it depreciates. I would rather look at a jewel as an investment for the soul and turn to art for investment purposes instead.
VINTAGE JEWELLERY: My mother is a collector of vintage jewelry especially Cameos. My favorite pieces are a big Cameo Broach framed with rubies and a vintage Chanel cuff with 5 different cameos on it.
FASHION JEWELLERY: TOPSHOP! The fashion jewelry is just perfect and I also like Alexis Bittar for statement earrings.
PERFECT GETAWAY: Sicily is one of my favorite spots, especially Taormina. And last year I loved the Mondrian Hotel in Bodrum, perfect getaway.
DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT: Sadly my phone.
COACHELLA OR BURNING MAN: I would rather spend my time at the spa of Bvlgari Hotel, never been this cool girl but I love the Coachella style.
MY WEAPON OF CHOICE: Humour.
WILD WISH: To spend a day with Quentin Tarantino.
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.
*Photographed by by Liza Urla.
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