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Interview with Fashion Designer Mahtab Jamali

Mahtab looks stunning, pictured here carrying one of her favourite handbags, the Aspinal of London Marylebone Tote

Mahtab Jamali is a British/Persian Fashion Designer, Model, Photographer and University Lecturer. We chat to Mahtab about Kuwait, her favourite places to visit, and her own personal style.

Where are some of your favourite places to shop in Kuwait?

There are many places in Kuwait that I like a lot, my favourites however, will have to be, Al Hamra Tower, Salhiya and Avenues Mall.

Tell us about your favourite places to go in Kuwait..

Kuwait is all about food, and I mean fine food, I pay a regular visit to Lorenzo Cafe, Lenotre, Meli Melo to name a few.

Mahtab Jamali leaving the Aspinal of London store in Avenues Mall, Kuwait

Lovely. So how would you describe your typical trip to Kuwait?

Travelling to Kuwait is always fun, it's an adventure on its own, as it's different every time. Each day spent in there is filled with sunshine and great energy in all dimensions.

I am the International Representative of Blush Hair and Beauty salon, so the first place I visit after I regain my rest, is the spa and reuniting with my Blush family again. While in Kuwait, I happen to do many shoots, radio and TV and magazine interviews in Kuwait too. I also have some amazing Kuwaiti friends there too which of course seeing them every time is nothing but pure pleasure.

That sounds like a lot of fun. How would you describe the style in Kuwait? You spend time in the UK, NYC and Kuwait- how does fashion compare between these places?

In my opinion The Middle East and London are two very different worlds when it comes to fashion, despite the love for luxury fashion in London, I often find the Middle Easterns to be more involved with the high end and luxury fashion labels than what we see here in London.

Although London is a cosmopolitan city with a very diverse sense of style, there are only a small proportion of people who appreciate the concept of luxury in clothing. This may mostly be due to the way the high street brands have dominated the fashion industry in London. Having said that I find a lot more creativity in style in London compared to which in The Middle East.

Where do you get the inspiration for your own designs?

My collections come together spontaneously, what I mean by that is I have a general idea of what sort of look or theme I want to create, and I take each design as it comes.

My sources of inspirations are diverse, they come from anything and anywhere. Whether its the waves of the ocean, the limitless wonders of the cosmos or it could be the effortless beauty in femininity.

Your label Katayoon is named after your Mother- what do you admire about her style?

That's right, Katayoon is my mother's first name, she is the most inspirational figure in my life and she gave me the gift of creativity and fashion.

Katayoon is a beautiful and powerful name, that means Queen of the world.

My mother is the only queen in my world, she is truly devine, a true artist, with an iconic sense of style.

Mother is very youthful and she somehow, always brings out an understated boldness in her outfits and the looks which she puts together. Whether the look is a casual edgy sort of Rocker's style with jeans and leather jackets or a soft beautiful silk summer dress. My favourite style of mother's however is the sharp and powerful yet chic dresses that she wears, with very distinct and sculptured figure defining cuts.

Last but not the least, High Heels! High Heels! High Heels!

My mother has the biggest and upmost appreciation for luxury shoes and handbags, she always says : "no outfit is complete unless there's a perfect pair of high heels to go with it."

She sounds fabulous! Who would you love to see wearing Katayoon?

There are so many of course, Golshifteh Farahani, Adriana Lima, Rihanna, Princess Kate Middleton, Candice Swanepoel, Charlize Theron, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Shiva Safai and many more.

You obviously travel a lot, what are your travel essentials?

Oh God I take one big suit case only for the high heels and I have no idea why when I pick one pair of shoes I wear it like I have nothing else, sometimes I ask myself why do I ask for all of these shoes to be packed!!! Lots and lots of Katayoon dresses. My camera and all the gadgets are a must. Many handbags, of course Aspinal is one of the many brands.

As for what will be in my hand bag, my iphone, ipad, headphones, makeup of course, sanitiser, sunglasses is a must, perfume and a bottle of water.

What's your favourite piece from Aspinal of London?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being so kind to me, it is a great honour to be part of such a grand and luxurious brand.

For years I have loved all of your products and have always enjoyed shopping at Aspinal of London. There is an undeniable sophistication in all the small details in all of your products, whether I'm buying an Office Desk Accessories Set, or a pair of soft Leather Gloves, or a Tudor Rose Pendant Necklace, I feel very pleased in knowing a great deal of skill and crafting has been put in creating these lovely products.

You're very welcome, Mahtab. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us!

Katayoon model carrying an Aspinal Victoria Shoulder Bag

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