‘Flawless funk’ seems apt to describe Taiba Al-Nassar, with her bright blue hair and edgy fashion. The self-proclaimed shoe obsessive has a fresh, dynamic take on aestheticism in a way that transcends the typical ‘Middle Eastern girl does Western clothing’. Taiba’s dress sense shows distinct elements of urban chic, combining downtown fashion styles in a way that does not scream grunge, yet ultimately, her outfits are wonderfully resplendent of herself. They stand as an expression of her personal musings, inspirations, and affinities, rounded off loosely by in mode trends. Her blog, ‘The Urban Analyst’ offers novel style concepts for fashion-lovers in Kuwait and elsewhere, showcasing various ways that Taiba has translated inspiration from street art, and even architecture into her personal dressing. In Kuwait, appearance is everything, and its abundance of haute fashionistas means that Taiba visibly stands outside of the considered norm. Yet this has not equated to her being side-lined, rather she has her own spotlight to stand in, on a stage which is not yet crowded. Admittedly, she appeals to the fashion rebellious, those who revel in ambiguity of definition, but at the core of the industry, this is exactly what fashion is all about, and Taiba personifies this exceptionally well.
Here are our 60-seconds with … Taiba Al-Nassar!
Describe yourself in three words?
Dynamic, vibrant, cheeky.
Pisces. Devoted yet indecisive- totally accurate.
‘The Urban Analyst’, give us some background to your blog name?
I’ve always been very opinionated, so when I started my blog, I wanted to be able to share my thoughts on the things that catch my eye instead of just posting the ordinary status update. That’s where the “analyst” part comes in. “Urban” comes from my everyday life and the fact that I’m based in Kuwait. While blogging, I try to focus on representing a different side of the culture; a side that is not often seen or heard.
Kuwaiti social media personalities are amongst the most popular in the modest fashion/Muslim/Arab world. In your view, what is it about Kuwait that has allowed for these personalities to grow to such heights?
I feel that in Kuwait especially, women are beginning to realize their full potential and are driven be successful. Along with this drive comes confidence, which in my opinion, is the key to being successful as a social media personality. The female social media community of Kuwait exudes so much confidence, which is so inspiring if you have not achieved a fulfilling level of self-confidence yourself. Our community often teaches that confidence is arrogance; a social construct which is being defied by Kuwaiti social media personalities. Although it may not be deliberate, the rise of Kuwaiti social media personalities is teaching the community to that it is okay to flaunt what you got, which I think is irresistible to an audience who have always believed otherwise.
Your favourite thing about the Kuwaiti fashion scene.
I love how inclusive and accepting it is. While trying to make my mark on the Kuwaiti fashion scene, I get so much positivity and have met so many supportive people, regardless of the fact that my style is generally outside of the norm. I also guess you could say Kuwait is a pretty well-dressed city, so everyone appreciates fashion. It is inspiring to be from a community where the majority shares a common passion and appreciation for the same things you do.
You describe yourself as ‘shoe-obsessed’, tell us about your three favourite pairs.
Aaaah yes!!! I just got myself a pair of Minna Parikka “Mouse” flats in hot pink, which I absolutely adore. Around the tongue of the shoe is shaped like Mickey Mouse ears, so naturally, I had to get them. I’ve also been loving my peach-colored Nike Air Force 1’s and my monochrome heeled jellies from Melissa. I’m a sucker for comfy shoes, so these are all pretty good candidates for the cutest walker’s.
What is at the top of your shoe-wish list right now?
I have been dying for YRU’s “Posch Unicorn” heels. YRU is less of high-end shoe brand and more for those who sway to riskier fashion choices, but I would definitely say it is a brand to watch out for. The Posch Unicorn heels are all-white and feature ears and a unicorn horn on the tongue, and a feather tassel behind the heel, resembling little unicorns on your feet. They are a total dream.
Did you hear about the ‘Cinderella Shoe’ venture ? (read about it here), what are your thoughts on this?
I did! I really do see them as a work of art, rather than the new, notable “it” shoe. I can definitely see classic Jimmy Choo elements in the Cinderella shoe, but don’t recall seeing anything so intricately made, being released to the public. Sandra Choi really outdid herself with these, truly impeccable.
Must have summer shoes this year?
I would definitely say a good pair of espadrilles. I’ve been loving the Chiara Ferragni ones. The glitter and slight platform in the sole is a chic yet very vibrant combination. If you have not heard of Chiara Ferragni, do yourself a favor and look her up. I’m obsessed.
If you could give an urban makeover to any celebrity who would you choose, and how would you dress them?
I would love to makeover Hayley Williams. She is the lead singer of Paramore, a band I have been obsessed with for years, and is super spunky. I would say my style is very similar to her’s, possibly a little more refined. Because she’s a little more on the sporty side, I would love to put her in something a little more feminine, but still fun and daring. Her fire engine-red hair is her signature, but I would have a blast playing around with her color! Not to mention, she complimented my style the time I met her at a concert, so I think she’d be down for a makeover.
Your blog shows that you have travelled quite a bit. What three things do you look out for when seeking inspiration in new places?
I love travelling solely because of the inspiration I get from all of the diversity. I tend to look to street art, architecture, and local fashion for inspiration. I find that these three things combined are the perfect recipe for getting out of a creative rut.
Name a city that you have been too which had the best dressed people.
London, hands down. It is definitely underrated in terms of local fashion. No matter where you are in London, you can always catch someone whose style makes you stop and look twice. I actually made a post on my favorite looks that I caught on the streets of London Fashion Week, which you can find here.
Your two most favourite stores for shopping (anywhere in the world).
TopShop Oxford Circus in London, which is basically three floors of heaven, and the little shops on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles for sure. Both of these would take me a full day to get through.
What type of person would your blog appeal to?
My blog is for the new generation of style connoisseurs who are looking for something a little bit outside of the norm. I picture my audience as a really out-there and fashionably rebellious bunch, those who find comfort in obscurity like I do.
Your style icons?
It’s a pretty large scale. I find inspiration in the equally iconic styles of Twiggy, Madonna, Courtney Love, and Princess Diana, but adore Rihanna, Charli XCX, and more recently, Zendaya at the same time.
Which country is at the top of your travel list?
I would love to road trip around India! I‘ve been to India when I was little, but don’t remember a thing, so going back would be awesome.
If you could collaborate with any designer to launch a clothing brand, who would it be, What city would you launch in, and what soundtrack would you walk out on stage to?
I would collaborate with Alice and Olivia, one of the most adorable brands I’ve ever come across, and I would launch it in Kuwait. Seeing as fashion is so highly regarded here, it would be a dream to see Kuwait grow into the fashion capitol of the Middle East, and I would love to be a contributor. As for the soundtrack of the show, I would have to go with Charli XCX’s latest record, “Sucker,” specifically the song, “Break the Rules,” mainly because it has such a free-spirited, care-free vibe, like the collection would have as well.
Tell us about a memorable fashion/arts event you attended?
I had the pleasure of attending my very first runway shows this February at London Fashion week. The experience was surreal. It was the first time I had to push so hard and be so independent to get where I wanted to go. My drive and passion got me all the way into shows at London Fashion Week, something I would have only dreamed about last year, which really showed me my potential. The vibes at London Fashion Week equally added to the experience. Some of the most influential style icons in the world were all in the same place at the same time for the same reason- to witness fashion history in the making. The event was a real eye-opener and stepping-stone in my blogging career. You can read more about it in my post here.
The first thing you notice about the opposite gender?
Personal style! I guarantee that I’m more likely to start up a conversation if your closet doesn’t solely consistent of sweatpants and t-shirts. It sounds kind of absurd, but couldn’t be more true.
Your superpower is?
Besides my sense of style, I would have to say my writing. By no means am I the world’s best writer, but I just feel that like my personal style, writing is one of the few things that come naturally to me. I love writing, and can be more comfortable writing than actually having a face-to-face conversation.
Where do you want to see your blog byDecember 31st of this year?
By the end of the year, I would hope to see my blog serving as a bigger influence to my community. I want to be able to connect to a larger audience than I have now, partly because I want those who see me flaunting my bright blue hair and vibrant outfits to accept and appreciate the individuality in our community. Since I am only 15, I want my blog and my writing to continue to be recognized professionally within, as well as outside of the Kuwaiti fashion scene.
I’ve had so much fun snooping around DollyMix and am honored to be featured. Thank you S&K! Xx