This week we put blogger Saira Arshad, AKA, Shazaira in the Haute seat as we get up close and personal with her. With over 40 thousand Instagram followers and her own blog ‘Giggling Camels’, Saira shares her love for fashion and travelling, wearing stunning outfits in mind-blowing locations. Her vibrant personality and fashion tastes are taking a storm across social media, making her the blogger to watch out for as she shows how to dress modest but look fabulous at the same time.
What inspired you to get into fashion?
I’ve always been quite fond of, and conscious of clothing; in terms of items I purchase and how I envision putting a look together with accessorise etc. I think the ability to piece together clothes and colours in conventional or sometimes unconventional ways as a means of expression is a unique trait we all have. Et voila, fashion!
When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2013 when I first moved to Kuwait. I had just graduated and moving to a part of the world I had never ventured to before which was a tad overwhelming! I also love taking millions of pictures so the blog initially began as a means for family and friends back home to get a glimpse into my experience and life in Kuwait, and for me to share my photos with them!
Who are your fashion inspirations?
Of course the renowned Ascia AKF and Dina Tokio, but also anyone who isn’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone and try something new with their style. You’ll never know unless you try; worst case scenario you realise it isn’t for you! The composure and elegance of Sheikha Mozah and Queen Rania of Jordan are also definite inspirations. A lot of inspiration also comes from my travels and a desire at times to fuse and channel that vibe into my existing wardrobe.
What inspired you to begin travelling?
My mama, bless her. My siblings and I were fortunate enough to travel at a young age and my mum raised us by teaching us love for people and humanity. She’s always encouraged us to explore and see the world and project the goodness of every experience unto those who cross our path and Alhamdulillah my siblings and I have been blessed to do so. We obviously had certain restrictions growing up, but believing we were constricted to a particular country or region was never made to be a concern.
What is your blog ‘Giggling Camels’ about and what can we expect from it?
The blog is essentially my ‘sharing is caring’ space. Random thoughts and feels I might need to get off my chest, photos of trips I’ve taken, outfits I’ve loved and styling tips, reviews of items and brands etc. I’m always so amazed at how many people from different parts of the world take time out to go through the site and read what I’ve got to say or share which makes my heart happy! If I’m able to inspire even one person, be it to travel, or try something new, believe me I am beyond over the moon!
Who is your favourite designer?
I don’t have a favourite, but I love and am super proud when I come across smaller or local designers who create beautiful unique pieces which cater to women who wish to dress modestly. Liliaiya (@liliaiyastudio), Hafsa Lodi (@hafsalodi), Fatma Al Mulla (@fmm.dubai) are a few I love!
What are you going to wear for Eid?
I’ve been loving abayas lately, especially whilst spending Ramadan in a Muslim country where it just feels so natural wearing it everywhere. A friend and I bought the same abaya to wear on Eid as she’ll be in Australia and I’ll be in Canada so it’ll be a long distance twinning!
What difficulties do you face being a modest blogger?
It would have to be the judgment from a few who interpret the blogging and outfit pairings as a misrepresentation of faith itself. I think modesty may stem from what you wear to some extent, but it also encompasses ones demeanour and interaction with the world. It’s definitely possible to be both modest whilst have a sense of personal style which is what I kind of intend to convey in my postings!
What's your favourite trends of the moment?
Embellished slides, denim and pearls, tropical prints, flowy fabrics.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It would have to be the Harvey Nichols (Kuwait) clip I did last Ramadan for their scarves and scarf styling. It was completely out of my comfort zone, and I had no idea what I was doing, but that builds character I’m told..?! It was also really neat to get snaps from people and my students who saw the clip playing in store!
What can we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully more smiles, love, travels, and styling inspiration! Maybe another turban tutorial?!
Check out Saira @shazaira