AN INTERVIEW WITH SAMANTHA FRANCIS
Samantha Francis is a Dutch fashion stylist, blogger and set designer based in Dubai. She previously worked in the creative teams of Bulgari, Bloomingdale’s and as a fashion stylist for Harvey Nichols. Samantha is a ‘go-to’ guru for great advice on styling and fashion. Let’s get to know her better...
What do you do and what is a typical day like for Samantha?
My typical day is spent on set styling fashion editorials, designing and producing set designs for global TV commercials, fashion magazines and advertising campaigns or working behind the scenes, managing large-scale fashion shows. I am also a tutor at FAD institute where I teach fashion history, branding and personal styling. In addition I have just taken on the role as creative director for the Dutch agency ACES OF SPACE, which has just opened a second office in Dubai.
Congratulations on winning the Grazia awards of the year. How has the experience been for you?
I was so overwhelmed winning the Grazia awards. What nobody actually knows is that I made a small business plan with dreams and goals when I started my blog. One of my dreams was to win at the Grazia Style awards. When I heard I had possibly won the award I actually started crying in my car for over an hour!
As one of Dubai’s leading stylists, and working with many local as well as international brands, what is the key to good styling? Can you share some tips with us?
The key to being a good stylist is mainly understanding your client and being pleasant to work with. It is very easy to force your own style upon a client, however, you also have to consider the brand, the season, the requirements of the customer, and the budget. It is also very important to always have the best communication skills, deliver on time, work hard and most importantly have patience!
What is a fashion trend or phase you regret ever being a part of or supporting?
Bodycon dresses! I once wore a Herve Leger Bodycon dress and regretted it the moment I stepped out. It is so not my style at all!
What is your current favourite fashion trend, and why?
There is so much to pick from. I absolutely love the whole ‘80s and ‘90s vibe that is going on right now - vintage sunnies, high waisted denims, and perhaps a bit of a tracksuit detail…
What would you say is the best way to style jewelry?
The myth is that you can’t mix white with yellow gold, but I am totally into mixing. Stacking rose and white gold with yellow is so my thing! I love stacking rings and bracelets and I am all over big statement earrings.
Congratulations on your recent wedding. Which diamond cut did you go for? Was it a difficult choice?
The saying is true for me, my wedding day was the best day of my life! I did not have the privilege of picking my own engagement ring as it was a complete surprise. John, my fiance, made the choice, with the help of a dear friend of ours who also happens to be a jewelry designer as well. As for my wedding ring, my husband surprised me weeks before the wedding with an X shaped ring - it has two circles that join together to show an X-shape on the finger. He did spot me looking at it in the jewellery store and I was so surprised that he got it for me. I am so in love with both rings, they look perfect together.
What initials did you choose for your HJ Intertwined ring duo? What do those letters mean to you?
I chose the letters J&S in Arabic to intertwine - the initial letters of my husband John’s and my name. Ever since I met John my life has completely changed. I never dreamed of meeting someone like him and I am so glad we met. What could be more beautiful than to carry a Hiba Jaber ring with both our initials!
Where would we find Samantha on a typical Saturday evening in Dubai?
A Saturday evening in Dubai for me is like a Sunday evening in other countries. I love to relax at home with my husband, my brother and friends. We usually have a home cooked dinner and watch a movie afterwards. It is my favorite evening of the week!