x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Style File: Amanda Navaian, handbag designer

Handbag designer Amanda Navaian talks about some of her favourite things.

If you know the name Amanda Navaian, you know her python-skin handbags. Inspired by her global travels and her passion for colours and fashion, Navaian started the Amanda Navai brand with her trademark versatile clutch. Each handbag is unique, no colour will ever be produced twice for each design, and all are hand made by artisans in Lebanon. The Iranian-born Navaian has been in Dubai for more than five years and her bags and clutches were recently launched at Saks Fifth Avenue, Dubai. She talks to Jemma Nicholls about style, inspiration and guilty pleasures.

I bought this D&G dress in Barcelona for my 30th birthday. I was on holiday with two friends and we all ended up buying the same one.

What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt is a story that teaches you to enjoy the present moment. I love this book.

I bought my first Louis Vuitton handbag when I was a 20-year-old student. I lived on noodles for a month to be able to afford it.

Burgers and French fries are my weakness. Even in a fancy restaurant I'll still want to have one. My favourite is served in Caramel, Dubai.

Forest Gump is a sweet, happy, hopeful film. I adore it.

I own more than 50 perfumes and am obsessed with scents. I love Trésor by Lancôme.

London and New York are my favourite places. I lived in London for eight years and it feels like home.

The Yasmin handbag is one of my favourite designs as it's timeless. I wanted to design bags you could wear again and again.

I'm a huge fan of Notorious B.I.G. When I was 12 I was part of a hip-hop group called Dancing Machine.

My parents were married in Iran and my heritage is a huge part of who I am, despite living elsewhere.

I really admire my grandmother, as I adore successful women. She was originally from a small city in Iran near the Caspian Sea and was the first woman in the area to be educated. She eventually became a principal of a girls school. AMANDA'S WORLD


MY PERSONAL MOTTO IS...you can do anything you put your mind to. I am living proof of this.

MY CAREER HIGHLIGHT IS... the first time I sold one of my handbags in Saks Fifth Avenue. I felt such a sense of achievement.

FIVE WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOU... eccentric, creative, caring, fun-loving, moody.

NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT... I studied politics and international relations at university but I've always wanted to do something different. I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur.

EVERY WOMAN NEEDS... an amazing pair of stilettos and a great handbag. Whatever shape or size you are, high heels make you look slimmer and taller.

MY STYLE ICON IS... Sienna Miller as I love the casual chic thing she has going on.

I NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT... my phone; I'm a big talker.