Roxie Nafousi on fear, freebies and making it as a stylist

Roxie Nafousi is living the dream. Sitting on the FROW at London Fashion Week to partying with Millie Mackintosh, and styling some of the hottest celebrities. She was even rumoured to be dating Harry Styles at one point, and has been romantically involved with Damien Hirst.

Yet starting her own company and getting to where she is today hasn’t always been easy. Here Roxie tells us about her experiences and gives us some pretty special advice. You won’t want to miss this.

1. On deciding which path to take –

“I studied Psychology at Goldsmith’s University, London and then when I graduated I started working for Diageo. I helped set up Ciroc, a Vodka brand, in the UK so I did a lot of branding work. Working for such a big company was unbelievable experience. I think it important to start with working for someone else. You can learn from other people. Learning what it is like to work in a team is also something that can give you so many skills for later life. I worked there for a year and a half and then realised that it wasn’t really what I wanted to do long-term.”

2. On becoming a stylist –

“I started styling my friends first and then launched my site RAWAN. I let it grow from there. I have worked with Millie Mackintosh a lot, Lily Allen and Rosie Fortescue. My main focus is women. I love women and I think that there is such a struggle amongst us to feel happy and secure in who we are. My main aim was that I wanted to make people feel good about themselves. Fashion is just one of the ways that we can do that. Fashion is more about how we feel than how we look.”

3. On putting job perks to one side –

“Make sure that you really, really want to do the career that you want. The thing that I have learnt more than anything is that if I have gone into anything half-heartedly it has failed. You are setting yourself up for failure if you don’t put one hundred per cent of effort in. If you are going into styling make sure that you want to do it for the right reasons, because you are genuinely passionate about it and not just because you think it would be a cool job that will get you some perks or some free stuff.”

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From left to right – Millie Mackintosh, Mary Charteris, Donna Air, Roxie Nafousi, Leah Weller and Rosie Fortescue front row at the Gyunel show during London Fashion Week in February 2015 (Rex Features)

4. On being in the public eye –

“I don’t really feel that I am in the public eye. My advice would be not to take anything too seriously. I think it is sad to become to obsessed with fame. Take it with a pinch of salt, it comes and goes. One day someone might want a picture of you and that’s nice, then the next they won’t know who you are. I think people shouldn’t go into something just wanting to be in the public eye, if it happens great, but if not then you’re not missing out on anything.

5. On being a woman in the business world –

“I don’t think being a woman makes things harder. I think as long as you have respect for yourself then other people are going to have respect for you. I have never felt like being a woman has held me back in any way. We have a lot of things that men don’t have…multi-tasking and sh*t like that! We are a lot better at empathising with others and we have more emotional understanding. In any business you need these traits so women should use these to their advantage. As long as you are smart, driven and take your work seriously, you will succeed whether you are a man or a woman.”

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Roxie with friend and client Millie Mackintosh (Rex Features)

6. On fear –

“You have to have no fear. In the fashion industry you are faced with so much rejection all the time. It can be so disheartening, especially if you are young and haven’t quite worked yourself out yet or worked out what you want in life. In those early stages you are feeling insecure, probably on a daily basis. There will be so many set backs but you have to go over the hurdles. It’s all part of the process. Be passionate and have no fear.”

Check out Roxie’s site hereFollow her on Instagram here.

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