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AN INTERVIEW WITH THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT THE UP MARKET NG, FARAH KHATIB

Deciding to explore her passion for fashion and beauty, the former Head of Marketing at Mikano International, Farah Khatib, is now known as a Stylist, Lifestyle Influence and Fashion Entrepreneur. The Lebanese-born beauty is currently based in Nigeria and she talks more on her move, career change decision and many more…

Q. What inspired your move to Nigeria?

What inspired me to move to Nigeria is Building a family! I met Najib, my husband, and he was based in Nigeria. We dated for long and I didn’t want to visit the country because I didn’t want to take any decision based on any place in the world

Q. What would you say you are most passionate about?

Fashion and beauty! I want every woman to see and believe that she is beautiful. And as much as it is great to be fashionable, she should always remember that she is not defined by the clothes or makeup she wears.

Q.  How do you switch from a career in marketing to one in fashion and beauty?

Fashion and beauty have always been my passion. I found a way to combine my degree with what I love. Marketing to me is not just selling a product, it is also giving tips, inspiring and influencing people’s behaviour. You need to study how to package your passion. Plus, my degrees are tools I can always keep for whatever surprises I face in my life.

Q. Tell us about the UpMarketNG…

The Up Market NG is a ready-to-wear fashion boutique that caters to the needs of the quintessential woman. We believe that every woman is beautiful, and we create unique pieces that appeal to different body shapes and sizes.

I have always wanted to start a business of my own, and after moving to Lagos, getting pregnant and giving birth to a handsome boy, the whole concept of the Up Market started to develop in my mind. I’ve always loved shopping, clothing and the whole world of fashion. I can definitely say it is my therapy.

So basically what pushed this concept forward was me hating my body and its changes. I hated myself after pregnancy. Then my husband said to me ‘you can always be a stylish mom’. And this is how it all started.

Q. How would you describe your typical customer?

A typical customer for me is a customer that wants to stand out and make a statement. One who understands the importance of a properly combined outfit.

Q. How would you compare the reception of your brand between Lebanon & Nigeria?

I do not offer my products on the Lebanese market. The Nigerian and the Lebanese market are so different.

Q. Is there anything you would like to change or improve in the fashion or beauty industry?

I believe the world needs to have access to more quality pieces from the Nigerian fashion and beauty industry. I want more people to wear Nigerian, so I would like to improve access to quality Nigerian fashion and beauty products.

Q. What issues are you happy lending your voice to?

I am happy to lend my voice to issues related to women empowerment and to the elderly.

Q. Favourite item of clothing?

Shoes! To me the whole outfit matches and the shoes don’t, the outfit is gone to waste. Also, to me, you can change the style and the whole look of the same outfit by simply just changing the shoes. Ex: sneakers (sporty), kitten heels (preppy), pointy heels (classy) etc. You have to match your shoes to the look you wish to show.

Q. Favourite fashion brand?

Chanel! Classy, simple and eternal, like it never goes out of style! To me, it is the hardest challenge in the fashion industry and Chanel doesn’t disappoint!

Q. Best beauty product of all time?

Nars!

Q. Favourite travel destination?

Paris.

Q. Any career tip?

If you are passionate about and believe in something, don’t give up. I came to Nigeria not knowing anyone, yet found my way to pursue my dreams. When you do something you love, you won’t feel its work. It becomes your hobby.