Mariam Abass is a London based celebrity stylist, having worked with headline artists for shows such as Coachella. She is also the founder of exciting sustainable pre-owned luxury goods retailer, Luxe Reloaded. Mariam gave us 5 minutes of her time to answer a few questions to help you get to know her better and give you her perception on the fashion industry.
TFB: How did you get into the fashion industry?
MARIAM: I have always been interested in fashion, but the interest started turning into actions when I was studying at uni studying Civil Engineering. I would get involved and help curate fashion shows, fashion events etc.
TFB: What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into fashion
MARIAM: Definitely to research which part of fashion they will like to get involved in. It is such a broad field and there are loads of opportunities. Once you have figured that out or at least narrowed it down into 2 - 3 areas, try to connect with someone who has experience working in that field and try learning as much from them as you can.
TFB: What advice would you give to your younger self?
MARIAM: Not to worry too much about the future. Not to put myself under too much pressure.
TFB: If you could start all over again, is there anything you wish you could have changed? (e.g. getting an education, taking more risks, etc.)
MARIAM: I love how my journey has rolled out. I feel as though it paced out nicely. I usually learn very fast but also try to learn thoroughly. I learnt almost all of what I know by acting and doing, so I definitely wouldn’t change anything.
TFB: Where do you see the fashion industry in the next 5 years, what would you change about its current state?
MARIAM: I strongly believe that the fashion industry will start taking it’s fashion waste and production issues a lot more seriously for the industry to be more sustainable. I definitely see more policies being out in place to control how things are made and how it affects our environment. Sustainability is the future of fashion.
TFB: What is your stance on sustainability and how do you incorporate it in what you do?
MARIAM: As an Engineer, sustainability is taken into account form design throughout the lifecycle of a project. That is what I have always known. I soon got a rude awakening that this isn’t the case in the fashion industry, it is usually an afterthought. Hence why fashion is currently one of the highest polluting and waste-producing industries. I have cut down tremendously on buying new clothing items and I tend to look into high-quality pre-owned items before I go buy and buy a brand new fashion item. So much so that I launched an e-commerce store that serves as a platform for people to buy and sell pre-owned luxury goods. That's my way of educating and encouraging consumers to shop and wear already made clothes instead of contributing to the waste culture.
TFB: As an entrepreneur, what struggles do you face and how do you overcome them?
MARIAM: The biggest struggle is trying to juggle several projects together and trying to do everything all at once. There is always that guilt that you are not doing enough, so you end up trying to do too much at once. It is a real struggle. I am narrowing down on what I get involved in so that I don’t wear myself out and end up doing a whole lot of nothing.
TFB: If you weren’t in the career you’re in now, what would you be? And why
MARIAM: I will probably still be working as an Oil and Gas Pipeline engineer.
TFB: Who or what inspires/motivates you?
MARIAM: I am motivated by people that try, the ones that just keep going no matter what, no, matter what field. And oh, having dinner with Jay z and Beyoncé.