We talk to Nour Aboulela, better known on the style circuit by her blog name, LoveByN, to ask her the secrets to Instagram fame, what makes a blog unique and her opinions on Egypt's trends du jour...
If you, like us, spend a good portion of your day lusting over Instagram’s ‘Popular’ page, wondering how on earth people’s lives, styles and possession could be so picture perfect, let us introduce Egypt’s contribution to #instaenvy: Nour Aboulela. With over 100,000 followers, countless hits on her website and a wardrobe bursting with the latest trends and style staples, @LoveByN – which started out as a username – has quickly become its own brand, as Aboulela turned her style and blogging prowess into a business, often called upon by local and international designers and brands for collaborations. Most recently, LoveByN teamed up with Gap in Egypt, and you’ll find cute little tags in their stores indicating which looks were chosen and styled by Aboulela in a partnership between a blogger and a global fashion powerhouse never before seen in this region. We talk to the enigmatic fashionista and Egypt’s claim to Instagram fame…
Do you think the digital age has damaged or improved the fashion industry?
It has definitely made the fashion industry huge and extremely powerful.
How would you describe your own style and tastes?
I am a big fan of mixing high end expensive brands with normal, cheaper brand names. I don't like to appear “brand-washed” and I prefer to remain simple.
Where are you favourite places to shop in Egypt (if any!)?
Believe it or not, I love Khan El Khalili for some great jewellery.
What's the secret behind adopting trends but not going overboard with it?You said it! It’s about "not going overboard." Not everything "in" will suit you, so choose wisely. If it's in but doesn't look good on you, then spare it!
Who takes your photographs?
It depends on the work and what the brands ask for. If they need professional photographs to post on their website then I have to have a professional shoot with a photographer such as Abu Samra, for example, who is my favourite. If the brand just wants normal pictures with an Instagram filter then it's easy and I can let anyone take my pictures starting from my friends to my mum!
Do you consider your blogging a business now? What advice would you give to someone wanting be successful in this industry?
Yes it’s definitely purely business. At first it was for fun but at the moment I get times where I'm actually overloaded with work and end up being very picky with who I accept to collaborate with. If I don't like the brand or the pay is low then it's not worth it for me.
I advise people who want to blog to simply launch an actual blog and start working hard, collaborating and interacting. The content is what counts and people need to get something or learn something out of your content like see what's new or what's happening
What are your tips for Instagram fame?
First of all it’s interesting content, as I mentioned. Secondly, I suggest accepting any brand work that comes your way in the beginning. Especially big accounts with over a million followers; once your pictures are re-grammed on their accounts you will start hitting high numbers!
What's your favourite outfit of the moment?
Out of all my outfits? Hmmm, one of my favourites is definitely the Chariot [pictured below]!
What Egyptian fashion trend would you have wiped off the face of the country?
Honestly, I don't like the turban on veiled women. I truly believe the turban only fits a certain style. By the way I have a post called the turban where I'm wearing a turban [pictured at top of article]. I believe this is the purpose of the true turban.
Do you have any favourite local and regional designers?
Yes! I love Nour Omar's Converse shoes! They're truly great and I wore them during Milan Fashion Week and people were drooling over them so she's definitely my favourite!
Stay up to date with LoveByN by visiting Nour Aboulela's wesbite here and follow @LoveByN on Instagram.