Q&A with THE ABDULS
We interview Thana Abdul, Saudi influencer based in London on founding her streetwear brand, fashion trends in the UK and Saudi Arabia, and working with Chanel.
Hi Thana! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I created The Abduls blog with my sister back in 2012, and established an upcoming streetwear brand in 2016. I have just finished my fashion marketing degree this year and am about to launch six collections for our brand Coded Nation. The first drop is in September.
“Having a window to share, especially with the middle eastern readers, was a success — we then pursued it as a business two years ago.”
What was the motivation behind starting your career as an influencer?
We didn’t really start the blog as a career at the beginning. It was more about sharing what we were doing in London, our thoughts and opinions about certain designers and people inside the fashion industry. The blog carried our experiences from all the work placements, internships and summer jobs we’d done. Having a window to share, especially with the middle eastern readers, was a success - we then pursued it as a business two years ago.
Would you say you and your sister have a different style from one another?
We’re very different in everything, not just in our style.
“Millennials have influenced the market — particularly the streetwear market. It represents the new form of self expression and identity. The culture of streetwear is history in the making.”
As we know, the luxury market in Saudi Arabia is booming. What do you think of the luxury market in the UK - would you say it’s more street oriented?
The luxury market in Saudi has always been there. Saudis have been responsible for making couture stay in business from the late ’60s through to today and the demand of owning fine luxury products is increasing. Also the Saudi millennials are far more invested in streetwear than the previous generation.
The UK market is different - as far as I’m aware, people fly to London just for the shopping. Saudis take time out of their calendars every season to update their wardrobe, but for the residents I feel they are more aware of what to buy and invest in. Millennials have influenced the market - particularly the streetwear market. It represents the new form of self expression and identity. The culture of streetwear is history in the making.
Would you say there are any common fashion trends between the UK and Saudi Arabia?
In Saudi it’s different - you’re supposed to present yourself in more elegant and sophisticated ways. But Saudis are very fashion forward and trendy. In the UK people are more invested in creating capsule wardrobes and building their everyday basics.
“Fear of God, Supreme and Off-White have done a great job in shifting the focus from just a “luxury brand” into an affordable, “luxury but cool” brand.”
Have you seen a shift from luxury to streetwear in Saudi Arabia?
Yes! I think Fear of God, Supreme and Off-White have done a great job in shifting the focus from just a “luxury brand” into an affordable, “luxury but cool” brand.
What do you want to express through your style?
My personality and my mood - It really depends on how I feel during the day.
“Don’t be in a rush. Take your time, build everything slowly and under your own control.”
Could you tell us some brands you have worked with recently?
In the last 3 months we have collaborated with Chanel, YSL, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and All Saints.
Where do you love to shop in London? Any cool spots?
Matches Fashion, Liberty London, Browns Fashion, Shoreditch, and Soho.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to become an influencer?
Be yourself, share your personality and say “No” a lot - these will build you up, prepare you to get the things you want and the “yes” you want to hear will come. Don’t be in a rush. Take your time, build everything slowly and under your own control.