When your family is responsible for distributing some of the world’s leading apparel brands, it’s safe to say a career in fashion is coded in your DNA. For Egyptian-born stylist and content creator Yasmine Kenawi, the “family business” involves working with everyone from athletics powerhouse Nike to billion-dollar European retailers like Springfield and Cortefiel; and while she didn’t opt for a position at her family’s burgeoning biz, that innate knack for fashion definitely wasn’t lost on Kenawi. The 23-year-old tastemaker is using her meticulous eye to infiltrate the competitive digital landscape, curating and styling everything from fashion-forward Instagram vignettes to charismatic photo shoots.
In the increasingly saturated “Age of the Influencer,” Kenawi manages to keep her army of Instagram followers engaged with her dynamic closet of bold patterns —think leopard-print mini dresses and blue-tinged camouflage trousers — nostalgic graphic tees, larger-than-life kicks, and spirited accessories. It’s this Crazy. Sexy. Cool (thanks TLC) vibe that takes center stage in CommonPolished’s summer editorial shoot, which Kenawi both starred in and styled.
We caught up with the jet-setting trendsetter to get the lowdown on her unconventional beginnings, her favorite trends for summer, disruptors in the fashion industry, and more.
From Blogger to Stylist.
Initially, I wanted to be a fashion buyer for one of the big department stores in New York City. I majored in Fashion Business and was hoping this would be my long-term career path, but ultimately I hated it and realized it wasn’t the right fit for me. I’ve always been interested in photography, art direction, and styling, but I never thought this is where I would land in the fashion industry.
During my second year of college, I started my blog because whenever I’d go out, people would inquire about my outfits. I treated it as a hobby until I started landing brand deals. I quickly realized that I wanted to be more than just a blogger. One of my close friends in NYC is an awesome photographer and asked me to style one of her projects. That’s really when it all started. Since then, it’s been going really well!
Hit Me Baby One More Time.
I’ve been in love with fashion since I was three-years-old. I’d wear my mom’s dresses and heels and strut around the house as if it was my very own runway show. Lately, I’ve been very inspired by Britney Spears, who I idolized as a kid.
During my early teenage years, I also used to play a lot of tennis so you’d always find me in Nike sweats and sneakers. I think that’s also played a role in my current obsession with athleisure and sportswear, especially Nike!
I believe that being open to a variety of styles is important, especially for a stylist. Whether it’s mixing high-end designers with more affordable brands or pairing athleisure pieces with flirty dresses, I want to make sure I’m bringing something unique, sexy, and colorful to the table. I definitely brought these aspects of my personal style into the CommonPolished summer editorial shoot. It was important that we step out of the box like pairing the polka dot romper and bucket hat from Topshop with the pink LANVIN bag.
Summer, Summer, Summer Time.
This summer has been crazy colorful! One of my favorite trends has been all of the standout accessories. There are so many cool bags, hats, sunglasses, and playful jewelry options.
For the CommonPolished shoot, I tried to combine several trends into one look. For example, in the first look we went crazy with orange hues since bold colors and pattern are huge this season. It’s also a matching set, which is another popular trend. The I AM GIA crop top is a 90’s-inspired halter style accompanied with a straw visor — TRENDY AF.
Oddly enough, I’m also loving the white-on-white look this summer. We took a white Derek Lam dress and paired it with statement earrings from Princess Polly, Lulu’s cat eye sunnies, and Dawn by Hagar mules.
Beat the Heat.
Staying cool all summer long is easy with crop tops and linen fabrics! Think crop tops paired with linen skirts or shorts, or even a breezy summer dress. Go for bright colors … it’s always a plus. All of the trends in the editorial shoot showcase great ways to dress throughout summer’s heat wave.
Yasmine’s Top Three.
Fendi, Virgil Abloh, MARAM
Virgil Abloh is definitely shaking things up, especially since he’s become the creative director for Louis Vuitton Men. He’s managed to combine luxury with streetwear, which has been a huge and growing market in the fashion industry. Since his move to LV, I feel like the brand has become more diverse. Its usual clientele has always skewed more towards upper class rich white folks.
Abloh’s show included models of all different ethnicities. Artists like Kid Cudi even walked in the show. I love what he’s done, and his debut collection definitely broke norms for the fashion house and the industry.
We tried to give love to this type of style in the editorial shoot with looks like the leopard bodysuit from Urban Outfitters paired with I AM GIA cargo pants, Zara combat boots, and a striking Off-White belt.
Heels or Sneakers?
Sneakers for sure! Heels tend to be painful and nothing beats a cool, trendy pair of sneakers.
To see more of Yasmine’s style, be sure to follow her on Instagram here @yasminekenawi