Exclusive: How Lama Jamal digitally digests trends
In conversation with Dubai Street Style
M eet Lama Jamal. The mother-of-two digital influencer is the face behind one of the Middle East's most successful Instagram accounts, Dubai Street Style. Here, Buro 24/7 Middle East speaks to Jamal about how her eye for detail has catapulted her clothing vocabulary into the spotlight, what makes for the perfect photo and why it's important to always sell your own story...
What are your top tips for taking the perfect photo?
Always show a positive angle! Pictures should be pretty and happy. The lighting needs to be just right, the outfits amazing and the models, beautiful, that's the main thing. It's all about capturing the moment.
You work with a lot of brands. How do you capture the best side of a particular brand?
You can't always capture the best side but you can capture the best moment. That's something I really care. I don't wait for the professional photoshoot or the professional campaigns to post the best picture. I always try to post the best real angle available for the audience.
You also take a lot of photos of other influences. How does that work? How do you create your own picture and message?
Yes. I have a different message and my message is always a natural one. I don't want to use the word "commercial" but Dubai Street Style is my vision of influencers and how I see them. Sometimes I pick some of my favourite looks, then one theme or one style starts to form. It reflects most of the girls.
What is it about your content that makes it shareable?
I usually follow trends. I try my best to share a new tip for a new trend, talk about upcoming styles, or even show how to style the look.
My content is trendy!
What trends are you forecasting at the moment?
I spot items. So I'll talk about the Fendi bags with the flowers, the new straps or the new sandals with the fluff. Or I'll focus on bohemian looks or international events and decide who are the best dressed. I always like to highlight new up and coming designers too, or new shoes hitting the market. For example, Gucci's clothing line is going very well this season. I just repost these looks.
Speaking about international events, a lot of them are about the red carpet. How does that apply to what you do here in Dubai?
The red carpet here in Dubai is different to the international one. For the red carpet, classic looks are not always a hit or trendy.
There are so many events that happen every single night in this city. What do you do to get ready when you go out?
I always have one capsule collection and one capsule wardrobe. I arrange my outfits ahead of the season so that I have my outfits ready, then it doesn't really take a lot of my time. I also keep my makeup natural.
How do you channel all of those looks and come up with a niche look for yourself?
I rely on my own vision. I consider myself like most of the women here. I usually ask myself: "What do you want to see? What do you really want to wear?" That's the idea.
How does that translate to the people who are watching what you're doing?
I always refer to myself or to my friends because that's how it all started. If I'm willing to buy it, if I want to have it, to wear it and try it, then I believe that my followers will share the same thoughts as me.
How would you describe fashion in the Middle East?
Fashion in the Middle East is a bit daring, I think. It has a more elegant, romantic and dramatic style. We also have so many different looks and so many different ethnic considerations.
How would you describe your own style?
I try to be as conservative as possible. It's not about going to an extreme, it's about being in the middle, and I think that is classy.
How did you develop such a big online following?
It was really organic. I started posting pictures of people, which my followers really liked and then they just wanted to know more. So it started off very natural, very organic.
When you post pictures, I think a lot of that comes down to editing, and the devices that you use. What is it about a phone that helps you?
For me, the number one function of a phone is the day-night camera. It's very important for me to capture every single detail, especially when there's movement or bad lighting, which is why Samsung is so great. It's about the features that are on the mobile.
What apps do you like to use?
I use the most popular ones like Photorush and Picture Layouts. Most of the time I rely on the Instagram features too.
What's next for Dubai Street Style?
Hopefully by next year, you'll see something on female empowerment and the launch of a ladies fashion community. But that's all I can say about that (laughs)!
Lama Jamal was photographed on location at Nikki Beach Dubai.