Freshman year of undergrad at St. Thomas there was a gorgeous glamazon I trotted around Montrose with. Her name is Raihana Sidik, mastermind behind fashion blog Teanciggarettes and designer of Rai by Raihanna. Since our college days I've admired Raihana's vision and talent. She stuffed her school books in a Chanel bag way before Mischa did on the OC and could wip me up a bracelet, or bedazzle my phone in no time. Five years later, it was no shock to find her living in Paris, enrolled in fashion school and crafting one of a kind jewels. I gather from the designer slash blogstress the secrets to her style, inspirations, and fav spots.
Look: "You can say that I dress according to my mood, but nonetheless always for occasion. Since I do not have a car and take the metro sometimes more than 5 times a day, I try to keep it simple and comfortable, yet stylish. I love the Parisian boho-chic look: the tousled hair, chic blazers, oversized sweaters and t-shirts, boots, skinny jeans or leggings, huge scarfs and LOTS of accessories: a sea of bracelets, a big gold watch and long necklaces. "
"Back home in Houston, I always felt the need to wear lots of makeup, have perfect hair and wear heels everywhere. Paris has taught me so much about fashion - especially the fact that Parisian women dress for comfort before anything. They can throw on a pair of jeans, an oversized sweater, pull their hair back, dab on some lip gloss and look absolutely fabulous... The difference here is that the women dress for themselves rather than for other people and I love that. It's so much more refreshing and real. You'll see a woman wearing combat boots with a huge sweater and jacket with no makeup on. When you look twice, you realize that she is carrying a 40 cm black Birkin, wearing a gold Rolex, sporting pair of Ray Bans and decked out in Cartier. French women are so under the radar. It's amazing. I guess I love the fact that living here makes being who you are so much easier."
Inspiration: "My inspirations come from all the places I have traveled to and everything I love about different cultures: the Middle East, Asia, Europe, South America, Africa. I have been so lucky to have been able to see all these wonderful places and learn so much about the world that I wanted to share it with everyone. I am fascinated by history and everything ancient, I try to put as much of that into what I make. "
Snag her style: "I have a lot of clothing obsessions at this moment. Right now, I wear my Sebastian Tellier t-shirts almost everyday. You cannot go wrong with the perfect tee. I am also completely in love with military field jackets, sequins and studs, worn-out jean shorts, harem style jogging pants, leather jackets, turbans, destroyed tees and huge oversized pieces. I love to over accessorize and stack on bracelet after bracelet. My coup de coeur: a recently bought studded cardigan by Maje - I haven't taken it off since!!"
Go-To Shops: "I love spending my time in Parisian department stores - Printemps and the Bon Marché are by far my favorites. I have currently been enamored with the collections by IRO, Maje, American Retro, Sandro, Stella Forest and Isabel Marant Etoile.... I also recently discovered a shop called Yaya Store on Rue Montmartre here in Paris and I fell in love. It's a tiny boho type of store that has a very vintage appeal and carries some well known brands such as American Vintage...
In Houston, I tend to go to places that are small with a variety of accessories - SoHo, Abejas, More Than You Can Imagine, a high end resale shop, and Katia..."
Fav Spots: In Paris, I spend my time in the Marais shopping at my favorite vintage and french designer stores, around Montorgeuil and the 8th district - near Opéra, Havre Caumartin and Rue Faubourg Saint Honoré. I love to eat out, especially sushi, usually at Sushi Shop or Planet Sushi. I eat sushi practically everyday.
In Houston, I do my shopping at my favorite boutiques and I love lunch at Tiny Boxwoods - I try and go there all the time with my mom. I love to hang out at places like Café Brasil and Agora. My indulges? I get cookies from Paulie's and cupcakes from Crave daily.
(Images per Raihana)
(Images per Raihana)