Living a Good Life

In her new book, fashion guru Shabana Feroze tells women how and why to truly love themselves with style. Behnaz Sanjana caught up with the author to find out more.

After studying marketing, advertising and event management, Shabana Feroze’s first professional stint was at a tailoring boutique in Bahrain. “Given my love for fashion ever since I can remember, I immensely enjoyed the job, but it didn’t work out,” she reminisces.

She attributes her eye for good style to her parents. “I learnt the importance of dressing well, in clothes that are of good quality, just by observing them.”

Shabana worked in marketing for renowned business houses in Bahrain, but knew in her heart that it was not her calling. So, one day she up and quit without any concrete professional plans. “I used to teach fitness and body combat, also one of my lifelong passions, so I did have something to fall back on. Eventually, I started the Silver Kick Company, a marketing and advertising agency,” she says. Interestingly, the name was decided when a friend wondered what the fitness fanatic would call her superhero avatar.

Her love of the written word and the success of her lifestyle blog – The Silver Kick Diaries – since 2011, egged her on to share her thoughts on life and living well in her book Loving Yourself in Style. She says: “Besides style mantras, my readers really appreciated my musings on general life lessons that touched upon things like manners, karma and how to be a good listener, among others on my blog. I wanted to give this voice a wider medium through a book.

“Women, especially young adults, have a certain notion of what they should ideally be like, thanks to the pressures of social media. The book is about celebrating our uniqueness. We should get to know ourselves better and be comfortable in our skin. Of course, be inspired by others but do not blindly follow every trend that comes about. Let your quirkiness shine out. Validation from others or social media is not as important.”

With her publisher, Shabana polished up her first draft by rewriting some sections, adding new ones and rearranging the various chapters that address passion, society, creativity, style, health and fitness, emotions and her tryst with anorexia. The illustrations in the book are the author’s own sketches, and she is sure it’ll strike a chord with its readers – be they in their teens or thirties.

Besides being concise and to the point, with practical pointers for young women on body positivity and living beautifully, Loving Yourself in Style also tackles the topic that Shabana believes no one talks about – money. She says: “There are books that will wax eloquent about fabulous clothes, make-up and how to be a style diva, but not about the money you need for it. I want young girls to understand that it’s not worth spending their entire month’s earnings on a single outfit or a pair of shoes. Save for a rainy day, no matter how small your salary. I’ve personally been through situations where my savings have stood me in good stead. Remember that trends will come and trends will go, but affordable, classic styles will last forever. Your time to splurge on big brands will come.”

Describing the book, she says: “I wanted it to be an easy, one-sitting read for busy girls. It’s more than just about fashion. It is a pointer to finding out what your passions are, getting to know yourself better and then, accordingly, adopting a style that you are comfortable with. The underlying message is about loving yourself, and I believe that dressing up is the easiest way to do that! So, it’s a book for all women.”

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