Lebanese born fashion designer Aiisha Ramadan who has lived in the UAE for 30 years, is no stranger to packing a suitcase. With numerous trips to Paris to source textiles for her fashion label, holidays to her beloved Italy and showing her collections around the world, Aiisha has perfected the art of packing and is a whizz at mastering the ultimate jet-setters capsule wardrobe. She describes her style as “practical, timeless and simple” and follows a less is more approach when it comes to travelling in style. “I try to keep my packing down to just my carry on bag as it is light and saves me time waiting for luggage at the airport,” explains Aiisha.
LUXOS caught up with Aiisha following her recent trip to Istanbul for her Resort 2016 fashion show, to find out how she travels, what makes it into her suitcase and her packing tips for jet setting style...
As a fashion designer you travel regularly for work. Where do you travel most?
“I go to Europe a lot for work and predominantly France and Italy. I also use work as an excuse to travel. I just love Italy and the South France. They bring me peace. I love renting a car, driving around Europe and discovering new places. Recently I found Interlaken in Switzerland. It is absolutely breath-taking.”
What are you packing essentials?
“I pack a couple of my jersey short dresses, a couple of T-shirts, a summer skirt, shorts, a pair of flat sandals, a pair of heels and my hat as well as my basic make-up and a book.”
clockwise from bottom left: Heels by Gianvito Rossi, white t-shirt: The Row, grey t-shirt: Spendid, blue shorts: J.Crew, cream shorts: Burberry Brit, striped dress: Michael Kors, black jersey dress: Rick Owens, shirt: Etro
Describe your packing process...
“The moment my trip is confirmed, I start putting together what I don't want to forget in my packing corner. Then 30 minutes before I leave to the airport, I pack them all into the bag.”
Describe your luggage...
“A very basic black Delsey and a big leather handbag on my arm like my Ralph Lauren or if I want to go light, I carry my Longchamp satchel bag.”
What five items make it into your hand luggage?
“Perfume, wallet, iPhone, Ultimune from Shiseido and a little note book with black papers.”
What do you leave at home and what will you never travel without?
“I leave my car keys at home and I never travel without my E-Gate card!”
What beauty items do you take with you when travelling to keep your skin glowing and hair healthy?
“I only use Shiseido cosmetics as they target different concerns. Ultimune is my number one product that I can't live without. Shiseido Future Solution LX cleansing foam comes second. As for my hair, I don't travel without my Pantene Clinicare kit. When I travel I avoid wearing too much make-up, but I make sure I have Shiseido Liquid Foundation with sun protection as it serves two purposes.”
Aiisha Ramadan © Harpers Bazaar Arabia
What do you wear to travel in and what are the rules to follow for travelling in style?
“I make sure that I'm not wearing any metal from head to toe so that I don't waste time being checked at the airport. Most of all, it has to be very comfortable. To keep it stylish, I put on a beautiful printed scarf and carry a lovely handbag.”
What are your tips for getting the most out of a small capsule/travel wardrobe?
“Mix and match. Each top has to work under that cardigan or with these pants and that skirt.”
How many pairs of shoes do you pack and if you could only take one pair what would they be?
“I pack a maximum of three. If I was only allowed one pair, it would be my sports shoes.”
Aiisha in Istanbul, August 2015 © Instagram
What is the craziest thing you have ever packed?
“I once bought a 4kg door mat from France that was slightly wider than my bag.”
Aiisha Ramadan’s top 5 packing tips
1. Dress for the weather and always keep a scarf on hand.
2. Make sure you can wear the same bottom part (like pants) with different tops.
3. Take shoes you're comfortable walking in.
4. Make a checklist ahead of time to ensure you don’t forget any item.
5. Keep space in your bag for shopping.
Aiisha’s packing dos and don'ts?
• Do pack a cashmere scarf.
• Don't pack an oversized coat.
• Do pack your beaded items with butter paper and inside plastic bags.
• Don't keep your silk and delicate garments lying next to items with rough surfaces.