Her clientele ranges from royalty, celebrities and models, including Princess Ameerah Al Taweel, Priyanka Chopra and Miranda Kerr, to CEOs, global financiers and diplomats. Yet Engie Hassan has one goal in mind. Whether her clients are attending red carpet events like the Oscars and The Met Gala or important business proceedings, the fashion stylist and Founder and President of EngieStyle wants them to feel empowered and confident in what they’re wearing.
Hassan, who found her calling while on a photo shoot with Karl Lagerfeld during an internship with French “Vogue,” is never one to shy away from the away from her Middle Eastern heritage. And as well as being a sought after arbiter of taste, she is a go-to connector who helps clients broker meaningful alliances, whether it’s assisting them in understanding the Middle Eastern market or finding a market in America.
The Fashion Institute of Technology graduate with an MA in Graphic Communications Management and Technology from New York University is also proud to bridge cultures and cater to people from all sorts of different countries and religions. What’s more, Hassan is actively involved in helping emerging companies and philanthropic work. For example, she has been the force behind “Save Syria’s Children” events and even gave the proceeds from her sold out limited edition jewellery collection to community projects in New Jersey.
In this interview Hassan reveals which other Arabic luminaries she would love to style, shares shopping hacks and go-to places, plus she weighs in on the fashion scene in the Middle East.
Princess Ameerah Al Taweel at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, dressed by Engie
What are the most popular services you offer at EngieStyle?
The most popular services right now are fashion styling via Facetime/Skype, image and rebranding consulting, a closet cleanse and personal shopping with me.
How is it different to other fashion stylist businesses?
EngieStyle is different than most styling businesses because it doesn’t focus on simply one styling avenue. Our clientele is unique and includes royalty, CEOs and diplomats, as well as red carpet styles for celebrities, musicians and film stars.
Another significant aspect of EngieStyle is that the heart of the company takes emerging talent and brands them from the ground up.
What is your style philosophy?
EngieStyle’s philosophy is to feel empowered and confident in your clothing. It’s not about following trends or wearing specific labels, it is about setting a tone that works for you and your brand.
So how does it feel when you see your clients feeling so beautiful and confident about themselves on the most important days of their lives?
When I can make an impact in my clients’ lives by making them feel beautiful and confident, that is a true blessing. I started this company because I felt I was given a gift to make people feel confident, beautiful and empowered. I love what I do, and the ability to share that with my clients on the most important days of their lives continues to be a genuine reward.
Priyanka Chopra, dressed by Engie
How do you decide what works for clients?
I first start with consultations with the clients in order to get to know them. Many questions get answered about their company goals, personal goals, their lifestyles and what their hobbies and passionate interests are. I also want to know about major upcoming events and day-to-day information, etc.
Getting to know the clients on that level will assist with the direction for their styles/brands, which plays a big impact knowing which designers, silhouettes, colours and so on work for their image. Secondly, the answers are a tool that is used to collect the right images/mood for their vision boards. The vision boards help communicate the looks/style we are looking to accomplish.
Then we have ‘dress up day’ when we have our clients try on merchandise, fully styled, that we think will work for them. While they have the ensembles on, we take photos of them in order to show how they themselves will and want to look.
What do you enjoy the most about personal shopping?
I enjoy having my clientele’s trust to curate a shopping boutique unique to them, built from the designers and stores, where I have spent years cultivating sincere relationships. Also, with the economic crisis, personal shoppers have become a contribution to the fashion industry at large.
Do you have any shopping hacks to share with us?
1) Make your own board of styles and items you love, Pinterest is a great way to organise.
2) Make a list/star the items you really need to invest in to update your closet.
3) Team up with a sales associate at the store to have a second eye on how the ensembles look on you.
Where are your go-to places to shop?
It’s so hard to name my go-to places not knowing what I’m shopping for (Smiles). Overall, Bergdorf Goodman, In Support Of boutique, Open Ceremony, Dover Street Market, Assembly, Saks 5th Avenue, Fred Segal and Curve boutique. When it comes to vintage stores, I would say Tokio 7, Resurrection Vintage and What Goes Around Comes Around.
Amani, for "The New York Times," dressed by Engie
Your clientele includes Princess Ameerah Al Taweel. Which other notable Arabic women would you like to spin some of your magic on?
Although Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia is already a fashion icon, she has inspired my work since I started my fashion journey, and it is my ultimate goal to collaborate with her on some level.
Another notable Arabic woman I am hoping to work with very soon is Queen Rania of Jordan. HRH is the exact definition of the women I appreciate working with: empowering, graceful, chic and classic.
You’ve travelled extensively to the Middle East. Tell us what you think of the fashion scene in the region.
When I travel to the Middle East, I have noticed the different waves of styles throughout the region. What I am noticing and find fascinating is how casual ready-to-wear has become more dominant as a trend, more so than the bedazzled head-to-toe look. Of course, the women and gentlemen are still head to toe in labels, but their styles are full of personality.
When it comes to accessories the majority of the population is still wanting/needing the luxury It bag and ‘shoe of the month’, but attitudes towards the rest of the look have changed, which I appreciate. The style of one’s ensemble has personality, something fresh for you to look at, something to inspire. They are adding local designers’ ready-to-wear and/or mixing cultural accents with Westernized silhouettes and motifs, creating the perfect twist and freshness to their ensembles.
Princess Ameerah Al Taweel at a "Vogue" event, dressed by Engie
A new season is upon us. Tell us some of your favorite autumn/winter trends.
Some of my favourite autumn/winter trends are fringe, 70s vibe, statement booties, power suits with a flair, bold colours and head-to-toe prints, keeping a woman professional and chic.
I love that silhouettes are becoming more classic, like the wide leg pants.
My fave is sport chic. As long as you mix in one or two non-sporty pieces (moto jackets, heels, etc.), the outfit looks cool and easy, not like you’re heading to the gym.