A scroll through Shiva Safai’s Instagram feed immediately reveals why the striking Iranian beauty has over 700k followers. Whether it’s her applauded fondness for classic and timeless fashion (she was on the “Harper’s Bazaar” 2016 best dressed list) or how she shares her creative décor tips, she’s a bona fide social media influencer. The 37-year-old multi-talented entrepreneur and model is also known for her great cooking skills, especially Persian dishes, and has even dipped into designing glasses for Hadid Eyewear. Safai also manages to make time for some philanthropic work, including charitable runway shows and the Iranian MAHAK Charity, an international society for children with cancer.
Born in Iran and raised in Norway, Safai moved to LA when she was 19 and began running a successful criminal background check business before she became a lifestyle authority. The divorcee met millionaire property mogul Mohamed Hadid at an LA restaurant and the couple with a 33-year age gap have been engaged since 2014. Safai, who has made guest appearances on reality TV show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” has now also made a name for herself for starring in her own show, “Second Wives Club.”
We get cosy with Safai and ask her about starring in the E! show that exposes plans about her upcoming wedding and the ups and downs of her relationship with Hadid. Plus, we couldn’t resist getting some handy tips and asking her about her recent trip to Beirut.
You’ve been lauded for your amazing fashion sense. What’s going to be big in 2018?
I see checkered prints are making a big come back, big trousers and blazers, lots of masculine vibes. I love it. I love a chic blazer and the trousers look.
Trends come and go, but what do you feel makes a woman timelessly stylish?
Confidence, but to feel comfortable in your own skin and to know what works for you. You should be wearing the clothes not the other way around.
You have a very popular Instagram account. What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
It [social media] plays a huge role in today’s fashion. It’s why most teenagers and women probably look at social media, for fashion inspiration, tips and trends.
You’re also known for your décor skills. As an Iranian who was raised in Norway, then moved to the US, how has this shaped your design philosophy?
I guess that makes sense for why I like to mix modern with classic elements. I get the classic from my roots and the more modern vibes from living in the western world.
Which kinds of details do you think are most appealing and suitable for homes in the Middle East?
They use a lot of rich and warm elements that make a home look luxurious and inviting. I love that. Amazing marbles, lots of carved details and, of course, not to mention beautiful Persian rugs. They’re a must-have in any Middle Eastern home I think...lol
Was it fun starring in E!'s hit series “Second Wives Club?”
I had an amazing time and experience filming “Second Wives Club.” It was something out of my comfort zone, something I had never done before, starring in a show of my own. Once I did it, I felt surprisingly very comfortable, and I had lots of fun getting to know some of the girls.
In the series, you’re preparing for your wedding. Do you have any tips when it comes to choosing dresses or decor for brides-to-be?
I think for brides they should keep it timeless and classic from the dress to the last detail of the wedding. You want to look back at the pictures in 10-20 years and still feel the same way.
You’ve designed for Hadid Eyewear. Do you think you’ll venture into designing more accessories, perhaps bags or shoes?
I would love that!!! I love fashion, so anything from accessories to clothing would be a dream come true.
Making Iranian dishes is another forte of yours. What else do you love from Iran?
What I love the most from Iran is our history, our wonderful culture and how the people are so warm and hospitable. And yes, of course, the food!!!
Tell us about your recent trip to Beirut.
Our trip to Beirut was an unforgettable and a wonderful holiday I will never forget. There is so much to see and so much to do. It’s interesting how I felt so close to home, the culture resembled so much of my own. The town sounded and felt like Tehran and it was so nostalgic. The fashion is spectacular, and I was lucky enough to meet some of the best designers of Lebanon, so much talent there.
What struck you the most?
I loved how people had so much passion for life. They gather every single day of the week with friends and family, and they just enjoy the blessing of being alive!!!