Soraya Bakhtiar: Fashion at your fingertips

It’s from the women in her family, who are painters, poets, writers and archaeologists, that she has acquired creativity and learned about passion. For her part, the radiant and very influential Soraya Bakhtiar is digitising fashion and distilling her looks among a growing number of followers.

Sur La Terre: What was your first fashion emotion? How old were you?
Soraya Bakhtiar: I must have been four years old. I used to play in my mother’s dressing room. I remember a pair of crystal-studded Sergio Rossi sandals. My mother used to say to me, “you can wear them when you’re grown up”.

SLT: You studied at the London College of Fashion. Why did you study fashion?
SB: I followed two university courses in Geneva, Psychology and Media and Communication. Then I went to London to do a Master’s degree in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion as I wanted to work in the media.

SLT: Where did you get the idea to create your blog?
SB: In parallel with my studies, I used to write articles for websites and did an internship at Tank Magazine and ELLE. In February 2012, it was the beginning of street style. The magazines were interested in the looks of people in the street, particularly at the time of Fashion Week. I attended the shows in London and my looks were published in Grazia, Huffington Post,, the New York Times and elsewhere. I was really surprised! It was a friend who then encouraged me to create a blog.

SLT: You have 107,000 followers and the number keeps on rising. Who are the people who follow you?
SB: At the beginning, it was my friends and their fashionable mothers. Today, it is women who live in London, Geneva and Dubai. They are aged between 25 and 35 and love mixing styles, colours and brands.

SLT: Was there one event that boosted your success?
SB: I started my blog in London and then returned to Geneva, there weren’t any influencers there yet, so I found myself with little or no competition. That was when my business took off. I’m now back in London as, two years ago, a British agency wanted to represent me in dealings with the most prestigious fashion houses.

SLT: Which are the brands that put their trust in you?
SB: Chanel, Bulgari, Topshop, Burberry and Nike are brands I work with regularly.

SLT: Where do you find your inspiration? How do you create your looks?
SB: My inspiration comes from my travels. I love bringing back kaftans from Dubai and wearing them like a kimono over a T-shirt or wearing Greek sandals. Choosing my look is a very intuitive process. When I wake up, I choose the item I want to wear and then I construct a look based around it.

SLT: What are you plans?
SB: My other passion, after fashion, is perfume. I am also a fitness and yoga fan, but I have always loved perfumes. They complement a look and reflect the personality. I have a few ideas and plans in this area. Watch this space…

SLT: Was there a show or an outfit that made a particular impression on you when the autumn-winter collections were presented?
SB: I loved the interplay of materials, textures, furs and feathers at Prada. I also really liked the street aspect at Balenciaga, with its sweatshirts and jeans. Not very feminine, but definitely tomboyish.

SLT: How would you summarise the season’s trend?
SB: There’s a particular emphasis on materials that are very tactile and add relief to clothes and accessories and convey an ethnic style.

SLT: What is the season’s essential accessory?
SB: In my opinion, there are several, but I would choose the fur/fake fur bag and the Gavroche artist cap.

SLT: And the season’s shoes?
SB: Thigh boots. And, why not in burgundy?

SLT: What jewellery will you be wearing this autumn?
SB: Large or very large earrings, to be worn with a roll-neck sweater.

SLT: Give us an example of a must-have item that never goes out of fashion?
SB: I have some basic, timeless pieces that I bring out each season.Levi jeans, white trainers, a black, well-cut, slightly oversized blazer, some classic little cashmere pullovers and a belted grey or camel coat. Other than that, it’s all in the accessories.

SLT: What is the ultimate in bad taste?
SB: We all have different tastes and personalities so in that sense bad taste doesn’t exist. However, in my view, wearing clothes that do not enhance us, simply because they are fashionable, shows a lack of taste.
Instagram: @sorayabakhtiar