"I have been more dedicated to my corporate life and family businesses. As the Business Development Director for Towell Holding in Kuwait, it is important for me to focus on a 150-years-old family business at this stage, bringing a set of innovative ideas whilst remaining to its true vision and mission."
Farah Bin Sultan, Business Development Director to Towell Hollding has brought several notable fashion and lifestyle brands including Moda Operandi, Piaget and Chopard to Kuwait.
Besides her passion for collecting timeless pieces (even scouting some of her favorite shows), she shares with us the importance of heritage in other areas of her life. Particularly leading her family's 150-years-old business, Towell Holding for generations to come.
Regardless of how much more is expected of women this season, she has managed to expand her knowledge and skills ranging from finance to yoga teacher training, whilst spending quality time with her children.
Although she wished to travel more this year, she is optimistic - "Life remains to be beautiful, even though we are currently living in strange times."
Farah as The Gentlewoman
What does being a gentlewoman mean to you?
Being a gentle woman is someone who is strong, independent, influential, fierce, but at the same time compassionate and humble.
Who is your role model? Why?
Queen Rania of Jordan, she is powerful, elegant, intelligent and compassionate.
What are your 2020 highs and lows?
Life remains to be beautiful, even though we are currently living in strange times. There are many highs in 2020, I have managed to focus on myself and do things that I have wanted to do for a long time including doing an online course with Harvard Business School called Leading with Finance and doing my YTT 200 (Yoga Teacher Training ) are some of my notable highs of 2020. The only lows I could think about is not being able to travel and see all my friends all over the world.
How has your family dynamic changed throughout this time?
The main change is that our kids are studying at home for their school online, therefore managing my work and the kids is a lot tougher. I have always managed to spend quality time with my kids. What I have learnt is about myself is that I enjoy spending time with them.
If you were to go on a vacation right now, where would you go? Why?
I have been spending a lot of my time on the beach in Kuwait and my last trip before COVID-19 was skiing in Zermatt, Switzerland. So this makes me miss metropolitan cities like London & New York.
Since we cannot travel except with our eyes, shopping habits have changed a lot, what are your new go-to places?
Yes, shopping habits have changed as we do not go out as much or have events to attend to or trips to shop for. My go-to places are NET-A-PORTER, Grain Kuwait, Moda Operandi.
As we spend more time at home, how do you unwind after a hectic day?
Reading, meditation and yoga or just having a chat with a close friend would help me unwind.
What books are you currently reading that you would be happy to recommend? Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy by Mo Gawdat, Parallel Universes of Self by Frederick E. Dodson, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
Fashion and the 150-years-old family business
How do you balance your corporate life and your creative life?
I have been more dedicated to my corporate life and family businesses and less on the creative side of things. As the Business Development Director for Towell Holding in Kuwait, it is important for me to focus on a 150-years-old family business at this stage, bringing a set of innovative ideas whilst remaining to its true vision and mission.
How has your design process changed this year for your shoe line? How does it continue to evolve?
I have stopped the shoe business although I loved it. As more responsibilities have raised within the family business Towell Holding, I have a bigger role to play.
What would you hope is your main contribution to the Towell Holding's legacy?
Towell Holding history spans to over 150 years. It is important for me to continue what my ancestors began and be part of the team. In my main contribution, I would like Towell Holding companies to also be part of my children and grand children's lives, and to make this happen even through all the changes that happen over time.
How was the experience in helping bring Moda Operandi to Kuwait? What was the most memorable thing about it?
I love shopping on Moda Operandi. Having the team visit and hosting guests was a wonderful experience. I always enjoy hosting and collaborating with brands. Some of the brands I hosted were Piaget in my house and Chopard at the boutique.
Are there any particular designers that are perennial in your closet?
Jonathan Simkhai, Marni, CHANEL, MM6 Maison Margeila, Acler.
What are the new brands you are keeping your eye on?
Monse, Alexis, Dawei.
As a fashion collector, what pieces stand out because of the story behind them?
I have several outfits that were in Sex & the City from more than 10 years ago, a Dolce & Gabbana dress Sarah Jessica Parker wore to the fashion show. Also a Matthew Williamson sequins skirt in one of the episodes.
What are your top 3 quotes you live by?
"Don’t worry what others are doing. Do you!” – Russell Simmons
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
“Start each day with a grateful heart.”
*This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.