Meeting up with Nina Rai

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If you remember our Nina Rai giveaway competition, then you will definitely know that the London-based designer is all about old Hollywood glamour. Whether it’s a crystal piece or a feathery sophisticated little hat, Rai is mainly inspired by the roaring 20s with its richness, elegance and enigmatic charm.

We have had the chance to have a heartily talk with Nina Rai, Creative Director of the eponymous brand, to know more about her and her future plans.

Nina Rai

Nina Rai


Thank you Nina for this interview! Tell me, what attracted to you millinery?

A fascination for adornment! Millinery is a very special craft; it is the most exquisite finishing touch to any garment. Working in millinery also allows for vast freedom of creativity – designs can be made from any material in any design.

How has your background as a make-up/stylist affected your work as a designer?

My background is in the arts; I have been working with a vast range of materials and forms within creativity.

Make-up & styling was one of the forms of expression of art. It hasn’t affected my work as a milliner as it is a completely different field, although I do use both make-up & styling to project the designs and during our photo-shoots. Having the ability to style my own shoots ensures that my vision is translated exactly as I want.

Where do you find inspiration?

Nowhere! A collection presents itself naturally and then I go about creating the designs. This involves acquiring new techniques and experimentation to achieve the desired effect.

Your designs are mainly influenced by the roaring 20’s; do you think you might alter your design approach in the future & create more modern pieces?

Yes absolutely. I tend to not re-create the same. Once a collection is done in a particular style, I then move onto the next collection which has a completely different vibe and feel to it. I don’t know about modern, but I would definitely say that classic elegance remains the core of my work.

By Nina Rai

By Nina Rai

Describe the Nina Rai woman.

She would be a highly creative and private person.

Is there any designer you aspire to work with?

Not in particular. But, I’m always interested in working with like-minded designers.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to a woman who is new to millinery and is thinking about trying out your pieces for the first time?

I would truly suggest the crystal slides; they can be worn with a variety of hair styles. The colors are also classical, so they would be perfect to dress up any outfit, be it for the evening or a very special occasion. The simple elegance of the pieces makes it perfect for any woman wanting to feel even more beautiful.

What are you future projects?

A new colorful crystal collection and a statement couture hats collection. Stay tuned!

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Noha Rahhal

Noha is the Founder & Editor in Chief of Sans Retouches. Apart from her obsession with glossy stuff, Noha is a hardcore bookworm and a music addict. If you happen to spot her in any of Alexandria’s hot spots, you’d find her either pouring her thoughts on a chic notebook, picking a political argument with some fellas or even enjoying an exotic meal to keep her full for days.

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