The Bouguessa Voice: Rania Masri

Rania Masri was a powerful business woman before deciding to slow down in December 2020. We talk to her about listening to your inner voice, the power of social media and her hopes for fashion going forward.

You stepped down from your high powered job and embarked on a year long sabbatical. What influenced your decision?

When I decided to take a pause I had just completed a very ambitious project where I lead the group wide business transformation of the Chalhoub group. When I found myself having to decide on future projects to undertake, I listened to my inner voice. Something was telling me I needed to slow down in order to discover where I wanted to go next. Many have seen the silver lining coming in the form of self reflection forced by social distances and lockdowns and I didn't take that for granted. Wellbeing came as a priority for me, and it has been opening the most exciting doors since.

You have been using social media as a mentorship platform, what are some of the biggest issues women face?

Social media has been an amazing way for me to connect and engage with a diverse group of women across the world. Through my videos, I started to really learn how united women are in their passions, challenges, dreams and aspirations. The definition of happiness and success has changed with time for us and we are braver and more confident to aspire for a life designed differently to what past generations have taught us. We want to feel good, we want to be seen and heard, we want to create and leave our mark, some of us want to be mothers and wives, some of us don't, some of us want to be in corporate some of us want more flexibility. 

What do you hope for fashion going forward?

I hope that fashion keeps the magic of storytelling. I hope that luxury brands can keep creating the timeless pieces that we can pass down through generations. I hope fashion can keep innovating and collaborating more with communities to support and keep alive many of the crafts that don't have the ecosystem to survive.

Favorite pieces from the FW21 collection?

The Shada two-tone trench coat is such a timeless powerful piece and is a wardrobe staple – the leather detail is so chic. I also love the asymmetrical blazer – I picture myself wearing it to e board meeting, it’s such an empowering piece of clothing.