Peek Inside the Wardrobe of Egyptian-Italian Consultant and Author Helen Nonini

Peek Inside the Wardrobe of Egyptian-Italian Consultant and Author Helen Nonini

Helen Nonini wearing a Vivia For Love By Vivia Ferragamo suit, an Altalen turban with Fornasetti Fabrics, and Pomellato Jewels (worn throughout). Photographed by Sandra Bourhani, Jenia Broggi, and Francesca Todde
Day playbook
When Milan-based Helen Nonini launched her consultancy agency H.Edge in 2015, it was with the vision to fill a niche that she could credibly and creatively cover. “We bring out the best of a company’s key assets, then shape them to better fit present and future challenges,” she explains about her platform that specializes in brand experiences and image. “We started in remote working mode, without offices. Paperless without business cards, and above all developing a model that would empower young talents – especially women,” she says. Nonini started her career in investment banking and private equity while passing through fundraising and non-profit sectors. Upon leaving the financial world, she landed the role of head of operations at luxury concierge service company Quintessentially. Equipped with contacts that she’s fostered over the years, she now enchants clients with her intuitive solutions. “I’m working with the main financial institutions of the country alongside supporting the top Italian institute for independent clinical research; a high-quality delivery service; and an online fashion marketplace connecting young and talented designers that do not have distribution channels to worldwide consumers,” she shares. In addition to H.Edge, her professional balancing act also includes partnerships for two startups that focus on mental health and yoga.
Helen Nonin wear in an Altalen turban and Caftanii Kaftan. Photographed by Sandra Bourhani, Jenia Broggi, and Francesca Todde.
A tour of turbans
Nonini has a serious presence, in part because of a specific signature – her turbans. How many exactly? “I have more than 100 turbans and I love them all because they are one-of-a-kind pieces,” she says of her headwear, all handmade by Milanese milliner Altalen. Bold in shapes, patterns, and colors, her turbans are an extension of her style. “I’m effortless in my approach because I follow my instinct and try to always feel at ease,” says the Pomellato brand ambassador, wearing a coordinating pastel Pucci pajama set and complementing silk turban. She relies on Massimo Alba shirts, Nasco Unico blazers, dresses by Diane von Furstenberg, Missoni, and Stephan Janson, and Fratelli Rossetti flats to sail her through the spring season.
A Caftanii Kaftan and Officina Del Poggio bag. Photographed by Sandra Bourhani, Jenia Broggi, and Francesca Todde.
Jubilant jewelry
The entrepreneur’s style approach to minimal cuts with flashes of color also applies to her jewelry collection. A Pomellato Nudo necklace and Iconica chain link bracelet soften her aesthetic of strong architectural lines, as do her Nudo rings featuring a flash of bright stones. Her grandfather’s watch adds a touch of bygone-era charm to her everyday looks.
Pants and slippers by Toile Society. Photographed by Sandra Bourhani, Jenia Broggi, and Francesca Todde.
Signature scent
Hydration is key to Nonini’s daily beauty regimen, and Santa Maria Novella Vitamin Cosmetic Oil occupies space on her vanity alongside Augustinus Bader, Helena Rubinstein, and Mi-rê creams. With Egyptian-Iranian roots from her mother’s side and Italian on her father’s side, her approach to fragrance is ingrained through her heritage. “Being born and raised in the Middle East has influenced my use of essences,” she says. She creates her own bespoke scent by layering six different perfumes and oils.
In a Loretta Caponi outfit, with Loretta Caponi guest towels. Photographed by Sandra Bourhani, Jenia Broggi, and Francesca Todde.
Food for the soul
“My favorite restaurant in Milan is Soulgreen,” shares Nonini, pointing to its healthy food and atmosphere. Nestled in the heart of the Garibaldi district, the restaurant with its exposed beam ceiling and lush greenery is known for a vegan menu of smoothies and quinoa or rice bowls bursting with a medley of fresh vegetables. Meanwhile, you’ll catch Nonini in the artistic district of Brera peeking over a menu at Osteria Stendhal for its contemporary and traditional Milanese cuisine. Asian Mood is her go-to for dim sum, while Davide Oldani is her destination for a multisensory gastronomical experience.
Nonini wearing an Altalen turban with Emilio Pucci fabrics, with shoes and outfit also Emilio Pucci, and jewels by Pomellato. Photographed by Sandra Bourhani, Jenia Broggi, and Francesca Todde.
Unplug and unwind
Nonini unfolds her day with a routine. “I open my windows, turn on some music and send my friends songs,” she says. “Letting the light in and giving rhythm to my day helps me approach my activities with a good vibe.” Another fundamental aspect of her day is devouring a good book by candlelight. Currently on her nightstand are Illusions by Richard Bach and The Soul’s Code by James Hillman. She herself is the author of business novel Professione Problem Solver. Meanwhile, spending time outdoors is what grounds Nonini. “I love nature, long walks in the countryside, and spending time at Lake Como – it’s a place I’m strongly and emotionally tied to,” she notes, adding, “Meditation, exercise, and massages are always done with my phone off to be disconnected from the rest of the world, but connected with myself.”
Read Next: Nojoud Alrumaihi’s Guide On How To Achieve The Perfect Work/Life Balance Style
Originally published in the April 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

Nojoud Alrumaihi’s Guide On How To Achieve The Perfect Work/Life Balance Style

Nojoud Alrumaihi’s Guide On How To Achieve The Perfect Work/Life Balance Style

Discover how, the whirlwind Saudi marketeer that is Nojoud Alrumaihi, winds down in style.
Nojoud Alrumaihi wearing a Remain outfit with shoes from Sergio Rossi and a S’uvimol bag

Saudi marketing specialist Nojoud AlRumaihi is one half of a burgeoning event management company that she founded with her husband, Abdullah Al Rasheed. “Upbeat KSA is named after my husband’s character. He is an exuberant person with more than 10 years of experience in the events industry. He was the driver behind it, and I came in as the marketeer and content creator. Together, we want to create events that are full of life and experiences,” she says. With a degree in business management and marketing from Riyadh’s Al Yamamah University and a master’s in international marketing from London’s King’s Business School, it’s easy to see how her education has influenced her latest venture. “Understanding people’s psychology, how they behave as consumers, and how everything has an effect on communication, made me want to dive deeper into the field,” she says.

Alrumaihi in a dress she created with Saudi designer Hadeel Al Hussain and a Bottega Veneta bag

“Abayas are a world that I absolutely love,” says AlRumaihi. Her collection includes everyday ones as well as formal, floor-sweeping robes. “I love wearing Nouf AlSudairi abayas. They’re so easy to style as they are minimal with excellent fabrics that go with everything,” she says of the Saudi brand’s signature linen pieces. Her closet also includes artful tie-dye abayas by Dye Down, tailored overlays by Alanoud AlSalem, and embroidered designs by Nihad Bakhrebah. She has a tonal approach to piecing together her looks. “I love to style abayas in a monochromatic way, so I focus on basic wear underneath and neutral colors,” she says. Her single-color habits go back to her first memory with fashion. “My family took us on a trip to Mecca for Umrah, and I remember being mad at my mom for not matching my hijab to my shoes. Horrible, I know, but I was a child who loved coordinating my clothes.”

In a dress from 16Arlington, wearing her Bespoke wedding jewelry, as well as a Chaumet ring and Cartier bracelet

When it comes to eveningwear, AlRumaihi lights up a room with her repertoire of dresses drenched in beadwork and jumpsuits that make for an instant statement. “I have a Ralph Lauren dress that I love. I couldn’t resist not getting it when I saw it on the runway. It was a golden dream – the length, the straps, and the femininity in it is just astonishing,” she says. A black feather-trimmed 16Arlington dress shares closet space with a striking Alex Perry orange jumpsuit. “It’s so bold and chic. No one does shoulders like Alex Perry,” she adds. A closet filled with an ultimate supply of glamour, her fringed Hamda Al Fahim cocktail number and a powder blue Razan Alazzouni tulle gown mingle and shine in her wardrobe with Ashi Studio, Rami Kadi, and Maison Yeye pieces.
Nojoud AlRumaihi

AlRumaihi’s personal style and signature makeup share a common thread: effortless and polished. “I’m drawn to brown, earthy tones and lots of mascara. Light lipstick on the lips, so the focus can be on the eyes,” she says. However, her winning formula for a radiant complexion starts skin deep. “I’ve been using Sisley for two years now, and I can’t get enough of it. I use the Black Rose collection, and I do mean all of it: the face oil, moisturizer, and eye cream.” She credits SkinCeuticals for clearing up her skin, and using her cold ice rollers that she keeps in her freezer every other night of the week remains an essential part of her beauty routine.
Christian Dior shoes and bag

To unwind, AlRumaihi switches to airplane mode. Instead of scrolling through social media, she incorporates a digital detox in her day. “Tossing my phone aside for a while is the best mental escape for me,” she explains. To further relax, AlRumaihi slips into a Daily Sleeper dress or a silk MaxMara loungewear set and indulges in the calming and therapeutic properties of aromatherapy at home. “I have a ritual of unwinding at the end of the day with an air diffuser and essential oils such as lavender and lemongrass. Sometimes I’ll combine it with a massage, which does wonders to relieve stress,” she says.

Nojoud Alrumaihi

Between building a successful startup, being tapped by Christian Dior to front a campaign in her home country, and press trips with Van Cleef & Arpels and Hermès, AlRumaihi is a mother to her three-year old daughter, Lulua. “I don’t think the perfect balance exists, unfortunately. Something has to give,” she shares. “Sometimes I have so much work that keeps me from spending time with my daughter, and sometimes I put everything on hold just to talk to her, or take her out. That’s what I do to find balance.” AlRumaihi calls her daughter every two hours and has a rule not to work past 8pm so she can tuck Lulua in for bedtime. “In my line of work, there’s a lot of traveling involved and that’s when I feel miserable the most as a mother. I’m so thankful to have a family that are so loving and supportive, so I know she is in good hands, safe, and sound.”
Read Next: Meet The Female Forces Ruling The Gulf’s Interior Design Industry
Originally published in the December 2020 Issue of Vogue Arabia

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