Indian influencer who made UAE home speaks on her head-turning Cannes outfit by Dubai designer

Indian fashion influencer Masoom Minawala, who made Dubai her home recently, has been making quite a splash at Cannes

By Sadiq Saleem

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Published: Fri 19 May 2023, 4:31 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 May 2023, 7:54 PM

It’s time for some red carpet gazing again! This month, all eyes and cameras are fixed on the south of France at the Cannes Film Festival where the best in cinema meets the avant garde in fashion. Over the past few years, Cannes has served as an apt platform for social media influencers to rub shoulders with the glitterati and give a glimpse of the celebrations to their millions of followers. One such prominent name is global Indian fashion influencer Masoom Minawala, who made heads turn in Dubai designer Marmar Halim’s classic black gown.

City Times caught up with Masoom while she was prepping up to serve her next look at the Cannes. Excerpts from a chat:


Dubai designer Marmar Halim’s black gown you sported exuded an old-world charm. Was that the thought behind the look?

The idea was exactly that! I wanted to step on to the first red carpet of the season with an understated elegance. No matter how innovative high fashion gets, the vintage has a timeless universal appeal. I was very clear that I wanted to do black, a colour I have fallen in love with, albeit a bit late in life!


Tell us about your preparations for the Cannes Festival. How do you decide on the looks and choose designers?

This is my fourth year at Cannes and now it has become an integral part of my yearly commitments. However, there is a high level of external dependency which sometimes slows down the process. For instance, the confirmation from brands, sponsors and their teams come at the very last minute, and the dresses and trials take a long while. This year, just few weeks before Cannes, I shifted country with a five-month old baby so there wasn’t much time for detailed preps. But with each passing year, I am more confident, have more clarity and visibility. Above all, we have some solid tie ups and relations in Cannes which help a lot!

What’s your take on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s choice of the silver sequin hooded dress which has divided the internet?

When you are at Cannes, you realise why Aishwarya Rai is Aishwarya Rai! The impact she has at Cannes is mindboggling and it goes way beyond what she is wearing. She is sure of her personality, and her stardom at Cannes is unmatched. Her sparkling face and persona just overtake everything so what she is wearing doesn’t matter at all.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

You have shifted your base to Dubai now. Is distance working in your favour or against?

I have been living in Europe for the last five years and now I am in Dubai. The distance and time zones are working in my favour as my team and family are based out of India. I love being in Dubai, especially the fashion scene here. I explored a bevy of Middle Eastern designers and loved their work so much that I decided to do two out of my three red carpet looks in their creations. Everything is serendipitously falling into place in Dubai.

Fashion influencers have invaded red carpets dominated by film stars so far. How are influencers helping the entertainment/fashion industry grow?

Influencers on the red carpet is an affirmation of their impact on audiences today. Studies conducted by major brands have concluded that a product marketed by an influencer has a far-reaching impact because there is a certain kind of relatability. Moreover, influencers can do strong storytelling for their brands at large events across multiple platforms.

Sadiq Saleem is a Dubai based entertainment writer. His Instagram handle is @sadiqidas.

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