Learning Iman Hariri-Kia’s style story.
Iman Hariri-Kia is a true inspiration, not only in a sartorial sense, but also when it comes to following your dreams. The New York-based writer, editor and author is a recipient of the Annabelle Bonner Medal in 2017, and an acclaimed journalist.
Her work has been published in publications like Bustle, Elite Daily and Teen Vogue. Currently, she is the Deputy Editor at Her Campus. She also has her debut novel, A HUNDRED OTHER GIRLS, hitting shelves in April 2022.
In her writing, she has covered everything from relationships to identity to adolescence, and her book will follow “Noora, a Middle Eastern American college grad who lands her “dream job” working for a magazine, but soon learns that its Print and Digital teams are in a full-blown culture war — and she’s caught in the middle.”
Follow her on Instagram to be consistently inspired and for updates on the release of her novel.
How do you start your day off?
I start my day by setting three alarms, snoozing the last for eight minutes. Then, I listen to NYT’s The Daily as I brush my teeth, set my bed, and get dressed for the day. I find Michael Barbaro’s voice soothing (hot take, I know), and love kick-starting my morning by stimulating my brain. Speaking of stimulants, I follow this ritual by inhaling three cups of coffee as quickly as humanly possible, while hovering over my kitchen sink like a maniac. As soon as the caffeine enters my bloodstream and my body animates like a Pixar film, I sit down at my dining room table, open my laptop, and take my first Zoom meeting.
I’m an Aries. Our mornings are more chaotic than meditative.
What’s going on in the background when you are getting ready?
I answered this already, but I love listening to podcasts. My other favourite is – wait for it – Buffy & The Art Of The Story, which breaks down episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer from a narrative lens. It’s a combination of my favourite show and my only skill, and I absolutely nerd out over it. I’m convinced its structural analysis has made me a better writer.
You never leave home without…
When I graduated from college, my maman gave me a fancy pen as a gift and told me that she knew, in her heart of heart’s, that I was going to be a writer. At the time, I was a spoiled brat who wholeheartedly planned on pursuing a career in the music industry, so I was slightly offended. I was also broke and would have preferred a crisp $20 bill. But, as it turns out, the gift was prophetic — my debut novel will be published next April, and I never leave the house without my lucky pen.
What are your closet essentials?
Oh gosh, I’m a maximalist at heart and truly believe my style changes day-to-day. I just love the creative process of putting together a look. But I suppose I can share the pieces I find myself reaching for the most: a good leather jacket (I’ve been rocking my mother’s blazer from the 80s), a vintage Burberry trench, and a thrifted, oversized men’s blazer, a good, worn-in pair of Levi’s jeans, white straight-legged jeans, tanks in black and white, button downs in white and denim, a black slip dress, new balance sneakers, doc marten oxfords, and, most recently, suede birkenstock clogs. If I had these items, I could put together an outfit I love every day for a week. But I don’t want to!!!! I love closet eccentricities and statement pieces
What is your biggest fashion regret?
Until midway through college, I had a deep-seated fear of jeans, which resulted in me exclusively wearing leggings as pants to… everything. There wasn’t an occasion where I wasn’t donning leggings. It was terrifying.
You always splurge on, and you always save on…
I love to save up and splurge on timeless shoes and purses, like a beautiful pair of Chanel ballet flats, soft Gucci loafers, or an Old Celine handbag. When it comes to passing fads that I only want to try out for fun, I never invest — I’ll typically try to recreate the look from my own closet, or thrift the items necessary. A good example is the denim bermuda shorts craze: I wasn’t sold on the trend, but wanted to experiment with it. So, I recreated the look by chopping my own thrifted $7 Levi’s, instead of spending $425 at Intermix. Bada bing, bada boom.
What is one piece of clothing you wish you could steal from your 16 year old self?
Oh my god, anything Juicy! I begged my mom for that green velour tracksuit. Why the hell did I get rid of it? I’ll never forgive myself for the lack of foresight.
What inspires your style most?
Not to be a pretentious asshole, but art. Film, music, theater, literature, painting, sculpture, magazines, and, yes — that has to include Hollywood, social media, and the internet. Any type of creative medium that makes me feel something. I want to hold onto that sensation for as long as possible.
Also, my mother. The Middle East. Iran. Old Persia. History. Poetry. Culture. The idea that I’m just a thread of a much larger tapestry gives me a sense of purpose and promise.
Your #1 style tip is…
Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. So much of life, for lack of a better, sucks. Dress however serves you best, causes the least amount of anxiety, and sparks the most joy.
*IMAGES COURTESY OF IMAN HARIRI-KIA
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