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    Jessica Michault on making core memories

    Jessica Michault

    A note from the editor-in-chief

    As I write this editor’s letter for the second issue of MADAME Arabia I find myself right in the middle of some big life moments. Over the Eid holiday, I flew to Los Angeles to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday. It was a faultless weekend with friends and family coming together from around the world to dance at a silent disco, play some very competitive rounds of corn hole, sing along with every note of the film Grease, play Marco Polo in the family pool, eat great meals cooked by my sister, listen to my brother tell stories, watch my daughters do a fashion show in the vintage pieces my mother had kept from the ’60s… and I could go on. 

    Even as I was in the middle of the weekend, I knew that it would be one of those tentpole moments of my life that was going to be seared into my mind forever. And as I look forward I have another one on the horizon. In a few short months my youngest daughter will be heading off to college. A fact that I am currently in total denial about. 

    Jessica Michault with her family in LA

    It’s strange the moments in our lives that remain crystal clear in our mind’s eye. Truth be told I have one with our cover star Cynthia Samuel. Back when I had just moved to Dubai I met her for the first time alongside her future husband, Adam Bakri, at an intimate dinner. I was immediately struck not only by her beauty and kindness but also how open and honest she was with me – someone she had just met. I knew right then that one day I would find a way to shoot her for a cover and tell her story so that more people would have the chance to discover this delightful and talented woman. 

    And when we spoke for this issue’s cover interview (page 58) Samuel did speak freely about her life’s journey, just as I’d had no doubt she would. She didn’t sugar coat the painful times and she also gave herself permission to celebrate her successes. Her sense of introspection clearly comes from putting in the time and effort to discover what lies at the heart of what motivates and moves her. 

    “I used to want to be in control of everything,” she shares. “And that created a lot of anxiety, just having that constant stress of like, ‘I have to know if I can make this or that happen’. Now I just want to take it easy on myself. I want to let things flow. If something happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But either way, I’m so happy and content and at peace.”

    Samuel isn’t the only person we are featuring in this issue that is currently basking in a moment of professional and personal contentment. Image architect Law Roach, who famously retired from being one of the world’s most sought after celebrity stylists has carved out a new and more expansive career path for himself. One that still comprises killing it on the red carpet via his collaborations with Zendaya, but will soon also include a new TV series, the launch of an online platform he created to support up-and-coming stylists, and the debut of his first book – a self-help tome designed empower women through fashion.

    My first meeting with Roach, back in 2018, is another moment that lives rent-free in my mind. He approached me out of the blue at a Tommy Hilfiger show to say how much he loved the 60 Second Fashion Reviews I was posting on Instagram of all of the fashion shows. I was flattered by his sincerity and since then we have remained in touch. He, like myself, is at a point in his career where he is looking to pay it forward. 

    “I’m so blessed to have been able to do every single thing I’ve ever wanted to do.  I have lived all my dreams. So I had to find new dreams,” he told me in our interview (page 78). “What I have come to realise is that at this point, my career is not about me anymore.” 

    Speaking of core memories, I hope that you, dear reader, will end up forming a couple by the time you finish this issue. Be it through enjoying our sky high fashion shoot at the recently opened One&Only One Za’abeel (page 82), learning all about the joys of being a ‘rich auntie’ (page 52) or discovering what makes the director Sam Taylor-Johnson tick (page 46). After all, the whole reason this magazine exists is to give you things to reflect on long after you have put it down.

    Enjoy the issue and please let me know what you think!

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