Meet The Woman Dressing Solange and Gigi

Maybelline New York Makeup Director Nigel Stanislaus meets Siham Elmawey, head designer of C/MEO Collective

NIGEL: So Siham, where did it start and what sparked your love of fashion?

SIHAM: I actually used to go op-shopping and I used to alter vintage clothing, whether it meant to shorten the garment or cinch in the waist. 

Then I worked in retail so I would wear the designs in store, which was a little bit naughty, and everyone would ask me ‘What are you wearing’, ‘Where is it from?’ That’s when I realised that [fashion] could be something that was not just a hobby. I used to do a little market with mum every second Sunday where we would pack up the car and set up my little store. So yeah, that’s where I started selling my designs.

How did you end up in C/MEO?

From the markets. The head designer at the time was selling all her old clothing and I was just chatting to her about doing three day’s work experience at the office – and from there I got the assistant designer role.

Nigel Stanislaus applies Dream Cushion Foundation.

How old were you?


At 22 you landed the big role, so youre now the head designer…What was your vision for the brand?

We headed in a more unique, edgier direction, but C/MEO is known for that. The C/MEO girl can work her Gucci sneakers with her C/meo skirt, so she’s happy to spend her money on her accessories and then pair them back with C/MEO. So I guess maintaining that [element] within each collection is really important for us.

So, tell me about Solange Knowles

 She was definitely one of my muses. She was my inspiration, just her aesthetic and her personality as well. We were contacted through her agent. And then we collaborated a range with her, so she helped pick the colours, the styles, the prints. It was all driven through her inspiration.

How would you describe your personal aesthetic?

Very feminine, modern but with a bit of edginess. Not being afraid to wear something that’s a little bit different. 

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What is your approach to makeup? You can be honest

I love a wing and I love a good lip stain – it’s almost like you’ve applied lipstick but rubbed it off or kissed a boy or something. [laughs]

Like a wine stain look. Well, youre very modern, you’re very on trend, I guess it’s kind of your job! Do beauty trends influence you when you’re designing your new collection? Please say yes.

Yes. We’re doing monthly ranges, we have to be able to adapt to the makeup trends as well and like fashion and makeup it’s forever evolving and changing.

How does it feel when you see someone in your clothes?

So like Gigi Hadid? I can’t even describe the feeling. These girls get gifted some of the most recognisable brands in the world. To wake up with a million new Instagram follower and likes, and then you look and see that Gigi Hadid has worn your $179.95 dress on the streets of New York Fashion Week.

That is definitely the most amazing feeling!

Meet The New Nude

Love Siham’s makeup look? Here’s how to achieve it

“I used Maybelline Nudes Palettes eyeshadow to create this look for Siham,” says Nigel Stanislaus, Maybelline New York’s Makeup Director. “It’s universally flattering and you can take this monochromatic palette to create looks from daytime-casual to nighttime-drama in just minutes!”

L-R: Maybelline BROW Satin, $16.95; Maybelline Dream Cushion, $26.95; Maybelline Master Strobing Stick, $15.95. 

L-R: Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara, $19.95; Maybelline The Nudes Palette, $25.95; Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid, $17.95.

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