Staying Stylish in the Middle East

Jantzen Tailor Hong Kong shirt, Bugatchi sweater, Ermenegildo Zegna pants, Lotto shoes, Motorola smartwatch | Photo by Jon Estrada

Jantzen Tailor Hong Kong shirt, Bugatchi sweater, Ermenegildo Zegna pants, Lotto shoes, Motorola smartwatch | Photo by Jon Estrada

Nehme E. Abouzeid

Executive director of brand marketing and advertising

Your diverse background includes working as a journalist in Beirut and Boston before getting an MBA and moving to Las Vegas. How has your style evolved from then to now?

I went to journalism school at George Washington University, where most of the professors were working journalists in Watergate-era Washington, D.C. They were pretty conservative and preached “shoe-leather journalism,” where you pounded the pavement in suits, leather oxford shoes and an overcoat.

Upon graduation, I moved to the Middle East and began reporting in cosmopolitan Beirut, where you’d interview conservative religious leaders one day and liberal fashion designers and art dealers the next. I always erred on the side of formality, as everybody respects a well-tailored suit.

How does your own style play into decisions you make in your current job of brand marketing and advertising for a large resort?

It rarely does. … I never make the mistake of thinking I am the target customer for something that I am marketing, if indeed I am not. You have to do your research and take ‘I’ out of the equation.

You’re a self-described tennis nut, so whose on-court style do you admire, and what sportswear brand can you not live without?

Roger Federer has been the [fashion] trendsetter in tennis for the past decade. Everything he does is effortless and cool. For sports brands, I’ve always gobbled up adidas gear—especially the adidas Originals line—because it reminds me of my soccer and tennis upbringing. But I love Ellesse tennis clothing from the tennis boom of the 1970s and 1980s. Ellesse clothes from that era still look good; you just can’t find them anymore.

Who is one person who helped shape your fashion taste?

My late father always taught me that if you have one shirt, make sure it is pressed and clean. He was short in stature, so he couldn’t pass on any clothes to me, but he did pass on a vintage Omega Seamaster wristwatch that I wear as much as I can. And his “Don’t dress for the job you have; dress for the job you want” mantra has always served me well.



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