London based Fashion Editor Nini Khatiblou is a ball of energy and it is her ability to multi-task, flitting from workouts to styling magazine covers that we admire. From style hacks to life tips, Nini is practical, down to earth and lots of fun. Here’s our Zakti interview with Nini:
ZAKTI: Tell us about your life as Fashion Editor and stylist?
Nini Khatiblou: I’m currently Fashion Editor at The Manual by PHOENIX where I style the celeb covers as well as various fashion shoots. I’m also a freelance stylist and work with a huge range of brands on both a styling and consultancy capacity.
ZAKTI: What’s a typical work-day like for you?
Nini Khatiblou: I know everyone says it but no two weeks are ever the same! If I’m prepping for a shoot, I tend to get up early, send out emails for call-ins and then head out to do showroom appointments. It’s great because I get to catch up with PRs face to face as well as select clothes in person which is a lot easier to do than over email. If I’m on a shoot, it’s usually a longer day – by the time I get home, I just want to put on my fleece dressing gown and zone out!
ZAKTI: What are your style-hacks to take you through all the activities in your day?
Nini Khatiblou: I really am always on the go and as I’m terrible in heels, I stick to flats or trainers. My style tends to gravitate towards casual anyway so I find a jeans/t shirt/blazer/trainer combo makes me feel smart enough to meet PRs but comfortable enough to buzz around town!
ZAKTI: What’s your weekend style?
Nini Khatiblou: Probably not that dissimilar to what I wear during the week – I live in dungarees, jeans, stripes, blazers, Converse… The only difference is that if I’m trying something out for the first time, I tend to experiment more on weekends – that way if it looks hideous, no one from work has seen me!
ZAKTI: How do you like to keep active? Tell us about your personal trainer?
Nini Khatiblou: I’ve always been into fitness and joined a gym as soon as I hit 16. About 8 years ago, I met my PT Felicity Cole when she used to work at Fitness First Tottenham Court Road. Since then, she’s moved gyms and I’ve always followed her – we get on really well but I also like that she’s super tough and scary when she needs to be! It’s really important you have that connection with the person training you and for me Felicity represents an expert in her field so I trust what she says. Plus she has the most amazing collection of sportswear!
ZAKTI: We spotted our black Zakti active kit on your Instagram, what did you like about this look?
Nini Khatiblou: When it comes to sportswear, I always stick to a neutral colour palette of black, white and grey. It somehow feels ‘dressier’ and if I’m heading to the gym in my sportswear, I can still look and feel polished. I absolutely loved the fit of the leggings – often they sit too high on the waist but this style was perfect. I really liked the fashion-y twist on them too – adding cargo style pockets on the side of the legs just gave them a trendier touch. I absolutely live in black racer back tops and this one was the perfect mix of fitted but also comfortable and easy to exercise in.
ZAKTI: How do you manage to stay on top of all your activities and stay balanced?
Nini Khatiblou: I’m ALL about routine but I’m also incredibly realistic. I have to see Felicity twice a week come rain or shine and I try and fit in an extra session or a run by myself on top of that. I love cooking and eating but from Monday – Friday, I’m very strict with what I eat and I try to cut back on the drinking. But then Friday – Sunday, it’s a different story. I eat what I want when I want and I enjoy every second of it! It’s just about finding what works for you but also what’s easy to maintain in the long term – incorporating regular exercise into my routine and always cooking from scratch using good quality ingredients means I feel fit and healthy but that I can also enjoy a ruby and a glass of wine on Saturday night and not feel bad about it.
ZAKTI: What are your three tips to keeping fit and healthy?
Nini Khatiblou: For me personally, having a PT changed everything – I get that it’s not for everyone but it’s ideal for keeping you on the straight and narrow as well as pushing yourself in a way that I don’t believe you can do on your own. Planning ahead is also really helpful – if I know I’m going to be having a heavy night on a Wednesday for example, I make sure the days before and after are super healthy.
ZAKTI: What are your top style tips for wearing active wear?
Nini Khatiblou: Definitely start by picking a colour palette – obviously for me, it’s quite understated and safe but if colour is your thing, pick 2-3 colours max. I love clashing prints but try and keep it to two pieces ie leggings and trainers but with a plain top or printed top and leggings with a pair of plain trainers. It can be easy to go a bit too adventurous with active wear, it’s about striking the right balance between stylish and trendy but without too much going on at once. Proportions are another factor worth considering – if I’m wearing printed leggings, I tend to wear a loose plain coloured top to balance it out. Or if I’m wearing loose shorts, I’ll keep the top half more fitted. It’s much more flattering than going head-to-toe baggy or head-to-toe tight.
ZAKTI: What’s on the horizon this year?
Nini Khatiblou: Work-wise, I’ve got some very exciting shoots lined up for The Manual by PHOENIX. I’m also looking forward to working with some new commercial clients towards the end of summer. Fitness-wise, I’m sure Felicity’s got plenty of surprises up her sleeve for me! I’d like to take up yoga or Pilates alongside the work I’m doing with her, more than anything as another way of relaxing. Life in London can be so full-on and fast-paced, it’s important to make time to slow down and de-stress and as much as it challenges me, I love that I get that from exercise.
Take a look at Nini’s website for more styling advice: http://www.ninikhatiblou.com/
Nini styled the latest Phoenix magazine cover featuring Oliver Proudlock: https://www.phoenixmag.co.uk/