Every girl dreams of becoming a princess. You know, being rescued by her knight in shining armour and living happily ever after in a castle and all that.
But growing up, my dreams revolved around shoes – owning a Manolo or Louboutin and housing them all in a shoe room. So imagine just how green with envy I was when I entered the Dubai apartment of Shefan Lantra, popularly known as Mr Shef Codes, to find rows and rows of shoes in, you guessed it, a shoe room!
Chatting to Lantra and watching him lovingly reveal items in his closet for The Directory, I reasoned with the monster – he deserves the room, he really does love his shoes.
I’ve wanted these for so long and now that I’ve got them I am not parting with these for a long time.
I was at the H&M outlet at The Dubai Mall at 8am to get this. This is a re-edition from a previous collection, the spring-summer ’05 one. It’s one of those top selling items and it’s referred to in one of my favourite song, Jay Z and Kanye West’s ‘Niggas in Paris’.
All my t-shirts are plain and simple except for the one I have on. I really liked the funky print on it. It’s also the most expensive t-shirt I own – I usually spend around Dh70 for a t-shirt but this was well over. However, it was worth it for the price.
I love the black leather strap and the gold dial. I had my eye on this one for awhile; I would go to the store frequently for a month and just try it on. And then one day I decided, I am just going to go ahead and get it. It brings me a lot of compliments.
Everyone needs a red sole in their wardrobe. This was an impulse purchase - went into the store, tried them on, loved it and bought it. I had the chance to meet the man himself a few months later when he was in Dubai. He was signing shoes at the The Dubai Mall branch and I had it marked on my calendar for a while but on the day I was held up at work and could not get out. When I finally went to the mall, the signing was over and I was really disappointed. And a few days later I was at a party and randomly bumped into him. It was a moment I will never forget.
My biggest weakness are ... sneakers.
Growing up, I was only allowed to buy two pairs a year. At school all my friends would wear new ones and tell me how they bought it yesterday. It used to make me so upset. And now I am a Brand Ambassador for adidas and I get all these really cool sneakers. I am always on the lookout for interesting designs like the Nike Air Jordans. These were only available in a size smaller but I bought them anyway and winced in pain every time I walked but it was worth it.
I am obsessed with... cleaning my shoes.
In December my work hours were crazy. I was swamped with work but once every two weeks I would make sure to line my shoes and clean them. No matter how hectic life gets it is important to me to take good care of all my belongings.
Style is... individuality.
As clichéd as it sounds, style for me is a form of expression. No matter how many times people tell you do not judge a book by its cover, at the end of the day we always do. First impressions count – people assess your personality by the way you dress. For example, you will not take a sloppily dressed CEO seriously.
I want to start a streetwear label.
There are not many home grown streetwear brands available here. I am inspired by this guy in the States – he started selling custom-designed really cool caps through his tumblr page and I hope to emulate him.
Dubai-based Mr Shef Codes has played at some of the biggest clubs and shared the stage with artists such as Lloyd, Shaggy, Kardinal Offishal, Cassidy, Robin S, Karl Wolf and DJs Jazzy Jeff, Green Lantern, Clinton Sparks, Cutee B, Cut Killer and Sake. He also blogs about fashion. Go to mrshefcodes.com for more.