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Powerful and Pint-Sized: An Interview with Alizey Mirza

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at City London chapter.

Pint-Sized fashionista Alizey Mirza has graced the slick pages of Harpers Bazaar and Hello Magazine. Her fashion empire has grown exponentially from the blog she started with her sister at the tender age of fourteen. Yes, FOURTEEN. The most exciting thing I did at that age was take up knitting (I made a multi-coloured bicycle seat. I didn’t have a bicycle).

The Pint-Sized Pair have been named Dubai’s answer to the Olsen sisters, and yet Alizey remains considered, humble and warm. In fact when I approached her about this interview, she bowed her head offering her usual effortless smile, her dark eyes ever-twinkling. “But I’m not a celebrity,” she blushed, and of course if she’s not a celebrity I’m 6ft 7. And I’m not!

Behind that natural, lively, lovely demeanour is an inspiring determination to succeed; and that’s what makes Alizey Mirza. I talk to her about her achievements, her style tips and her pursuit to hone her journalistic skills on her BA course at City University London.

What made you start your fashion blog? I have always had an interest in fashion. From a very young age, I would experiment with my mom’s clothes and make-up. When I moved to Dubai in 2007, my style began to evolve and quite a few people suggested that I should start a blog to post my daily outfits. That’s how it all began!

Why do you think it became so successful? Initially my twin Lailli and I had our own individual blogs, but we then decided to join forces and create Pint Sized Fashionista (the name was given to us by Harpers Bazaar) . It was undoubtedly the best decision we made. There was definitely a niche for teenage fashion blogs in the Middle East which is why I believe PSF has been so successful. We were the first teenage fashion bloggers in UAE, but today there are hundreds!

What are the advantages and downfalls of working with your sister? Working with Lailli has a lot of advantages. As she lives in Dubai, she manages to cover the events in the Middle East which I can’t attend. She also manages the business size of the blog, including our clothing line, something I can’t oversee from London. On the other hand, as a result of being extremely divergent individuals, our ideas tend to clash a lot when working together on projects. Thankfully we always mange to work around it in the end!

Who is the best person from the industry you have worked with so far? We’ve been extremely fortunate to work and network with some incredible people in the fashion and media industry. It’s very difficult to pinpoint a certain individual, however I would have to say that interviewing Anna Dello Russo (editor of Vogue Japan) and meeting shoe designers Christian Louboutin and Giuseppe Zanotti have been the highlights of my blogging career. We’ve also had the opportunity of interviewing celebrities such Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Katy Perry!

What’s your best style tip for this season? To keep it simple, as always. Less is more. And to invest in an oversized coat, perfect during the day and in the evening!

You’ve had a lot of press attention focused on you and your sister. Why did you decide to study journalism? Regardless of the publicity I’ve gained from the blog, I’ve always felt that education is extremely important. I want a degree as it would benefit me later in life. Journalism is a career path that I’ve been wanting to go into for a long time and I’m very excited for what’s to come. Being a blogger has certainly opened up a lot of opportunities for myself and my sister and I am extremely grateful for that. 

Half Dubai’s Olsen twin and half student in London: how difficult is it to juggle your two lifestyles? A lot of the time I feel as if I live a double life. My lifestyle in Dubai is completely different to the one I live in London. Dubai is far more glamorous as I’m always attending events or spending mornings on a yacht in comparison to my London life, where I’m more or less a regular student. I live alone in London so I cook and do my own laundry, whereas in Dubai I have a housemaid and driver. It’s a crazy contrast! Nonetheless, I’ve got used to it and I really can’t complain. London life definitely keeps me grounded!

I told you she was favolous! Follow her on her blog or on Twitter.

Journalist and soul singer
Irreverent journalist, creative head of Ciao Mamma!, polyglot writer and curious filmmaker. Originally from Italy, I made my way to the big city to follow my dream of becoming a reporter. I love art, politics, frogs and halloumi. Check out my website: www.ciaomamma.it Connect on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/martinaandretta/