The fashion maven provides insight about how she selects her curated pieces and upcoming trends to look out for in D.C.
We are spotlighting the myriad voices redefining what it means to be stylish in the nation’s capital — from designers and stylists to entrepreneurs and athletes whose unique stories and perspectives shape bold visions. Check out our full Curators of Style roundup in the May issue here.
Rania Younis is a multidimensional fashion maven. She styled Lana Rae for this month’s cover story and offers her collection of hand-picked luxury pieces by designers from around the world. We spoke to the Maryland-based stylist about how she got started, her process and summer trends for D.C.
District Fray: Tell me about yourself. How did you get interested in fashion?
Rania Younis: I do everything — modeling, styling and cooking. I started my career as a model, then began working as a stylist. I’m also a model coach for an agency, helping new models learn to walk the runway and pose for shoots. Modeling gave me a lot of experience and exposure to fashion. I’ve worked for many different designers at New York Fashion Week, and I’ve done both styling and modeling for DC Fashion Week. When you’re modeling, you get to try everything. It’s amazing to see so much fashion. That was what made me want to be a stylist and start my own brand.
Tell me about Shop the Runway, your curated collection of designer pieces.
I started Shop the Runway two years ago. I work with a lot of international designers — Italian, Egyptian, Chinese — and I choose pieces from around the world. I have an amazing collection coming for summer from several designers — dresses, swimwear, jewelry. In July, my business was featured in an ad in Times Square — a dream come true. My dream is for Shop the Runway to be known internationally.
How do you work with someone when you’re styling them?
I create a vision. Many people reach out to me saying, “Rania, I need something special.” Whether it’s for the cover of a magazine, TV or a fashion shoot, they come to me for something unique. I have a jacket covered in real teddy bears in my collection, bright red pants that end in a pair of stiletto boots. Clients send me their ideas, I show them my collection and we do it together, choosing pieces to create the perfect look. I say, “Let’s go with something boom.” I help them choose everything — the clothes, the shoes, the accessories, swimwear. They can get the full look from the collection. Whenever I see a woman now, I want to style her. I’m like, “Ooh, I can do something here.”
How would you describe your personal style?
I love something crazy and different. Bright colors, big boots, oversized pants. Clothes that make a statement. Big accessories, too. But most of the time, I’m casual — I wear a lot of black.
What trends do you see for summer in D.C.?
Lots of brights, like fuschia, red and green. And classic black and white, of course.
What’s the most important thing you need to be a good stylist?
Trust is very important. If you’re good at your work, everyone can trust you to make them look good.
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