All Posts By

Sonal Maherali

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Fashion

A look at my first week of my 30-day dressing challenge

In October, I decided to take a 30-day dressing challenge. The plan was mirror my two diverse backgrounds.

The first one was my African upbringing which has shaped so much of the woman I have become by giving me some sort of identity.

The other one was my Indian background. A background so entrenched in everything I know, it is like my second skin.

The outfits I chose are actually an interplay of two cultures meshing; a conservative yet titillating Indian side and wild and free African side.

I have done two weeks so far, and I cannot wait to complete this challenge which has really pushed me to challenge the boundaries of my creativity.

So week one went like:

  1. A little pink for the breast cancer awareness month in this matchy-matchy saree. 

    I wore this one to some event, accessorized it with a Gucci belt and have I never felt so chic in my life.

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2. Some Gold and some orange, like the fiery sun, for the Lion Queen.

This was an outfit for the office.  Because sometimes, you have to motivate yourself by being a little extra. I love extra.

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3.  Love and lite in a world badly opened up by hate, bile and negative energy.

I wore this one to my daughters school in the AM and later on strode it off to see some friends for lunch.  I especially how the sleeveless tee from my luxe line gelled beautifully with the Saree.

It is like they are siblings. Non jealous ones. Haha.

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4. A little shade of green because a girl has to remind herself that she is growing and becoming.

This one was effortlessly chic, making me feel like all I needed to be the modern day Nefertiti was a crown.  And I’d take the world by the scruff of its neck, and command it to heed to my pining.

Some green, because how else would they know you were growing and becoming the better version of who you were always meant to be?

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5.  A litte luxe into the gold, because, sometimes, all that glitters is probably Gold

Everytime I walk into my closet, I feel like I’m playing dress up as a kid- but with more variety now. Its exciting, feels like being a kid in a candy store,  sorrounded by toffee and tarts.

I loved this look, it flirty and sweet, a little modest and a little playful. It was a balance between so many things. Like life should be.

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6. And this one, for when I want to relax in the house, say on a day off watching my kids play and thinking about life’s little conundrums

This one for when I mean business.  When its my day home, to get some sun by the pool house, watching my kids enjoy whatever it is that makes kids happy on a Friday morning.

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7. And this shimmering red and gold goodness that reminded of Mumbai nights, and fine-dining nights.

Dressed like this, looking like this, where wouldn’t we go? Which sojourns would we shy away from? What mountains would we not climb (mountains are used here very figuratively).

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P.s

I will attempt to do a weekly post on everything that I wore and maybe what I have been upto.

So be a sweet sport and tell me what you think of the outfits.

See ya.

Love and lite.

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Fashion

A 30-days Saree Challenge

Hi loves,

I have been trying to challenge myself into trying out new things, experiencing different things and feeling different things.

And quite appropriately, Navratri began yesterday – a nine-day festival of supplication, worship and thanksgiving.

The festival prominently celebrated in Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Karnataka symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.

It marks Goddess Durga’s victory over demon Mahishasura. Long story but the short of it is that I’m looking forward to a weeklong of blessings and fullness of joy.

And what a time to be alive. An entire year of battles, triumphs,progress, setbacks wins and losses. This week couldn’t have come at a better time.

This entire month, I have challenged myself to wear Sarees in different styles. I have particularly taken a keen interest in representing vibes from my two worlds; my Kenyan and Indian identities.

Outfit details: Tee shirt from my luxury line. Lesso: Kenyan. Maasai Necklace and the bindi

Outfit details: Tee shirt from my luxury line.
Lesso: Kenyan. Maasai Necklace and the bindi

I wore a lesso-inspired Saree to the Nairobi Flea Market yesterday to start off the month-long Saree marathon.

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Do let me know what you think of the first shot in the comment section below.

As always,

Love & lite.

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Fashion

A look at my new office: The Simba Maharani

This whole shebang started years ago. One Louboutin at a time. And now we’ve opened office. Dreams come true.

In 2018, I was talking to a friend about the idea of setting up my office. I had gotten tired of working from the house.

At the time alot was still pending. My luxury line was still a mirage. Throughout the year, I made a dozen trips to Mumbai where production was ongoing.

Looking back, those were tough days. Long hours and sleepless nights and I dare say, they paid off. Or are paying off.

Towards the end of the year 2018, production for the first items from my line- the luxe tee-shirts was complete.

And when this was happening, something else was happening in Nairobi. My office was coming up. I didn’t know what I wanted it to be but I knew I wanted comfort and luxe. I wanted my office to be stunning. I wanted space that would be a projection of myself. A second home.

I wanted to step out from my home and into my office without missing a step. So alot is inspired by the house.

To put it aptly, it is white, chic, luxe and screams fashion a space where creating comes to life- and hopefully, expect a lot of this.

This is where you began, vast emptiness:

This is where we began.

This is where we began.

And slowly, but surely, started taking shape:

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The we got to this:

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Of course, it would take 17 pages to document the whole transformation journey, so pray I save your bundles,or your bandwidth by going into the current look.

Welcome to Simba Maharani. The Lion Queen.

So this is where I sit, thinking about the meaning of life, and penning poetry and making decisions. Securing the bag.  Basically.

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And right here is where you would sit if you came over to see me.

 

 

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A wall to my left upon which, bits of my life rest;  photos, stuff.  Stuff you are not allowed to touch.

These little glasses are what’s used in the streets of MUMBAI. They’re called “cutting chai” and a symbol of a city I’m head over heels in love with.

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That tree in the vase is a reminder to be grateful, all seasons. Regardless.

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A photo with the Mister, a photo in Vegas and a photo with the legendary Christian Louboutin taken at his Mount Street store.

The Elephant below was painted by my last-born daughter Ely. It is my most favorite possession. Hands down.

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Lets move over to this other side of the office where visitors can enjoy the peace and tranquility of being themselves.  Before you are ushered into my office, you would be propped up here. With the president grinning behind you.

A little about the decor which was done by yours truly.

French tapestry, a baby pink sofa, designer guild throws and white stools that also double up as storage and a coffee table adorn this side of the office.

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And not to forget this painting. a Flock of birds soaring and gliding to new heights. A reminder that we are limited only by our imagination.

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Or this one:

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Are you still following? My team sits here, surrounded by lions.

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And a different angle that brings us to the end of the office tour..

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Uncategorized

A tall tale of my ten tattoos

Canadian writer Charles de Lint wrote in the Mystery of Grace that; tattoos are the stories of your heart, written on your skin.

And honestly, no one could have said it any better. I feel like mine have made my skin more “me”, by painting out things I felt about deeply.

And yes, they painful but some people derive certain odd comfort from the repeated stinging of the needle.

Lets get this rolling.

  1. The rose and the dagger

My first tattoo was on my left arm. A dalliance between a dagger and a rose. I was around 19 or 20 when I got it. I might have been drunk because I got it during a night out.

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The dagger was indicative of the experiences I had been through, pain, heartbreak and depression. The rose was the sliver of hope. Beauty in chaos.

The interplay also means, rather aptly, that despite being feminine, I’m not here to play!

2. The pouncing Panther

The second one was a Panther that I got at Yaya Centre in Nairobi. It was largely about power. It is on my right shoulder.

Sis was Black Panther long before Wakanda forever!

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It was at a time that I needed to remind myself that I would rise above the chaos that was my life at the time. And I did.

3. A number for my darling mother

My third one was on my left wrist, a Hindi equivalent of ‘mother’. It was around the time I got my fourth child and also around the time my mum was diagnosed with cancer.

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A tough time. Stuff i’ll never forget.

4. My Guru

My fourth tattoo was inspired by my adherence to Shirdi Sai Baba. He did not believe in religion but humanity and his teachings are dear to my heart. It is on my right wrist and was done two years ago.

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5.  A convenient one for the Mister

My fifth tattoo was done on my ring finger and rather conveniently, bore my husband’s pen name; AFM. It was done last year in October during his birthday when he flew to Mumbai where I was down for work.

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6. A crown for the Queen

My sixth was a crown on my left hand. A reminder that I’m a queen. A stark reminder that no one defined who I am or what I’m becoming.

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7. And another one for Africa’s Louboutin Queen

The seventh tattoo was inspired by my love for Christian Louboutin shoes. It was done in red and black. A beauty.

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8. Self-Love

The eighth tattoo was on my right hand’s ring finger. It was letter S next to a heart. A reminder that the best love is the one you give yourself. Love yourselves, boys and girls!

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9. Of growth and butterflies

The ninth one was a butterfly on my neck rather hidden behind the mop of hair. Hi Kendrick Lamar fans?

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The tattoo is symbolic of growth. From the egg, the larvae, the pupae and into the colorful butterfly.

Growth makes you beautiful.

10. Branding myself 

The tenth tattoo is of my logo. A lion face done in white. A reminder that I’m feisty and brave and powerful. Forever.

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You can also watch a video of the same on my channel here:

 

As usual,

Love & Lite.

I will see you in the next post.

That, much-needed confetti bath.
Fashion

A late post but we won an award!

Guess who needs an award for late posts? Your girl!

In my defense, I was super swamped with a bunch of things that I’m still sorting.

And since it took over a week to actually post up here, I will go straight into it, shooting from the hip.

Last weekend, my team and I attended the first edition of East FM Awards at the Diamond Plaza. And alas, what a night it was!

Everyone put their best (fashion) foot forward. It was otherwordly to see so many people decked in their black and gold outfits.

Let me give you a sneak-peek of my outfit...

Let me give you a sneak-peek of my outfit…

 

Then came the entertainment! It was like being smack in the heart of a Bollywood Movie set in Mumbai.

I especially loved a hilarious set by East FM’s Vikash Pattni. What a night!

And before I had the glee of walking across the podium to pick up my award, I had a moment of fame modelling the renowned Shenu

Hooda’s totally-out-of-this-world gown in crimson and glitter.

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Serenaded by the Taz- Stereo Nation as I prance about in my gorgeous raiment from Shenu Hooda.

The devil is in the details!   Prancing around with the models during the event.

The devil is in the details! Prancing around with the models during the event.

I felt like a walking fairytale decked in that plush gown and standing in front of a dozen flashing cameras! Hi Hollywood. Your girl is ready.

At the end of what was an epic night, this girl took home the Social Star of the year award.

That, much-needed confetti bath.

That, much-needed confetti bath.

And a hearty congratulations to everyone that took home a win. You deserved it.

And a hearty congratulations to everyone that took home a win. You deserved it.

A special thanks to everyone that voted. Everyone that sent in a kind (or not so kind) word. It was the votes, the support and the online angst that gave us that award.

Asante sana!

P.S

You still have a week to enjoy a 15% discounted sale on all products from my luxury line. Head over to www.sonalmaherali.shop . Use the code SMSUMMERSALE

While at it, I’m selling off my closet. Take this last week to enjoy a 25% discount on special luxury items.

To purchase, head over to closetsm.com and use the discount code “Closetsm”

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Fashion

An update: My Closet is up for grabs

Hi loves,

Closet SM launched officially a few days ago, and I will be, in this post, laying down a few updates.

I have been asked ad nauseam, why I spend a fortune on clothing, jewellery, shoes and bags for as long as I can remember- why not put that money to Charity Sonal?

Well;

For the last decade, I have been around the world- not like Copernicus of yore – but I have been to places I hitherto admired on Pinterest.

And that has come with its fair share of shopping madness. I have closetfuls of stuff I no longer wear. And I keep getting more.  And will probably keep getting more.

It is stuff that still stands out. Stuff that still kicks. Stuff that Kylie would still rock to DC. Stuff that Sophia Vergara would still rock to Bora Bora. Stuff that Emily Ratajkowski would still rock to the Bahamas.  And stuff that you, my dear reader, can finally own- without breaking bank.

Like this chilli-hot So Kate Python skin heel pair from Louboutin available for sale. on closetsm.com

Like this chilli-hot So Kate Python skin heel pair from Louboutin available for sale. on closetsm.com . Go get it sis!

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The responses from all of you who have made orders and shared very sweet and thoughtful messages on social media have been overwhelming.

I have gone through each of them. With a big smile on my face.

As we speak, I’m in Mumbai for work. Hauling pots and making sure that the next phase of the Sonal Maherali will be as stellar.

In the meantime, cure your shopping blues by heading over to Closetsm.com where you can pick items off my closet and sonalmaherali.shop   where you can pick out unique pieces from our just launched luxury line.

As always,

Love & Lite

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Uncategorized

A life update: Launching my Luxury line and selling my Closet

Most people know the story of my life. I will not try to say that I have not been lucky.

I have been lucky to meet a smattering of good people over the years. People who have impacted my life in ways I cannot even begin to explain.

I have been lucky for the chance to enjoy this space. To write. To film. To talk. To express my self and bare my soul and most recently to be part of an un-folding dream.

I grew up humble. I was not exactly Cinderella because I never found that glass slipper until I was way up in my twenties.

And even then, it was a Louis Vuitton bag.

But then again, I hit the high road and I have been super lucky to have been in and out of special soles- I guess this version of Cinderella 2.0 was not content with a single pair of kicks.

For the last three years, I have been on this space, creating and dreaming. On those times when the writers block hit, I would be on Youtube, regaling you with the latest in hauls and all that shebang.

And now, I’m super delighted to share with you, the latest from my end.

I launched the newest baby from the Sonal Maherali & Co- a luxury line that is really, a journey of my African belonging.

See these bits from our store:

I made official communication after the launch about it and you can read it here.

At the same time, I launched another baby- Closet SM where I will be selling pieces off my closet that I no longer wear.

Look out for the shoes, the bags, the tops, the dresses and all that shebang on closetsm.com.

As always,

Love and Lite.

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Fashion

Just launched a luxury line!

Hello Loves,

I remember it like it was yesterday.

It started with a conversation at  my patio with my family. It was followed by a dream later that night.

I was several shoes, a handful of bags and a bunch of special perfumes into what was the start of an exhilarating luxury journey.

I dreamed of  creating something for myself, and for the imaginary followers and fans that I assumed I would get.

Yidder Yadder, days passed, Youtube kicked off and what started as a patina of something greater caught fire.

It was still a long shot by all means. I was probably the only one doing luxury content in Africa at the time and the dream of founding my own luxury line sounded like a paragraph in Peter Pan. Dreamy and far-fetched.

But unlike most dreams, this one refused to fade away.  It stayed like a haze in my life until a couple of years ago when the idea took shape.

I have been around the world- luckily so- and gotten the special chance at shopping in some of the world’s top luxury joints.

Each visit reminded me of home and how Africa- erroneously referred to as the dark continent- was still lagging behind as far as luxury was concerned.

That was the foundation of my latest pursuits.

At this point, I have to express my sincere gratitude to my support team both here in Nairobi and seas away in Mumbai. You have all made this dream come true.

And I would hate to be superfluous because this is not the post for that and intend to do a series about this collection for the next couple of weeks.

We have officially launched sonalmaherali.shop . An exciting luxury sojourn of Africa. Our first collection is out and will be followed by shoes and bags, the whole works.

Feel free to shop from the website because we are delivering worldwide. Feel free to wear your second skin because our pieces are not only unique but are a stark reminder that:

Africa is capable of luxury!

xx

Love and Lite.