Have you heard of Neila Romeyssa? This Algerian fashion blogger is like no other. Iconoclast and free-spirited, Romy (as her friends call her) is always looking for different inspiration to bring to the fashion sphere. Her main focus is the Arabology. Originally, this was simply the title of a YAS song, but one single word was enough for Neila to create around it a whole universe, her universe, oriental and Arabian-night infused.
We met her between Algiers and Paris, and the young prodige surprised us with her blatant honesty and maturity.
Style of Arabia: Hi Neila, could you please introduce yourself?
Neila Romeyssa: My name is Neila Romeyssa Sayah, but you can call me Romy. I’m 19 years old. I live in Algiers but spend half of my time in Paris. I have a fashion blog in which I show what I wear and do between the two Mediterranean shores.
Why did you create your blog?
Well, in the beginning, it was just to have a different occupation. I spent way too much time on Facebook, so I decided to “move” to somewhere else and to share some pictures I had taken in Algiers and Paris, and publish my thoughts in some articles. My blog is now one year old!
What is the Arabology concept?
Araoblogy is the title of a song actually. But for me, it is a mix between the fabulous Arab-Oriental culture in which I try to bathe as much as possible, and the Western culture that I live in since I’m a child. I really hold on to these two cultures, this is what I want to share on my blog.
Your style is very original. What is your vision of fashion?
To me, fashion is a way of expression, a way of saying who I am every day. My style varies a lot. I didn’t know for example that I’d be wearing prints one day, or flashy colors, or even asymmetrical jackets. But eventually, as long as the clothes fit me, I do not hesitate one second.
How do you manage other people’s look on your personal style?
I don’t care! People’s look on my style won’t change it a bit. I stay myself and as long as I’m happy with what I do, it’s everything that matters, right? Haha! Whatever you do, there will always be pros and cons.
How does the fact of be Algerian helps you in your inspiration and fashion life?
I’m a bit nationalist haha! I love Algeria and Algiers especially. In the evening, I take walks with my parents. I always take pictures of the narrow streets, Algiers bay can’t cease to make me dream. So I owe a big part of my inspiration to Algiers. To the Algerian music as well, customs and traditional attires.
What can you tell us about fashion in Algeria?
It’s a growing industry. Besides I’m very happy there’s a fashion week in Algeria, fashion wasn’t really on the scene lately. But now, I notice more and more designers and people who are interested in trends. I’m happy, I believe in this!
Why do you have such a deep relationship with Paris?
Paris… I find myself there! This city may not seem special for some people, but I personally have a big connexion with it. Paris has everything that I like, you can travel there from an arrondissement to the other. I may seem like an exaggerated romantic, but I’m in love with Paris.
Who are your favorite fashion designers and icons?
My favorite are Stella McCartney and Razan Alazzouni. And my icons are Carine Roitfeld, Farida Khelfa and Grace Coddington. As to my inspiration, I find it a lot when reading magazines or scrolling my Instagram feed.
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
A long and large (printed) kimono.
What is your favorite color?
I don’t really have one, it depends on trends I guess.
What are your future fashion projects?
Right now all I want to do is focus on present. I love everything I do. So I don’t know about the future, but I won’t stop what I’m doing.
Do you have a fashion memory that struck you?
Yes! Copenhagen Fashion Week. I met so many interesting people, saw so many creations and beautiful shows. I wish I can go back!
Is there anything else you would like to tell Style of Arabia?
Maybe it’s not obvious in my blog but my goal is to pass along a message. You have to believe in yourself, in your talent, in the love you bear to your passion. You have to keep faith and stay optimistic, wherever you live.