Tags: creative director
Emma Norström is one of those girls who should be put in a museum, and all the other girls would gather around her and admire her humor, personality, kindness, beauty and style. Yes, she is one of those girls who just have it all. I approached her for her style: I am pretty sure it was one picture she posted on her facebook wearing really bright running tights, that made me have a second look in her style. But, surprise surprise, she turns out to be a whole lot more than just killer looks. Working in the PR industry and living in a villa that screams Northern Europe, in Dubai Springs, with her husband, Sarah (her dog), Gilbert and Frankie (her two cats), Emma is deeply involved in voluntary work and keeps a bowl of food on her doorstep for the stray cats in her neighborhood. Extra points for the Swedish in her who bared the heat in so many different outfits.
Hi! Cool place! Do all Swedish people have great taste? And are all your houses furnished with IKEA?
Hi, Thank you:-) As a proud Swede, I would like to say yes, we do. And oh yes, our (mine and my husband Pauls’) house has been furnished with mostly IKEA furniture’s, with additional personal pieces, which we brought with us from Amsterdam and Stockholm to give the house some character and a more personal and homie feeling to it. For instance my industrial lamps, purchased in a hardware store in Sweden, my Persian carpet in the hall way, which I inherited from my Grandma Ingrid, along with crystal wine glasses from her mum. Portuguese ceramic purchased on the Albert Cuypmarket in Amsterdam, the bowl in the kitchen is a gift from one of my best friend Anne, (and her husband) when she came back from holiday in Greece. She knows how much I love bohemian pottery and brought that one back for me.
All these pieces, rub off the IKEA stamp and make the setting look more individual, (I hope.)
What was your first impression upon coming to Dubai?
I loved it! I was amazed by the mix of people and culture, this hub of business and leisure, where you can mix hard work with a layed-back beach life in the weekends was very appealing to me. And the sun, I love the sun.
What do you think of Dubai now?
I still love it, but I do miss strolling around the city, finding new areas just around the corner, as you take a different turn. I miss the four seasons. However, as soon as I´m by the beach, my longings have gone with the breeze from the Arabic gulf.
Can you handle the heat?
Barely… I was really struggling this summer, which was my first… The outcome of just staying in with full AC on, was the famous ´Dubai stone´. As we are heading towards cooler weather, I will kick-off my outdoor activities again. Well, hopefully… I keep on browsing Instagram for motivating fitness account that will help me going. Still searching…
Working in PR you must have instantly met the city’s half population. How is work different here, compared to back home?
There is really a fast pace here in Dubai, compared to Europe, It has it pros and cons, naturally. I do love how you quickly make things happened here. But as a detail-freak, coming from a planning color, I sometimes fear we might lose attention to details due to the fast pace.
I am guessing what you do is a tough job, because you have to deal with so many diverse people and backgrounds. What would be the number one rule in doing good PR?
Be open minded, sympathetic, be as diverse as the different people you meet, without loosing yourself and your believes. Listen, pay attention and be proactive. As a PR-person anywhere in the world, you have to be able to read the people you work with, the situation, and own the situation in a humble way. I am a strong believer in always being humble, in every situation you will face and with everyone you will come across. Karma.
During the past NYFW you sat right behind Anna and Grace at the Donna Karan show. Please spare the details.
It was during the Donna Karan SS15 fashion show in New York which took place in September. I was seated separate from my group, on the island in-between the two runways. As I was browsing my phone, sitting alone on my island’, checking out all the celebrities and obviously other important people whom i, to some extend had no idea of who they were, mingling before being seated. And then, all of a sudden, I hear all the cameras lind up in front of the runway, firing off flashes towards my direction. I looked up and saw Anna and Grace entering. Wow! I quickly prepared myself to take a picture of the duo, but they started to walk towards me! I did not want to make it too obvious that I wanted to have their picture taken, so I was waiting for the right moment. But it never came, since they sat down right in front of me! I guess my island in the middle wasn´t too bad. .-) I did take that picture, showing the backs of Anna and Grace, and Kendall Jenner passing by on the runway.
What has been the highlight of your job here so far?
Definitely my client’s and my, AlYasras’, #DKNYRamadan campaign, which we created for the DKNY summer capsule collection. Only a few days after the launch, the campaign was a global success and publications like Elle Malaysia, Vogue Netherlands, O (Oprah) Magazine, The Independent, El Pais among many others, had featured the story.
Your typical day would be…
I´m a slow starter… I need an hour behind my laptop, with my coffee. But first thing first, In order for me to have this hour of peace, I start with giving the ‘kids’ their morning refill of food. After that, they leave me alone. After an hour of browsing the net, checking in on the blogs I follow, I take Sara out and bring food for the stray cats that me and her feed. Two hours after waking up, I´m ready to hit work. And work can be so different form one day to another. Sometimes it´s 12 hours in the office, and some days it is 12 hours on the road, organizing for photo shoots, client meetings, media relations meetings or searching for the perfect venue – you name it. And sometimes it´s a normal working day of 9 hours. But that is the beauty of it. And that is why I do not get bored of what I do. Normally i get easily bored. While home, I take Sara out around the neighborhood while sharing the today´s stories with Paul. I must tell you, mine are so much more fun and exciting than his. Dinners are always tricky as I do not cook. Either we go out or we order in. To be honest, my work days are rather boring. To end them, in front of the TV, surrounded by my animals and husband- that is the best ending for me. The weekends are a different story…
It seems Dubai is a trough market to scout great clothes in reasonable prices. Where do you do your shopping?
Though question… I am still searching, I tend to do my shopping as I travel, or online.
Which part of your style screams Sweden?
My dark garments and the silhouettes. You hardly ever see me in really tight outfits. Although, a few tight and bright colored outfits have manages to sneak into my wardrobe since I moved here. I must have conformed a bit to the Middle Eastern style…
Your skin looks amazing! Please don’t tell me it’s good genes, and just name the moisturizer / serum / mask you use. It´s funny you ask cuz I always ask people the same question! And I must disappoint you here… I do not have any secrets. I´m still searching for the perfect products myself… But what I also use, is serum as a base, followed by moisturizer for dry skin – day and night. But no, no specific brand. I try everything I can get over basically.
You seem to love pottery. Does your collection include things from around the world or just local Dubai markets?
Oh yes, well spotted – I love it. I even have more back home in Amsterdam and Sweden. I think the mix of different colors and designs gives character and life to your whole kitchen and dining table. I like to mix n´match and I think that a less formal, yet inspiring mix of different china, that would upset any code of conduct know-how person, actually gives you a more comfortable atmosphere around the dinner table.
What’s the deal with the black and white coffee mugs?
Oh I love them! I love the retro design of the vertical long zigzags. The collection is called Zebra, and it comes from the ceramic company ‘Uppsala – Ekeby’. It no-longer exists.They are dated from the mid-1900s, and I inherited them from my Grandmother Maj-Lis, when she passed away and therefore i have and extra bound to them.
Hey, I saw on your facebook page you are doing some voluntary work for the disabled in Dubai. Is that a regular thing? Can you tell me more about that?
Of course! My oldest brother, Andreas is autistic and has Down Syndrome. Growing up with him, has made me care for and help the disabled and vulnerable in society, especially children and animals. When we moved over here, we both wanted help out and volunteer somewhere. Since helping and caring for people with Down Syndrome is close to our hearts, we looked into where we could volunteer and help these children. Coming from a background of horses, i was keen on finding something were I could combine it with interacting with hoses as well. I found RDAD as they have horses and also some of the children there has Down Syndrome. Me and Paul were there for the first introduction after the summer break, and are very much keen on starting this volunteering. We will help out every Saturday morning and make that day the best day of the week for those children. And everyone can join. If you are not used to horses, you can me a side walker, talking care of the child. Each child has three people supporting him or her when he or she rides. (One who is leading the horse and one side walker on each side.)
You can follow Emma on Instagram.
* This post was made thanks to Canon Middle East, who provided imatioθiki with a Canon 1200D to play around in Fashion Week ME.