Image Consultant and Color Analyst Abir Achkar visited Kuwait for a unique workshop at The Avenues. We had a talk with her regarding this field in the region and its development in this exclusive one-on-one.
How did you become an image consultant?
I am an interior architect and designer, so I’m into colors, shapes and figures and I’m not far from this field. Twelve years ago the concept of image consultancy was extremely new for the region. Back then I used to live in Saudi Arabia I started to read about this concept and decided to register at the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) in New York. After two years I got my certificate and became an image consultant and a certified color analyst as well.
What is the aim of these workshops?
These image and etiquette workshops are very popular and the demand is extremely high in Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain. The focus now is more oriented to the corporate image, this is what I am working on lately. It’s not only about extreme look makeovers and styling. I have another line related to corporate training; the focus is on employees and how they need to look and act because they are the image of the company they work for. Being a certified trainer, I train them to portray the right image of the company and businessmen in terms of business codes and etiquette. I am a certified color analyst as well, and majored in Psychology of Color in terms how to bring colors to your life, create a harmony inside the house, so I merged it with my interior design work: color is a science and is a universal language.
How do you see the image consultancy developing in the region?
To be honest, things at the beginning were not that easy. I needed to explain repeatedly what is the aim of image consultancy and colors; people were not knowledgeable about this field even though it’s not a new one – it has been around for 30 years. To implement it in the region I have put a lot of effort in to be able to succeed. I used to train for free, volunteering and organizing many workshops. When I started it was not for the sake of the business rather than being able to help some to bring the best out of them and help them look in their best potential.
How do you proceed with a client?
I work on the person first, the character, the preferences, the features. Find your own persona; this is the intense part to start with. The client has to do some assignments and then we sit and make a plan of work.
What is more challenging for you, working with men or women?
Women are more challenging than men. Men are the decision makers and they are very systematic. They know what they want and I am sure that with their ego problems it might take them time to decide whether they want to hire an image consultant or not, but they are very easy to work with. I enjoy working with ladies and I know how to deal with them. The confidence some clients have is sometimes challenging in terms to convince them that a certain style or color doesn’t suit them.