Luckily, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia has sat down with Janet’s new man to profile him. Here’s the low-down:
WISSAM al Mana, 36
Managing director of al Mana’s fashion portfolio which includes Hermès, Sonia Rykiel and Agent Provocateur.
Career in a nutshell:
I work in a family business founded by my late father over 60 years ago. Today our group comprises over 50 companies in the Gulf region in real estate, automotive istribution, engineering and construction, retail, food services and media, and is managed by my two brothers and I.
In 2004 I wanted to expand our retail division into luxury. Today, our luxury division comprises of over 40 stores in the Gulf, representing brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Hermès, Balenciaga, Chloé and Roberto Cavalli. We have also developed two Saks Fifth Avenue department stores, one in Dubai and the other in Bahrain, with plans to open more.
How did you pick your career path:
I spent many years growing up in London where I developed an early love of fashion and remember applying for a job at every fashion boutique on the Kings Road. At 14 I finally found a weekend job at a multi-brand store. I really enjoyed it andbegan to acquire an insight into the world ofretail that would prove crucial for my career.
Who is your career role model:
My father was a very humble and down to earth man, and was known for being very honest and trustworthy. He taught us many great values such as to treat our employees with dignity and respect.
What ambitions do you harbour:
I would like to get more involved in art, photography and design. I would also like to get more involved in philanthropy and maybe take some time off everything to do just that.
What do you wear to work:
I’m usually wearing a pair of jeans by Dior, PRPS or Dolce & Gabbana. An Hermès or Balenciaga hoodie, Rick Owens tank top and leather jacket with a pair of sneakers or Louboutin hi-tops. Sometimes I wear a suit – only Giorgio Armani made to measure – with an Hermès shirt, belt and shoes. When I’m in the GCC I like to wear my traditional attire; thobe and ghutra, which is so comfortable and I love the fact that it’s tailor made and you can choose between different fabrics. Besides, it’s part of my culture and heritage.
Who is your dream woman:
I think a man’s dream woman changes as he goes through different stages in his life. I’m fortunate to be dating my dream woman now.
What is your dream boy’s toy:
Ha! That’s funny because my girlfriend [singer Janet Jackson] just bought me the most amazing gift; a 1964 Lincoln Continental convertible with suicide doors… and it’s in mint condition. That’s my ultimate boy’s toy.
Is greed good:
Greed is terrible. I think we need to learn how to be content with what we have. Money doesn’t buy happiness, nor do material things.