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In Living Colour with fashion influencer Mae Zynenwartel

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Mae Zynenwartel aka @darahdor brings her Ghanian heritage into her outfits incorporating vibrant colours and bold prints in every look. Her exceptional style and classic aesthetic make her Insta feed one to watch. Get to know her here.


Introduce yourself, your personal style and describe a typical day for you

My name is Mae Zynenwartel, I am originally from Ghana. I’m Austrian by nationality and I am currently living in London with my husband and two incredible children. 

I am that lady who doesn’t own any trainers. A lot of thought goes into my outfits, even more now as I have become an influencer. I describe my personal style as classy, elegant and fun. I am not afraid to wear colour and mix things up and put my own twist on it. In my wardrobe you can find a lot of dresses and skirts however I am currently trying to incorporate some trousers and jeans. A fashion essential for me will be a pair of sunglasses as it brings a sense of class, elegance and boldness to every outfit.

I work full-time, I am a mum of two, a wife and a blogger/influencer so a typical day for me is trying to balance all of my responsibilities. I wake up around 5:30am, pray and get myself ready. Then I wake the kids around 6:30am and get them ready so my husband can take them to the child minder. I am a very organised person and I have a creative mind so I can easily put outfits together in my head wherever I am and when I get in, it is just a matter of pulling them out and getting them ready to shoot over the weekend. Sometimes I will edit some pictures, plan my feed and do some admin work while on the train to work. 

When did your love for fashion begin?

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved fashion. From a very young age I would bring out all my clothes from my wardrobe and play dress up, paint my nails, do my makeup, dance around my room and just have fun. I have always loved putting outfits together. Looking good just makes me happy and makes me feel good inside. 

I was told many times by many people to pursue something fashion related but I didn’t know what. [I decided to pursue it] after being on holiday in the Caribbean in 2016 and everywhere I went people kept coming up to me and asking me if I was a model and kept calling me black Victoria Beckham (laughs). When I got back to London I spoke to a really good friend of mine and she said I should go for it and start something on Instagram and that’s where it began. With her encouragement and support from my amazing husband, I am absolutely loving it. 

Being a mum is tough, but being a fashionable one is even tougher! Tell us your secret on how to manage blogging and being a mum of two with constant demands and still look so stylish all the time.

Thank you so much for your lovely compliment. It’s really not easy balancing it all however I believe if you are passionate about something, that passion drives you. As stated before, I have a strong passion for fashion. My husband would tell you I have very high standards for my family too so all of that drives me and keeps me going. I love my family, I love what I do for Darahdor so all of that makes is easy to get up and keep going. So the secret is love what you do and do what you love. 

 

What does self-care look like for you? How do you relax?

It is absolutely vital to have a healthy mind, keep your emotions pure, have confidence in yourself and feel happy within yourself. There are times where I take time out from Darahdor occasionally and just focus on family and build myself up spiritually.  Seven pm is bed time for my children so once they are in bed that’s ‘me’ time. I will light all the candles in the house and tuck myself at the corner of the sofa with my lovely blanket and Netflix becomes my best friend. 

You seem to be inspired by colours. What are your favourite colours for the season? What colour best describes you?

I love colour. It’s bold, beautiful and fun. I believe the Ghanian side of me definitely influences my choice of colours. The Ghanian fashion is a mix of western and traditional clothing, it is very rich in colour and boldly patterned fabric. I do not have a favourite colour this season as I love them all and it’s exciting mixing them up. I am never afraid to wear any colour and my friends always say I look good in anything, which is really sweet of them. Having said that, I think I am a secret admirer of the colour yellow. It really describes me best and my friends will tell you that I am very funny, fun and always carrying everyone to a happy place. That is what yellow means to me.

You also post a lot about beauty. What is your favourite beauty brand and why?

When it comes to skincare my go-to brand is The Glow Pot. Their products work really well for my skin. They use natural organic ingredients and all their products are cruelty-free. Their natural cucumber cleanser and Vitamin ACE moisturiser are my favourite. For makeup I love Estee Lauder; I am in love with their Double Wear Foundation, it’s my absolute favourite. It’s very light, it doesn’t even feel like I have anything on my face all day

What three adjectives best describe you?

I usually get some great comments from people, usually when I am out and about. I must say some really cool adjectives comes through those comments such as “really pretty”, “cute”, “fabulous”, “beautiful” “adorable”, “stunning” and even “classy”. Verbally others add that I am “well put together”. I find them all very flattering. I mean who wouldn’t right? Every now and then one deserves a well thought out comment. 

With that being said, I can restrict myself to three adjectives that melt my heart whenever I receive them and would definitely best describe me. With much appreciation for all the compliments here are the three adjectives: elegant, graceful and creative. They best describe the content of my work and to receive such feedback brings me so much joy.

 

Do you prefer trends or love to live out your own style?

I kind of live by the famous quote by Yves Saint Laurent: “fashion fades, style is eternal”. I do not follow trends as they keep changing all the time. Innovation and trends is what keeps the fashion industry alive, however, I like to observe seasonal trends and incorporate some into my own personal style without following trends entirely.

There are so many new fashion feeds on Instagram from bloggers all over the world. What makes your content unique and why should people follow you?

I think bloggers and influencers all over the world are doing an amazing job. Sometimes visiting other blogs it’s a bit like switching [through channels on] TV where you see lots of adverts with swipe up links, hauls, wish lists etc. Darahdor is not about encouraging my followers to buy things every day. For me it’s not about spending lots of money on buying new pieces but it’s all about how to mix the new with the old and still look amazing. I believe it is absolutely vital to stay true to what you believe in and not change your core values, who you are or what you believe because of external pressures and I believe that is what makes Darahdor different and unique.

What is your main source of inspiration when it comes to staying up to date with the latest fashion trends?

I am able to draw inspiration from wherever I am by reading magazines, checking out other bloggers from different countries and browsing on the internet and using apps such as Browzzin. It’s amazing because as a mum I am constantly busy so having the Browzzin app at my fingertips is very useful and it allows me to keep up to date with fashion, trends and be able to shop a specific look instantly which is absolutely amazing.