19 September 2019

ACV03: Don’t Be Afraid To Open Any Door (Nabil Aliffi, Director of Digital Fashion at Selfridges, Part 1)

Nabil (instagram: @nabilaliffi) is the Digital Fashion Director in Selfridges, a chain of high end department stores in England. In his current role he leads a team of 120 people and coordinates Selfridges’ brand position across a variety of media platforms. Back in 2009, Nabil received the Mendaki scholarship to study Fashion Management in London College of Fashion. Prior to graduating, he was offered a job as an Art director in Urban Outfitters, where he rose to the role of Creative Director, before being headhunted to his current position in Selfridges. In 2013, Nabil was awarded the prestigious Prime Minister’s Youth Promise award by the government of Singapore.


  1. How do you stand out? Instead of competing in the usual rat race, can you find something off the beaten track that you’re interested in and where your chances of doing well are improved because not that many people are in that space? Worth checking out this piece by Petter Thiel https://www.wsj.com/articles/peter-thiel-competition-is-for-losers-1410535536
  2. You’re rarely out, even if you’re down. In Nabil’s case, his A level results may have shut the door to his original plans to pursue a liberal arts degree, but it gave him the impetus to pursue something that was arguably even better. Credit to him for daring to pivot. Still, doing something non-conventional is still very scary though. You can see that it took certain life events to push Nabil to do something different. And even so, Nabil needed time to process this decision and come to terms with it.
  3. You need grit. Grit to look (and even ask) for opportunities and pursue extra-curricular activities. Grit to look for the next way to apply yourself even if life closes one door. Grit (courage) to say yes to projects that seem scary and demanding at the outset. Even when Nabil was unsure about his future, he was still seeking out opportunities in the fashion scene.

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