Samantha Bawan is a phenomenal force in the fashion and lifestyle space. The one-half of the physician sisters popularly known as the Bawan Sisters love to dress in style and travel to her heart’s delight. A radiologist by training—specialising in vascular & interventional radiology—when she’s not in hospital saving lives, literally—Samantha loves to travel and update the social media pages and website of The Bawan Sisters where she perfectly curates top-notch fashion and pictorial travelogue set against beautiful landscapes, all a testament to her dedicated journey to all things fashion, style, and travel.
Elixuer Magazine caught up with Samantha amidst her busy work schedules of jostling between hospitals, jetting across the globe to different locations, and managing the personal style website Bawan Sisters, and Instagram account @bawansisters boasting an impressive 26.6K followers and counting.
This is a combination of a previously conducted interview over the past year and a recent update when we caught up with the physician and trendsetter.
What do you say is your personal sense of style?
I’d say, compared to my sister, my sense of style is more classic, but with a bit of a twist. I love more classic silhouettes like dresses and suits, but I like to mix patterns and wear a lot of bold, bright colours.
What are some of your favourite brands?
I love accessories and I love Chanel, and I love high-end luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Bottega Veneta, and Dior.
The one thing is I do wear them to work. Like I don’t just buy clothes and keep them in my closet—everything that I buy, I wear to work. And that’s what I enjoy about it. It really lets me express myself. And it gives me confidence too to be able to dress up and dress well.
What are your criteria for choosing brand partners to work with?
I think we’re very selective on who we partner with. We don’t do a lot of sponsored posts and if I am going to do sponsored posts, it would be with a brand that I have either purchased [from] myself in the past or one that I believe in, or one that I would go out and purchase [from] myself. It wouldn’t be something that, if once they sent it to me, I never want to use again […] It should be open for us to give whatever feedback we give, and it shouldn’t be for a positive review.
How do you ensure the content you create resonates with your audience?
Tying back to the previous question, we don’t do a lot of sponsored posts and I think that helps our feed look organic. It’s not always just products, and [the photos are] not too staged. The clothes that I wear are truly things that I wear, and I think people realize it’s actually what we enjoy in life. I think that helps people feel like we’re authentic, and I think that’s what really drives our follower base.
When [followers] interact with us like through Instagram stories or they ask us, “can you review this? Can you talk about this?” It’s really important to engage with your audience and see the feedback you’re getting from them.
Even if we do sponsored posts, like a collaboration with a hotel, it’s not just going to be about a picture of the hotel. It’s still a fashion blog. It’s still about our state, how we did it so that everything seems cohesive but true to us.
How would you advise your followers on fashion and having a sense of style?
I think you have to first know that just because I like a certain colour and pattern, it’s not something that everyone’s going to appreciate. But I think you have to know what suits you, your body type, and what you like. And then you can bring in elements. Let’s say you only wear neutrals or black, but you can appreciate colour or pattern on someone else’s outfit. You have to find a way to incorporate what you like into your look slowly. Take it piece by piece, put a little bit of colour, put a little bit of pattern, expand your horizon slowly.
Q: Since the last time we spoke, can you bring us up to speed with regards to your personal style. What has changed and what hasn’t?
Colourful, bold, patterned outfits are still my signature style and something I do not think will completely change. Since we last spoke, I have been travelling more and have discovered new brands and inspiration on how to dress. For example, I love Italian style with linen sets and more classic silhouettes in neutral colors. I can see my style evolve when trying to incorporate these pieces into my wardrobe while still making the outfit my own.
Q: We also established that for you fashion functions as a form of self-care and self-expression—in the face of scrubs, lab coats, and high-pressure situations. Does that still hold true for you, with regards to flitting between the medical world and the world of fashion as it were?
This statement still holds true. I find it resonates with me even more these days. During Covid I did not wear outside clothes into the hospital. Getting ready for work was not fun or interesting. Now I am back to wearing colorful printed outfits. While these outfits keep my day interesting, I know the patients and staff also appreciate it.
Q: You also spoke about not doing a lot of sponsored posts, has your stance on that changed and why?
I have started doing more collaborations with brands since we last spoke. I decided that I would start working with companies which I already like and wear. I want to show support to brands that I believe in, and sponsored posts are a great way to share these brands with my followers.
Q: You appear to have been doing a lot of traveling recently, can you tell us a bit about some of your favourite places around the world?
Although I love fashion, travel is my number one passion. I have always had a love for history and food and travel is a great way to experience both.
Europe has always been a favourite place of mine to visit because of all the history. Barcelona is one of my favourite European cities because of the variety of activities you can do. There is a lot of history and gorgeous architecture. The food and bar scene in Barcelona is some of the best. The top bar in the world this year is in Barcelona. If you want a more relaxing vacation, the beach is nearby, and close to Barcelona are many smaller beach towns.
Earlier this year I took a trip to Sonoma. Sonoma is not far from where I live, and I think it is a great getaway. Sonoma has such a relaxed atmosphere with some amazing wineries, resorts and restaurants. Not far from Sonoma are great hikes and beaches. Sonoma is also close to Yountville, Napa and San Francisco.
Q: Anything else you want us to know about Samantha?
I have an upcoming trip to Vienna in October which I am excited for. Fall is gorgeous in Europe, and I am excited to go explore!
Chinenye Emezie | Assistant Editor