DUBAI: Egyptian-French designer Mariam Yeya started her career in the corporate world but her innate sense of cool style meant she was regularly on regional best-dressed lists.
Seeing a gap in the market, she decided to launch her own label, Mrs. Keepa, also the name of her much-followed Instagram account.
But Yeya is more than an influencer with her own fashion label brand. Her big sister Yasmine is a well-known fashion designer too, with her Maison Yeya workshop based in Cairo, so Yeya knew that launching a label was about a lot more than just dressing well.
She decided to enroll at the French fashion design school Esmod Dubai in order master the technical side of the business, and Mrs. Keepa made its debut three years ago. Soon after, she showed at one of the region’s most important fashion platforms, Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD), and Yeya is there again this year.
Mrs. Keepa has a cosmopolitan vibe, drawing from her own background, but is still very much a label that pays homage to the region.
The first collection was an ode to Dubai’s architecture. Long, high-waisted trousers resembled the UAE city’s skyscrapers with their slick endless lines. The bell-shaped sleeves of one of her blouses were inspired by the beautiful curves of the iconic Burj Al Arab.
While Yeya said there was no specific inspiration behind her Fall/Winter 2019 collection that she will present at FFWD on Saturday, there will be lots of exaggerated silhouettes that have a very Japanese feel.
“My mood board and inspiration process don’t follow a certain criterion. It’s a very random process where lots of ‘brain-archived’ ideas come out at the fabric purchase or design draping stage,” she added.
Mrs. Keepa is about timeless pieces that are not trend driven yet have a very au courant feel. “After reaching a wide audience and gaining trust within the region, we have expanded our in-house operation to meet with the growing orders demand,” she said.
The FFWD showing comes at an important time for Mrs. Keepa which has found its niche in the region and is preparing to expand into its own retail channels. Yeya will shortly be opening two standalone stores in Dubai.