Her big sister Yasmine Yeya (Maison Yeya) is one of Egypt’s most prominent bridal couturiers, and from the looks of Mariam Yehia’s debut Mrs. Keepa Fall 2016 collection, featured in its entirety above, the Egyptian designer has more than just a few fashion tricks tucked up her pretty boho luxe sleeves.
“I worked for years with Emaar at the Dubai Mall marketing brands’ communications strategies,” explained Yehia on the phone from Cairo with Style.com/Arabia. “Suddenly, I realized that just wasn’t the life I wanted to lead anymore.” Yehia duly handed in her resignation and enrolled at ESMOD Dubai. Yehia explained that while she hails from a family of designers (her mother used to make all her childhood clothes), it was her husband who encouraged her to take the leap.
“It was important that I enroll in an actual design school and not be pigeonholed as a blogger-turned-designer,” explained Yehia, whose personal Instagram page boasts upwards of 60K followers. Via social media, she regularly features herself in artfully pieced together looks against a backdrop of Paris or Dubai and sometimes poses with her 11-month-old daughter.
To a trained eye, Yehia’s launch collection is rife with ‘70s chic Gucci by Alessandro Michele references speckled with sequined pieces to give it a pop of pizzazz—only without the Gucci price tag. Positioning Mrs. Keepa as a bridge brand (along the likes of Alice McCall and Self-Portrait), Yehia will price the ready-to-wear line from US $275-800 while the high-end pieces (30% of the line) will run from US $1000-2500. But refocus your eye away from the styling and there are some beautiful pieces here that the designer explains actually reference her travels and her current state of mind—being a mom. “The hooded “capuchon” pieces remind of Moroccan abayas, while the palazzo pants reference the New York twin towers, and the fluttery sleeves recall the lines of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab,” she explains. As for the cozy patterns—the new mother became enamored by the prints while shopping for her daughter at Parisian children stores Jacadi and Petit Bateau. “I wanted to create something for women that would maintain this playful innocence but still be chic.” Look closely and indeed, you’ll see teddy bears against a backdrop of mint green triangles. By toying with colorful prints and sophisticated silhouettes, Yehia has created a splendid juxtaposition that reverberates style.
Mariam Yehia will debut her line, Mrs. Keepa, in Dubai on Monday, May 2nd. Its e-commerce website will debut May 15th.