Mariam Yehia is known for her vibrant ready-to-wear designs. Now, she is all set to dress your home with the same exuberant color and texture.
Power neon shades reinterpret the traditional charm of animal prints. Lush fabrics and embroidery meet with unexpected splashes of gold. Patterns that have rarely been synchronized together are never to be separated again. Mariam Yehia’s newest design escapade is a natural and eloquent continuation of the Mrs Keepa signature aesthetic. After successfully cementing her trademark vantage point, the designer is more ready than ever to instigate a new chapter beyond womenswear. Mrs Keepa Home is the designer’s rebellion against monotonous interiors. Far from tedious, each accessory and piece of furniture is made to act as a far-from-subtle kiss of life to elevate and energize. “Mrs Keepa has become a state of mind. It is no longer about just buying a top or a dress, instead, it has become a comprehensive lifestyle. If you visit my house, you will see a multi-chapter story, where you can spot a dress in my wardrobe that correlates with an accent piece downstairs in the living room. It is a full-fledged eclectic lifestyle,” shares Yehia with a proud smile.
Launching this month, Mrs Keepa Home came to fruition due to a spark that was lit five years ago, when Yehia decided to furnish a new house. Stumbling upon an unexplored passion for interiors, the designer’s personal experience with a market gap put her on a creative route. “I had been living in Dubai for over a decade and naturally, I have moved between a lot of houses. The expat life always means that we never feel the need to truly invest in our houses, instead we tend to keep everything as minimalist as possible.” The designer adds, “If you see my wardrobe or my fashion line, you will get a sense of who I am. Yet, my house never reflected neither me nor what Mrs Keepa is all about.” Yehia’s need for an abode that eloquently captures her true self made her perceive the market’s available options from a new angle. Looking for furniture that spoke to her, she could not find anything that she truly liked and was still within her budget. “Without an actual conscious decision, I started to do my own thing. I began visiting vintage and pre-owned furniture stores, everywhere from Sharjah to Jebel Ali, and I found beautiful pieces that I would buy as is. Quickly, however, I came to realize that these pieces still failed to represent my aesthetic. So, I began to uplift and upcycle them.” The first piece was a dining table for her children, before she decided to complement the space with a set of colorful stools with clashing patterns. Soon after, the designer added handmade wooden chairs, which she upcycled with unexpected Puma cushions and bold paint. Consequently, visitors and social media followers showered Yehia with compliments and questions about where to find similar furniture, encouraging her to further immerse herself in her newly found passion, continuously adding accent decor to her house every couple of months.
Fast forward to years later when she started working on her new flagship store at Dubai Design District, and the designer’s true moment of inspiration to start a home line arrived. “I received a lot of pitches from different interior designers, yet, nothing truly resonated with me, none of the proposals managed to capture the DNA of the brand. Naturally, I decided to do it myself, and the rest is history.” Walking through her colorful flagship store, Yehia adds, “Everything here I either designed and got manufactured or I sourced from vintage stores and then upcycled using old stock fabrics.” According to Yehia, the store was the true starting point. “I began working on the debut collection in October. It consists of almost 50 designs encompassing tableware that comes in six different variations, 20 different cushions, throws, six sets of bedwear, furniture, and accent pieces. The collection also includes table runners, table mats, cutlery holders, and napkins for everyday use as well as couture table runners and napkins that are handmade for special occasions. In parallel, there is a ceramics collection of accent cups and plates.” Yehia adds, “The line also extends to include avant-garde kimonos and pajama sets that allow you to have a super eclectic way of living within your home.” Price points range from Dh600 to Dh10 000.
Made at the Mrs Keepa workshop in Dubai, the line prioritizes sustainability. All items are made utilizing either green materials or previous stock that was turned into furniture rather than discarded. With that in mind, the designer also plans to encourage her customers to further embrace the Mrs Keepa invitation to shuffle and shift. “I believe in style; I do not believe in fashion and trends. The same goes for the house. I do not want my designs to become just another piece.”
Originally published in the February 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia