The Moroccan-Egyptian fashion entrepreneur basks in the spotlight of old-world glamour.
Born and raised in Paris by her Moroccan mother and Egyptian father, Juny Breeze quickly learned that she was different from others. “I was born in the Nineties at a time when girls from Arab descent did not have any lookalike figures to admire in the media or in local culture in general. This was a social and unconscious isolation. It pushed me to look at my place in society. I grew up with more than a double-culture but a multicultural background, and today, my style is the fruit of my sensibility to all.”
Breeze recalls growing up watching old movies starring Faten Hamama, Soad Hosny, Sophia Loren, and Brigitte Bardot, and being mesmerized by the actresses’ outfits. “The cinema industry – Occidental and Middle Eastern – influenced my style and how I balance out a look,” she says, adding that “discretion, tailoring, and a touch of fun” are the fil rouge to her looks peppered with vintage pieces and embedded with historic charm. She also recalls a childhood filled with music, and dancing along to Oum Kalthoum, Serge Gainsbourg, and Françoise Hardy. Today, Breeze runs her own thrift clothing e-shop Junybreeze.com that she launched two years ago. “I remember going shopping in thrift stores with my mother from a very young age. Coming from a very modest family in Casablanca, she had learned how to pick the fanciest items that nobody would look at. It became a kind of game for us to go vintage hunting together on weekends, wondering what kind of luck would come our way. This is how my love for vintage and style made their way into my life.”
As Breeze dives into the vintage world, she considers the conventional ways that caftans were worn in Middle Eastern culture during auspicious events, and how this Arabian gown has transcended into modern eveningwear across various cultures. While on vintage shopping hunts with her mother, Breeze quickly discovered how personal style offers the first window for how one is perceived in society. “As a young French woman, I had to learn quickly how to adapt and get my caftan tailored for weddings and cocktails in Casablanca to be treated as a local,” she says, “or at least the daughter of a local Moroccan.”
“I bought a Saint Laurent bag with my very first salary. It felt like I was making a promise to myself to always work to get what I want in life,” offers the entrepreneur. Breeze points to the 60s and 90s as her ultimate fashion eras. Her favorite brands are Courrèges, Thierry Mugler, Yves Saint Laurent, and Jean Paul Gaultier, along with several independent designer brands such as Stine Goya, By Far, Staud, and Reformation. “Clothing should never feel or look uncomfortable,” she comments. “I truly appreciate the small heel of vintage shoes and how they were dedicated to giving an allure to the steps of those wearing them.”
In my bag
Inside the young entrepreneur’s bag are her daily essentials, including a notebook, cinnamon chewing gum, and a scarf – “maybe an Oum Kalthoum habit we share somehow,” she chuckles. “There is also my cheap lipstick that I buy each year in a Casablanca souk, and of course, my phone and EarPods to self-isolate anytime I feel a need to think or daydream (99% of the time).
“My father has this little Arabic song that has enchanted me since I was a child: ‘I love all the people, and I wave goodbye to them.’ With time, I like to live by these words,” she says. “Being loving to the ones around us as much as love includes the terms of acceptance, patience, and happiness. But at the same time, to never try to possess what and who we love and let it be and maybe let it go peacefully.”
Originally published in the October 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia