BOUTIQUE SPOTLIGHT: MAIMOUN
Maimoun comes from the Persian language word “meh-moun” meaning the guests who are invited to visit your home for a gathering. When you enter as a guest to Maimoun, expect to be welcomed to unique and rare pieces that are trendy and empowering. We had the opportunity to catch up with Maimoun owner Mina Alyeshmerni to talk about how her cultural experience has played a role in her personal journey and style.
Garmentory: What’s the story behind Maimoun?
Mina Alyeshmerni: Maimoun was founded in 2015. At this time and years prior, I had been working in the industry in various jobs circling the design world and was coming across talented designers that weren’t getting much exposure. Also, the democratization of social media and the ability to purchase online made it possible to bring in virtually unknown designers from an international arena to take risks that helped create our initial voice.
How do you decide what designers to buy and feature? The buying process for me is quite similar to my personal shopping habits, which is more from the gut on what items and designers stay on my mind after an email interaction, a show, a presentation, or a market appointment. If it's a bigger designer with more distribution, I try to think about how we can acquire exclusives or focus the order on the more unique pieces that a larger store might deem to risky or not mass enough to carry. For my younger designers, I really look for more playful, yet wearable items—a unique, consistent message within the collection where I know they’re going to sit in their own distinctive place in the store for seasons to come. At the end of the day, all of the items are pieces that tell a story of a person who doesn’t take fashion too seriously, but knows that clothing can be a playfully alterable extension of her/his story.
What inspires you? Inspiration comes to me in a multitude of pathways,. I spend a lot of time at libraries. They’ve almost become a time capsule of books from the ’80s and ’90s, which I often post to our store’s Instagram. I don’t think I can pinpoint specific people or references because it’s quite widespread and sometimes more intangible. As I’ve gotten older, another component has been my background—my culture of being Iranian—and the history, rituals, and celebrations that I used to take for granted growing up. When anything that made you feel different, you felt more plagued by than anything else, so it’s nice to come up on the other side to feel even more inspired by what has taken centuries and decades to build.
What’s your favorite part about your Iranian culture? Definitely the food. Instead of hugs and kisses and verbal acknowledgments, it’s all said with food.
Who would you most love to dress? Shirin Neshat
Your style in three words: Comfort, Shiny, Evolving
Favorite vacation destinations? Iceland, Peru, Japan
Last song you were jamming to: Jane B. by Jane Birkin
What designers are you currently obsessed with? Designers we are loving this season are Bror August, Clyde, Julia Heuer. As for the upcoming season, there are a lot, most of them we are confirmed as their first and only touch point for distribution: Zoltán Toth, J. Kim, Cormio. We are also excited to welcome Eckhaus Latta to the mix. They’ve really championed a more DIY fashion movement, which I think a lot of our younger designers have been able to flourish in the wake of.
What trends are you most excited about this season? DIY. By this I mean a more handmade nature to the creation of products and goods, fingerprints of the designer on each piece and each item being slightly unique. And prints, dyes, and animal prints—items exploring texture and dimensionality.
What’s the best career advice you've ever received? When interning for Julie Gilhart at Barneys in the merchandising department, I didn't often get face time with her as her schedule required a lot of travel and a lot of being out of the office—but I do remember being so hungry to learn when she did have a day in the office. What she said was: “Make sure to ask for what you want and care for yourself, nobody will be as invested in your life and career outside of you.” It’s something that, at the time, didn't quite feel impactful but it has dictated a lot of decisions I’ve made since.