Maryam Keyhani

BY Anum Bashir

She's an artist, a mother to two gorgeous children, and a gem of a human. There's no better person out there to make a solid case for hats, and she's someone whose style I am absolutely obsessed with. This week, we got to chat with Maryam Keyhani about what makes her, her.

AB: Where were you born, and raised?

MK: In Tehran, Iran. Today I live between Toronto and Berlin.

AB: Early influences in life that led you down the creative path?

MK: It's hard to say... I used to be terrible at most things at school except Art, so maybe that was a sign.

AB: What steered your personal style? Who influenced it?

MK: I don’t really think anyone influenced my style, but I remember when I attended art school, I very quickly realized students wanting to exhibit their individual style as an extension of who they were. I felt the same freedom to explore my own identity through style, which has brought me to where I am today (sartorially speaking). Prior to that I didn’t think about the freedom in dressing - art school was a good open space for that to cultivate.

AB: Tell us more about your artistic practice.

MK: I stopped producing my line of jewelry a few years ago because I couldn’t handle the fashion industry anymore. Plus I missed making art and hanging out in my studio on my own all day. It was a type of escapism I thoroughly enjoyed and wasn't getting enough of.

Today, I am now working on an exhibition of drawings and small sculptures (which is what I traditionally do), a children's book, and an online shop I’ve been meaning to launch for a while now! 

AB: That sounds so exciting! Can't wait to see your online shop. I remember coming to your first show here in Dubai, and was instantly captivated by you. You were pregnant with Dali at the time.

MK: Yes!

AB: How has becoming a mother changed the way in which you work?

MK: Well I have less time now which means I’m far more efficient with the time I do have to myself. In the past, I never felt the need to impress anyone until I had my kids. Now I often ponder over how they'll perceive me as a woman. I feel like I owe them my best self, and that’s both a heavy and beautiful responsibility.

AB: Tell us about the hats.

MK: I have a big collection at this point (lost count a while ago). I perceive hats as kind of armor. They are great for hiding under, and staying in ones own universe. They've almost become an extension of who I am.

AB: I can't think of a better person to convince me to buy one at this point. In fact I probably may have bought a couple by the time we publish this.

AB: Where do you typically shop, and who are some of your favorite designers?

MK: I've been designing my own pieces for a while now. And u buy a lot of vintage. I think it is very important to wear things that have weathered history, and have a story. I’m still an eBay fan if you can believe it. Designers in particular don't carry that much weight for me. It's more about a look and feel that I go for.

AB: That's awesome. I'm slowly turning more and more to vintage myself. It's more affordable, and something about it looks more believable and chic.

AB: Hobbies?

MK: I should really think about that, and perhaps pick up a few.

AB: Pet Peeves?

MK: Oh, this is going to take long because that list is pretty sizable, but the first that comes to mind are disloyal people. They really get to me in a horribly bad way.

Photos by: Frido Schoepper 

AB: Favorite color?

MK: I don't actually have a favorite color.

AB: First thing you do in the morning?

MK: Sleep in a little more.

AB: Last thing you do at night?

MK: Daydream before I fall asleep.

AB: Artists you're inspired by right now?

MK: Right now, I would have to say it's the French painter Jean-Antoine Watteau - he’s always been an inspiration, but more recently I picked up this old beautiful book with some of his work and letters in it, and its triggered a whole new level of love and admiration. Let's just say I'm in full on Watteau stalker mode right now. 

AB: As an artist, what is your favorite medium to practice in?

MK: I work with a lot of different ones but at the moment I would say plaster. I love the immediacy of it. 

AB: Where can one buy your work?

MK: As of right now I take personal orders, but once my online shop goes live that will be another way in which people can purchase from me. Hopefully soon.

AB: Best piece of advice someone ever gave you?

MK: Slow down.

AB: Today, what would you tell your younger self?

MK: Slow down.

AB: What would you tell your older self?

MK: Slow down.

Follow Maryam here. You won't regret it!


Header photo by: Marlene Sorensen 
All other photos by: Jaclyn Locke 

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