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"Pioneering Sensibility"

Maryam Nassir Zadeh is a pioneer. Cultivating a new sensibility, and empowering women in a new way, she has become somewhat of a figurehead of New York’s downtown creative scene. Her online retail experience, showroom and clothing line are a staple reference point and a must-have purchase of every hyphenate “creative type” in the city. Anti “big brand”, and the agenda that often comes alongside that trope, Maryam’s unique approach to retail has been a breath of fresh air to a saturated, commercial industry; offering a rawness and realness with the authentic, modern woman at the forefront.

Founding the brand in 2008, straight from her studies of textiles at Rhode Island School of Design, Maryam is now known globally for her contradictory, impactful yet simple designs, “the MNZ woman is an individual who is strong and creative, who has a sensitivity for beauty and design” she tells us. “She has pride in her life, she’s pushing to express herself and wants to add to the beauty of the world.” Not hedonistic in their emphasis on the individual at the heart of the brand, but emphasising a consciousness of the clothing and the consequent lifestyle that some women really want.

Maryam’s signature aesthetic is hugely coveted; to be included in her shopping curation and selected as a concession on her well-known site – where she showcases numerous like-minded brands alongside her own – is a benchmark moment for both old and new brands alike. Her roster of designers includes Jacquemus, Sophie Buhai and Eckhaus Latta – many up and coming trailblazers who Maryam formed a relationship with when they were at their grassroots and all with distinctly abstract yet familiar aesthetics akin to that of Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

A quick browse on the site or a quick jaunt into the showroom and you’ll find a unique discourse of vintage references with current shapes and fabrics, a fusion of classic and clean combined with unexpected colour, shape or texture to “make for something personal” as Maryam describes. And it is from a personal place, though, that her love for good design comes. “My grandmother is my biggest life inspiration, in July she turns 90.”

In the 70’s Maryam’s grandmother opened her own boutique in Iran called ‘Mimi’, it was revolutionary for its time. She designed hats and would sell them alongside imported items from her visits to artisans in Italy and France and, in a similar way to how Maryam innovates her displays now, she found ingenious ways to show every item. With Maryam’s grandfather, who was the military attaché of Iran in London, “they would often go to parties to visit the queen and in Iran, she would design clothes for Queen Farah of Iran.“

Photography by Sally Griffiths & Gillian Garcia

It is, therefore, no coincidence that when Maryam went to stay with her grandparents, when she was in high school, the magic of her grandmother rubbed off – this was when Maryam first learned to sew and they created a whole collection together over the course of one summer break “she taught me patience and process and how possible it is to make something out of nothing. All these lessons have informed my own lifestyle and process.”

Seeing the world through Maryam’s eyes is a charming pleasure where beauty is seen and emphasised in the ordinary. Through her lens, basic pieces become luxury items as she iterates the familiar into something new and shows it in a new way.

Though she is a frequent traveller, Maryam’s creative base is in New York City. “What I love about NYC most is that everything is at your fingertips, all the best people are so near… there is such a strong community of like-minded people who have common interests and vision for lifestyle.” Her main inspirations are the things she is yet to learn and the different quirks in culture and people that make us all different – all qualities that are rooted in Maryam’s own identity which is perhaps why she is so keen to build others up through the shopping platform that she has built, alongside her own brand.

Pursuing authenticity, Maryam collaborates with people that inspire her on an aesthetic and – more importantly – on an intellectual and emotive level; like the designer and past tastemaker Ana Kras, who frequently walks in her New York fashion week shows, or the lead in this week’s film, designer and model Camilla Deterre or artist Susan Ciancolo who we also meet in this week’s film. “What I see in them is their uniqueness, authenticity, their beauty and talent, and I see something that I want to celebrate, highlight and appreciate”. Maryam strives for representation of all types of women; of every ethnicity and age bracket. She chooses individuals that offer creativity in different aspects of culture – not because of their social media pull.

Although Instagram is obsessed with Maryam, Maryam isn’t overly concerned by the platform, even as a tool to discover new brands. “When I discover something I love I either cross paths with it or they approach me in an organic way… For me, social media is more about sharing my story and actually connecting with friends, and less about being commercial.”

  • Semaine Tastemaker Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Maryam is present, and she presents the world in her own way that just so happens to be exactly what we want to follow and invest in. But negotiating the desires of a consumer and forming trends doesn’t come without trials and tribulations – to that, however, Maryam has some advice for you…advice that she actually offers to herself if she knew what she knows now when starting the company.“Go slow, stay focused and don’t assume. Business needs attention and support, everything is alive and constantly changing, so with that change we need to be aware and present so we can shift with the changes. Business is like a baby, it needs constant love and dialogue.”

Stay ahead with Maryam, and see the world through her informed eyes, only on Semaine this week.

By Kezia Navey for Semaine.
"Rohming Around"

Perhaps one of the most aesthetically pleasing selection of films we’ve ever had, this selection perfectly showcases the cultural moments that have inspired Maryam’s own aesthetic over the years.



Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Mustang Film for her Semaine stream section


In a Turkish village, five orphaned sisters are kept under strict lock and key by their aunt and uncle after an entirely innocent encounter with a group of boys.



Woody Allen, 1978
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Interiors film by Woody Allen for her Semaine stream section


Three sisters find their lives spinning out of control in the wake of their parents’ sudden, unexpected divorce.



The Color of Paradise
Majid Majidi, 1999
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects The Color of Paradise film for her Semaine stream section


Visually magnificent and wrenchingly moving, the film tells the story of a boy whose inability to see the world only enhances his ability to feel its powerful forces.



Le Mépris
Jean-Luc Godard, 1963
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Les Mépris for her Semaine stream section


Paul, an aspiring playwright, finds himself caught between the director and the producer, on a movie adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey.



Purple Noon
René Clement, 2013
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Purple Noon film by René Clement for her Semaine stream section


Wealthy Mr Greenleaf hires Tom Ripley to bring back his son Philippe from Italy to the US, as he fears that he is squandering his inheritance. However, when Tom becomes attracted to Philippe’s lifestyle and girlfriend, his intentions take a lethal turn.



Red Desert
Michelangelo Antonioni
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects The Red Desert Film for her Semaine stream section


In a heavily built up and industrial area, unstable Giuliana attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages.



Le Genou de Claire
Éric Rohmer, 1970
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Le Genou de Claire by Éric Rohmer for her Semaine stream section


Diplomat Jérôme, on a resort vacation, meets teenager Claire. Though engaged to be married, Jérôme falls hopelessly in love with Claire’s knee.

"Extravagence exacerbated"

Maryam deems frequent travel as her greatest extravagance, but where is it that she loves to visit most? globally.

We Care Spa
18000 Long Canyon Rd
Desert Hot Springs
CA 92241
United States
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects We Care Spa, United States for her Semaine explore section
Designed to carefully listen to your needs, We Care Spa is a personalised spa retreat experience. It’s everything you needed for your body.

Casa Oaxaca
Calle de Manuel García Vigil 407
Ruta Independencia, Centro
68000 Oaxaca
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Casa Oaxaca, Mexico, for her Semaine explore section
Casa Oaxaca, a traditional building alive with stories and secrets of Oaxaca’s past present, and future.

Hotel Belmond La Residencia
Carrer son Canals
07179 Deià
Illes Balears
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selectts Hotel Belmond la Residencia for her Semaine explore section
Indulge in a break like no other at the Belmond, an artistic oasis of rustic beauty.

Scala dei Turchi
Realmonte, AG
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Scala Dei Turchi, Sicily for her Semaine Explore Section
A natural wonder and a staircase along the sea, this white cliff reveals a spectacular stretch of coastline is a must visit tourist seascape.

A Mi Manera
Carretera Cala Saona, KM. 0.2
07860 Formentera
Islas Balareas
This secret garden in Spain is a slice of magic, born out of a love and dedication for the local culture and its cuisine.

Casa Cuseni
Via Leonardo Da Vinci, 5-7
98039 Taormina Me
Casa Cuseni is officially the Museum Centre of the City of Taormina, an eclectic, historic home and gardens built by artist Robert Hawthorn.

Oaxaca Botanical Garden
Reforma Sur N
Ruta Independencia, Centro
68000 Oaxaca
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Oaxaca Botanical Garden explore section
Oaxaca’s botanical garden is home to hundreds of species of plants, all of them native to Oaxaca.

Ca’s Patro March
Carrer Sa Cala, 16
07179 Deià
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Ca's Patro Match for her Semaine shop section
A restaurant by the sea, what more could you ask for? Fresh, seasonal food, which is served here of course.

Hippie Market El Pilar de La Mola
07872 El Pilar de la Mola
Balearic Islands
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Hippie Market el Pilar de la Mola for her Semaine explore Section
Without a doubt one of the most authentic markets on the Island, formed exclusively for artisans and original products.

Las Salines Beach
Diseminado Can Gregori, 5465
07818 Sant Josep De Sa Talaia
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Ses Salines Beach, Ibiza for her Semaine explore section
Soft sands, clear waters, beautiful people and great beach bars – Salinas is the cool beach for those in the know.

La Lagunilla Market
Lote 1, López Rayón 46, Centro
06000 Ciudad de Mêxico, CDMX
At this Sunday antiques market you’ll find everything you didn’t think you’d find, fro, an old doorknob to vintage jackets and a traditional Mexican beer, michelada.

Luis Barragán House and Studio
Gral. Francisco Ramírez 12
Ampliación Daniel Garza, Amp Daniel Garza, Miguel Hidalgo
11840 Ciudad de México
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Luis Barragán House and Studio, Mexico for her Semaine explore section
Casa Luis Barragán is the former residence of architect Luis Barragán in Miguel Hidalgo district, Mexico City.

Restaurant Contramar
Calle de Durango 200, Roma Nte.
067000 Cuautémoc, CDMX
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Contramar Restaurant for her Semaine explore section
Restaurant Contramar is one of the most renowned in Mexico, and it wouldn’t be a trip there without visiting.

Riad El Fenn
Derb Moulay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, 2
Marrakesh 40000
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Riad El Fenn explore section
Riad El Fenn boasts one of the best rooftop restaurants and bars in Marrakech, built in a traditional former palace.

Jardin Majorelle
Rue Yves St Laurent
Marrakesh, 40000
Maryam Nassir Zadeh selects Jardin Majorelle explore section
One of the most beautiful gardens, not just in Marrakesh but the world, which is no surprise, given that it was bought by Yves Saint Laurent.
"Ferragamo blue leather jacket"
Get to know Tastemaker and designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh like you never have before.

Are you a morning or evening person
Morning person.

French Riviera, Amalfi Coast or Malibu?
Amalfi Coast

What is your greatest extravagance?
Frequent travel.

What item of clothing is your favourite?
Ferragamo blue leather jacket.

Do you prefer to gym, swim or hike?
Hike, but I love running and yoga.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing loved ones.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Time travel–I would want to go back in time, visit the past, freeze time in the moment, and change the future.

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