Meet Mina Alyeshmerni

Mina Alyeshmerni for Passerbuys.jpg
 
 
Mina is the founder of Maimoun, an online store with a focus on finding new and established artists who honor the traditional, slow and thoughtfully carried out process of creation and construction. Growing up, Mina would take the train from her home in Long Island into the city to spend time in the Garment District, where she could be surrounded by fashion. She now lives in Williamsburg.
 
  T-Shirt, Vintage

T-Shirt, Vintage

  T-Shirt, Vintage

T-Shirt, Vintage

ON HER MORNING ROUTINE

It changes according to the seasons, more specifically the weather, but recently I’ve enjoyed waking up really early. I also tend to go to sleep late—kinda strange, but somehow it’s been working out. As soon as I rise, I like to hit play on some ambient music like Mulatu Astatke. It helps me transition from one menial task to the next without thinking too much. I’m really awful about doing the things that need to get done, so I have to trick myself like a little kid throughout the day. Making tea and reading New York Mag is something I like to indulge in if time allows. Then out comes the notepad. I feel like things need to be written in order to exist, so this helps me set my intention for the day. Having that time in the morning to just dilly dally is very necessary for me since from there I move pretty quickly through the day.

On Getting Started in the Fashion Industry

I was lucky enough to have my first internship in fashion when I was in high school. From there, it’s been one gig to the next. I’ve worked in licensing and production, merchandising, and personal shopping, followed by an unexpected and short-lived career in costume design, which I loved quite a bit. I came in with no knowledge on what the role required. I just remember making a decision that I too will play a role like the characters are playing: the role of Costume Designer. I keep saying I’ll step back into it should a project come along, but Maimoun has really allowed me to re-direct my longing for fashion in the role of curating a variety of characters when I go to market each season.

Mina Alyeshmerni Maimoun for Passerbuys82.jpg
I like short stories and poems, I’m always so amazed with writers who can fit in so much value in one or three lines. Richard Brautigan is one of the few: skilled at combining comedy with emotion when describing the most mundane of events.
— On her favorite books

On Starting Maimoun

Maimoun came out of an on-going conversation with friends working in web design, retail, and journalism. We would eventually hit this wall of how stale the experience has gotten to feel, especially online. I had also been archiving a mountain of information on my computer of artists, designers, ideas, etc. Through costume design, I found that I loved to curate, and not just one-dimensionally but through a thread of aesthetics that would come to give meaning to the store, or my plans for it.  

ON Where she sees maimoun in the future

I see Maimoun building out more of a conversation with our audience. That's something, as a consumer, I certainly crave. Being online there is of course a very real barrier of connecting with your clients, but there are creative ways around it which I am hoping to challenge and explore this year.

On her beauty routine and favorite products

Occasionally I’ll treat myself to a manicure or a face mask from Youth to the People. It’s wildly refreshing and makes your skin soft like a cat’s underbelly. Every few weeks I’ll use the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, which is both super effective and edible, I think. I hope. I like using Avène face wash because I tend to have irritated skin and I find their products ultra sensitive and calming. I started thinking about sun protection in my late 20s, and now I always wear a sunblock in my concealer. Dior Forever is great. It’s light and has SPF 35. For my face I'll use EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. I’m a very big fan of oil-based bar soaps from SAIPUA because I’m always putting lotion on my dry skin throughout the day, and this helps lock the moisture in from the start. Davines Momo Hair Potion is great. I picked it up from a hotel stay, and must have called room service at least ten times for a replenishment. No shame. To balance out the mind, I like dropping in a tincture from Sisters of the West. Their Pasado tincture unwinds me, and is also a nice way to loosen up a hangover.

  Dress, Hand-knit with sequins found at a Long Island estate sale

Dress, Hand-knit with sequins found at a Long Island estate sale

On One of her favorite records

If someone could score my dreams at night, it would probably be Leonard Cohen.  

On shopping and personal style

I never like purchasing based off of need. That to me is too boring. Most of the time, I’ll dig through my mom’s closet—she’s reached the far fashion corners of the 80s and 90s nicely, most of which is still so relevant to this day. Otherwise I tend to seek out estate sales (EstateSales.Net) or go to vintage stores (Mirth, Shop The Break, Horizons, Narnia & Feng Sway.) I will pair these finds with more modern pieces that I’ve collected throughout the years from younger designers. If I had to give a name to my style it would be something like: "Old Timey Persian Princess meets American Tomboy vacationing on the French Riviera." Not that I’ve given this title any real significant thought…of course not.

ON What she does that's just for her

Going for walks at night and taking long showers. The latter I tend to feel guilty about, so mainly long walks. I usually get very reflective during them and even though I know my corner of Brooklyn pretty well, I’ll try to get lost and find new paths and figure out my way back home. I also recently bought a slab of clay from Choplet where I used to take pottery classes. Working with my hands gets me out of my head and focuses me so that’s always a welcome break.

On Her Nightly Ritual

I go to bed every night with a cup of almond milk. It helps me sleep.  

I’m such a creature of my home, so everything that comes in has its own little celebration its first week and then I’m on to the next. I like to change it up, so I will often sell pieces and bring in something new. My aesthetic is always moving—I’m not sure why people feel the strong need to live forever with the furniture they purchase.
— on her approach to decorating

Mina's Favorite Books

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis by Lydia DavisLoading Mercury With a Pitchfork by Richard BrautiganThe First Bad Man by Miranda JulyFranny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

MIna's Favorite Records

The Best of Leonard CohenThe Anthology by A Tribe Called QuestThe Boss by Diana Ross and Santana

Mina's favorite movies

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Minnie and Moskowitz, Weird Science, One Fine Day

Mina's favorite places

My favorite place to escape to in Brooklyn is Beco—it's this small spot on a completely residential street, and there's one bartender who plays Brazilian house music. It feels very "community" there, but from another time/country.

To have a good dance session, or to hear new music, I’ll go to Lover’s Rock. Last time I was there, they had a flood due to the rain, and everyone just got in it, kicking it around and dancing.

I'm an addict for Brooklyn Bahn Mi's Vietnamese coffee, and their food is also pretty amazing.

For a good cocktail, I’ll go the distance and travel to Red Hook, Botanica Bar, a seasonal location that makes a great drink with floor to ceiling windows and curtains that spill out onto the streets. Then I head down the block to Sunny’s for a grungier vibe with live music.

 

  Coat, Vintage, Top, Vintage via  Mirth  

Coat, Vintage, Top, Vintage via Mirth 

Shop This Feature