Fashion Weekly

Creative outlet

June 8 - 14, 2011

Gulf Weekly Creative outlet

Bahraini Mariam Mazen Al Umran’s latest venture, Meemo Space, is not only an artistic retail outlet but also a new home for aspiring young designers across Bahrain who need a ‘space’ to showcase their talents.
Unlike her first Meemo Boutique in Seef Mall the new store, located in Al Aali Shopping Complex, features European branded attire, accessories and homewear as well as Bahraini art pieces and designs.

The 25-year-old from Manama also wanted to create a venue for fresh new faces within the kingdom to exhibit their work in an ‘inspirational and creative atmosphere’.

Mariam said: “During my trips to Europe and my studies in London, I used to notice old warehouses being converted into art galleries and that gave me the inspiration for the shop.

“I hate the idea of normal fixtures as I enjoy moving the clothes, accessories and bags around the store with the help of my team to deliver a fresh and invigorating ambiance.

“I want shoppers to feel inspired when they enter Meemo Space as there will never be a dull moment here, thanks to ever-changing window displays and bright new Bahraini designers exhibiting their work.
“For me fashion itself is art and a way to express oneself, which is why Meemo includes art pieces and photography for sale as well as clothing. It is like walking into an art gallery.”

Every month new designers will be featured at the store for 10-day periods. Painters, photographers and even musicians are welcome to display their work within the new store.

Mariam added: “There are a lot of talented designers in Bahrain that end up selling their products either from home or online. Some don’t have venues to exhibit from so, why not give them a space to display their talents?

“Musicians, for example, are also more than welcome to leave their cds at our counter and I have plenty of wall space for painters and photographers alike. Some of my own art work is up on the walls too!”

During the official unveiling of Meemo Space a fashion bazaar was held with a live window display of beautiful models showcasing a range of fun and flirty fashion designs as well as performances from a group of dancers. Shoppers also had a chance to meet the Bahraini designers involved.

British Council art project manager and freelance jewellery maker, Rayyah Fathalla, displayed a selection of her creations. The 32-year-old has a bachelor degree in metalsmithing.

She said: “I specialise in enamelling because it is a technique which is not very common in the region. People usually tell me that my work is unique and that is my aim. I never repeat any of my designs which makes each piece ‘one of a kind’.

“I view my jewellery as art, not as accessories. I have a workshop at home and sell from there too. I was excited when Mariam contacted me to exhibit my work.

“I think Meemo Space is fabulous. To have a place that mixes art with retail and a gallery is an interesting concept. A lot of people might not have an opportunity to display their work so I think this is a really good way to do it.”

Yousef Al Sahaf, 16, a student at Naseem International School, from Juffair, is an upcoming photographer thrilled about getting the chance to exhibit his pictures. He said: “My images are of Bahrain as some people say it is really boring here and there is nothing to do. I wanted to capture the beauty of Bahrain and the fun side of it.
“The concept of Meemo Space is great and really helps newcomers like myself break into the creative industry.
“This is my first time exhibiting my work and two of my images have already been snapped up. I feel like this will be my stepping stone and will help bring my name out there as a young photographer.

“My sister Maha, 26, is also an artist who designs shirts and she has her items in the store as well.”

For information more information join Meemo Space on Facebook social networking site, email or call 17580488.

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