This year I spent my summer holidays in, among other places, Jordan. With a long six-week break from work, I managed to spend time with the people I love, and catch up with my life in Jordan. For those of you that know me, you will know what a special place Jordan is to me, and how many great friends I have there.
Shooting for Miname this Summer
Excitingly one of my best friends in Jordan, a beautiful and talented Jordanian girl, Yasmine Pharaon, this summer started her own fashion label. Miname. The brand name comes from her nick name 'Mina', as well as the meaning of mina in Arabic: 'port'. The me, stands for Middle East ;) The label is a range of sun-inspired beachwear and summer clothing. Yasmine's fresh and simple designs are fun yet sexy and stand out uniquely.
Yasmine and I have been friends for almost three years now. We met randomly one day whilst hiking in a wadi on a crisp January day in Jordan. Ever since then we've become close friends and stayed in touch even after I moved thousands of miles away to Afghanistan. Yasmine is one of those girls that are always so inspirationally dressed to perfection. Her own unique style is comfortable and welcoming, and with her perfect skin and beautiful smile you can't help but be amazed.
So, when she asked me to model her very first photo shoot for her first collection, I gladly accepted! And with a pool side location in her back garden, and the warm Jordanian sun, it was an ideal way to spend the afternoon!
Fun, shooting in the sun
Yasmine started designing years ago, designing t-shirts for herself and friends. She says “Then in 2008 I took a Photoshop/Illustrator design course that I thoroughly enjoyed, but wasted a whole year not using it, or practicing at all! As a New Year resolution in 2010, I decided that I need to practice or else I’d forget everything I took! So in February, I officially started this project. Initially, I wanted to print a scarf that I could wear during winter, however the fabric that I had was too thin and the paint seeped through, as I am using silk screening paint. That’s how the first item was created - the beach wrap”
After encouragement from her friends, Yasmine expanded her collection to include beach bags, t-shirts and maxi dresses and has started selling her items at stores in Jordan. She describes her label as “fresh, excited and happy…all of my designs have vibrant colours that are uplifting. ” Yasmine uses the Fatima hand, a Middle Eastern good luck charm, in most of her designs.
It's not all been easy and fun though. Yasmine describes some of the difficulties she faces as a new designer in Jordan, " finding the best fabric to use that is not very expensive is difficult, and most importantly it's difficult to maintain the quality and standards of products when producing in bulk".
Finally I asked Yasmine her dreams for Miname. “I’d love for Mimame to someday be internationally recognised. I’d love to have a standalone store here in Amman, then expand to the Middle East Region then Europe and the U.S. I’d also love it if one of my wraps was worn on a popular TV show like – Sex In The City, or Gossip Girl or 90210!
Ultimately, I’d love to be able to have my own workshop, where I can cut down on outsourcing and make everything in house. I’d then make sure to hire women, especially underprivileged women. “
Yasmine’s next collection will be out in summer 2011. She will have similar designs to this year and is planning to have a matching baby and mother range.
Fatima hand motifs
Chunky elephants and vibrant colours
Vibrant maxi dresses
Behind the scenes
Cute and comfortable tops
Too see more of the collection, check out www.sjcunningham.com/fashion.html
You can reach Yasmine to purchase her products on email@example.com or phone number +96279-5607850