Persian creative Mina Alyeshmerni is bringing her online fashion boutique to a brick-and-mortar space with the opening of Maimoun at 8400 West Third Street in West Hollywood, not far from the popular Raquel Allegra and Noodle Stories boutiques.
Maimoun is derived from the Persian word “meh-moun,” meaning the company invited to visit one’s home for a gathering, and the store is designed to feel welcoming, with tasseled floor cushions inviting customers to stay and discover the up-and-coming brands Alyeshmerni has selected.
“After being online for seven years now, it’s nice to have a home for everything and see it all together,” said Alyeshmerni, who moved from Brooklyn to L.A. during the pandemic. “I’m hoping to champion a little of New York in L.A., continue to work with emerging talent, and have this space continually change with one-off pieces or collaborations we might do.”
Taking a spin through the store, you’ll find blazers and cookie bags by CFDA award-winning brand Puppets & Puppets; digital print shibori pleated kaftans by German designer Julia Heuer; realistic orchid-shaped earrings made from polymer floristry clay by Baggira, and more.
“I wear a lot of SC103 — they create a lot of their own surface applications; it’s all small/medium, medium/large drawstrings, but fancy beautiful materials, and they do these purses that are very signature to them, using deadstock leather discs and linking them together,” she said of the selection, which also includes Eckhaus Latta, Maryim Nassir Zadeh, Anna Isabella and Rave Review.
“Maribaudi is one of our newer designers out of Spain. Her pieces are hand-appliquéd or ceramic,” she said, pointing out an oval link ceramic belt arranged on a low table.
For the store design, the retailer partnered with Persian interior designer and creative director Niloufar Mozafari, who was inspired by the ’90s, Issey Miyake storefronts, and Persian home references.
“My parents left during the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and for them, hosting was a way of reconnecting to what they lost,” she said of taking inspiration from her parents gathering artists, poets and other friends at their home growing up.
Alyeshmerni worked with fashion designer James Phlemuns and his team to design the ethereal silk organza curtains in the fitting rooms, which feature ceramic lighting handmade by Chloe Park. The store also has perforated metal chairs and cross-hatch leather stools sourced from vintage store Windows L.A., and a chic cinderblock table offering books on feminism, art and design.
“I call it Lowe’s home improvement,” Alyeshmerni laughed, explaining how they made the table using Lowe’s decorative cinder blocks with sheer fabric draped around them. “I loved when I lived in New York the buildings with the fabric scaffolding…that was the inspiration,” she said.
Back in 2016, Alyeshmerni started her e-store to bring together talent that was underrepresented. “I was coming across a lot of young designers who didn’t have a home,” she said, adding that she also discovers things on Instagram, including artist Pat Carroll’s knitwear featuring snippets of poetry and words, such as “I want the world to know.”
“Lucille Thievre is another one of my favorites; we were the first to bring her to market,” she said of the French designer’s deadstock pieces, including a silk knitted dress with glass bead and baroque pearl embroidery. Also art to wear? Bleach-painted tops by Brooklyn-based Persian artist Nadair Asghari.
“While they are creating their own communities on Instagram, it’s also important to share more context behind their pieces and the storytelling that goes into them,” she said of the designers she works with. “That’s what I hope to do.”
Why brick-and-mortar now?
“I think people are looking for experiences post-pandemic. I know I am,” she said. “I’m looking to stumble across something, to fill my day with something that’s not sitting behind a computer screen.”