When you enter the Maryam Keyhani shop, you’re welcomed into a dream world of fabulous hats and extravagant headpieces. Some are puffed-up and cloud-like, others are shaped like a pink soufflé. Then there’s the other objects: a giant cake sculpture, surreal sunglasses, delicate pastel candle holders, baroque ruffs, little handbags, dolls and a pair of mini silk legs that dangle in front of a curtain. Owner Maryam blends into this dreamy space with her striking appearance, whether she’s in a harlequin costume, bloomers or an opulent dress paired with one of her hats. Maryam grew up in Tehran, Iran, emigrating to Toronto when she was a child. She studied painting and sculpture before moving into jewelry design and then hatmaking. The artist bought her first vintage hat in Paris in her early 20s and since then has never left the house without one. “I can hide under it and feel safe. It’s part of my identity,” she says.
The designs are all about playfulness: there’s something instantly mood-lifting and transformative about Maryam’s larger-than-life creations. Put on one of her pieces and you’ll immediately feel lighter and ready to face Berlin’s oft-gray skies. “Especially now the reality of the world is rather dark, so I think more than ever it’s important to create and make beauty,” she says. Maryam had been selling her works through her website and Instagram, but the moment felt right to open an actual store. “I’d love for it to become a community place where people gather and chat and laugh.” How lucky we are that she’s doing it in Berlin…
Text: Friederike Schilbach / Photos: Sophie Doering
Friederike Schilbach is Editorial Director for publisher Aufbau, where she works with authors including Édouard Louis, Sigrid Nunez and Ilona Hartmann. She lives with her family in Mitte.
Maryam Keyhani, Choriner Str.50, 10435 Berlin–Prenzlauer Berg; map
Wed–Fri 13–16h & Sat 12–16h