Milliner Maryam Keyhani: “I Feel Alive When I’m Making”

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Maryam Keyhani
Maryam is wearing her own clothing and accessoriesPhotography by Léa Wormsbach

In the new issue of AnOther Magazine, the Berlin-based artist and milliner talks about her art and why the protests in Iran are “a revolution for women, life and freedom”

This article is taken from the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of AnOther Magazine:

“Growing up in Iran, I did what all girls of my generation did – as I was told. Because as far as we knew, there would never be another option. We never imagined anything else. Years of this prompted me to find a way to escape the fear of oppression and harness joy. That’s what art is for me, that’s what my hats are – I approach them with lightness. I feel alive when I’m making. Just a few hours in the studio can alleviate my heavy heart. But since recent events and the subsequent protests in Iran, which have galvanised conversation far and wide, I’ve avoided commercial work and made political drawings to raise awareness about women in Iran instead. As an Iranian outside Iran I feel so proud yet so helpless. This generation – many of them just kids – know exactly what they want and are so determined to get it. The courage and momentum are contagious. When uprising comes in such numbers, with such force and energy, it can – and will – do big things. This is a revolution for women, life and freedom.”

The artist and milliner Maryam Keyhani garners inspiration from an inner battle between the weight of reality and the haven of fantasy. Now based in Berlin, Keyhani grew up in Tehran and emigrated to Canada aged 13, where she went on to study painting and sculpture. A visual epithet of her escapist wonderland, Keyhani’s surrealist namesake label brings lightheartedness to a world tainted by turmoil via enormous, marshmallowy cloud hats, Napoleonic bicorn headbands and straw boaters with bouncy, tubular rims. Keyhani opened a shop for her handmade pieces in the German capital at the beginning of this year – the centrepiece of which is her own bed, her favourite workspace.

Hair: Noriko Takayama using ORIBE. Make-up: Ischrak Nitschke using GUCCI BEAUTY

This story features in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of AnOther Magazine, which is on sale now. Order here.