Maryam outside her eponymous L.E.S. show wearing her favorite Isabel Marant jumpsuit and Rachel Comey wedges. Enlarge Image
While some of us are desk-bound, content to idle away the work hours pounding a keyboard and an occasional latte, Maryam Nassir Zadeh is style-bound and always on her feet. As a stylist and part-owner of the Lower East Side boutique that bears her name, Maryam's job is to fill her shop with the most discerning and delicately selected pieces she can get her hands on. With the City as her muse, Maryam heads to the galleries, her garden, and late nights at Schiller's for inspiration.
The result is a refreshingly modern yet comfy atmosphere that presents designers like Vena Cava, Rachel Comey, and Harmo alongside a wooden geometric children's puzzle, African indigo textiles, and an ancient art book. More like an experience than a shopping expedition, Maryam Nassir Zadeh evokes a feeling of freshness that no doubt comes from Maryam herself. We recently caught up with Maryam to find out just how she spends her day and why she wouldn't trade her job for any other in the world.
Maryam with one of the many plants in her store, wearing an Isabel Marant printed chiffon dress. Enlarge Image
Describe your style.
"Bohemian classic with an emphasis on color and accessories."
What's your favorite thing about your job?
"Meeting new inspiring people."
Acne Paper underneath handmade wings by artists Gabriel and Jolie. At top are Japanese Â boxes and ornaments Maryam found in Los Angeles while scouring the flea markets. Enlarge Image
What are the five essentials that make up your look right now?
1. "Vena Cava short sleeve leather jacket."
2. "Marion Vidal steel and cotton bracelet."
3. "Acne Tube jeans."
4. "Jasmin Shokrian chiffon T-shirts."
5. "Rachel Comey Mars boots."
Maryam tending to her cactus garden in back of the store wearing a vintage T-shirt by Chapel, an Ohne Titel macrame vest, and Acne Hex jeans. Enlarge Image
What are your favorite neighborhood haunts?
"We often get breakfast from Falai or Earth Matters. For lunch it's Tiny's Café Petisco. Coffee at Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Schiller's for business meetings or after-hours dinners when we're working late in the shop. Monday late nights at Schiller's are the best—the DJ plays amazing old-school jams."
What is the last thing that inspired you?
"Experiencing mobiles made by artist Hanna Sandin. She's known for her photography but I had a chance to see her sculpture recently and was blown away."
Maryam and her partner Uday found this marble slab on eBay. It was later delivered to the store from a pizza parlor—it says pizza in giant cursive writing underneath. Enlarge Image
What's your store's theme song?
"'Cowgirl in the Sand' by Elvis Costello."
What are your most exciting recent finds?
"A wooden geometric children's puzzle, African indigo textiles, porcelain hands, an Isabel Marant plaid jumpsuit, Susan Cianciolo, yellow Repetto sandals, Marjory Sweet, and our new apartment."
Maryam with her fianceé Uday, who is also her partner in the store. They found the turquoise church pew they're sitting on abandoned on Norfolk Street. Maryam's dress is Isabel Marant. Enlarge Image
Who's your style soul-mate?
"Molly Spaulding, owner of Narnia. She mixes clothes in such fresh and colorful way and though she has many different styles of dressing, she always looks chic and relaxed."
Best cheap find of late?
"Plants and Veracruz Hats."
In one of the giant storefront windows, Maryam wears a printed Isabel Marant dress.
What's one thing you wouldn't be caught wearing?
"A basketball jersey or fake prescription glasses."
Anyone you'd love to see come into the store?
"Stylist, Camille Bidault-Waddington."
Trying on her favorite cheap find of late: a Veracruz hat. Enlarge Image
Alternate universe career?
Taking a time out in her Isabel Marant jumpsuit, which she admits to practically living in, and a cuff by Elena Estaun. Enlarge Image
Photography by Kava Gorna, www.kavagorna.com