Mariam Yehia or better known as Mrs. Keepa (@mrskeepa) is an Egyptian/French media guru turned fashion designer living in Dubai. Yehia being a mother of two, no barrier has been too hard for her to break in the fashion industry. Mrs Keepa who toys with playful prints, flowing silhouettes and 70’s-inspired cuts, opens her heart to SeeThru’s Readers in a very fashionable interview!
By: Hala Abouel Seoud
What diet and workout program do you recommend for expecting mommies?
Eat whatever you feel like eating but with controllable quantities; we can’t control what we crave in pregnancy so almost impossible to diet to diet. Having said this, quantities is KEY in avoiding unhealthy weight gain. I personally take a break from my sports routine during pregnancy as I already pay so much effort in work so no extra energy for exercising. But definitely Pilates and prenatal Yoga is highly recommended.
I was consistent with my cravings in the 2 pregnancies J they tell you, you crave what you usually don’t eat pre-pregnancy and hence I am so healthy with my food, my cravings was anything but healthy. Mc Donald’s, nuggets and French fries were my best friend.
How do you lose pregnancy weight gain?
I don’t gain much weight during pregnancy so I don’t face any challenge in losing the weight ( I gaines 7 KG in isabelle ans 8 KG in Noah)
How is your daughter coping with being an older sister for the first time?
Jealousy at its best !!! she is trying though to control it as she has so much love for her brother ; she is a very caring and loving sister as long as we don’t give him much attention in front of her
How does it feel having so many young women and mommies look up to you?
The biggest compliment I get is not you look good or look at your outfit ! it is when I receive a message from a mother telling me I was an inspiration to her. I feel I own the world that I was of any help to someone
You walked your on runway while being 9 months pregnant, how does that feel?
it felt great on the runway J yet felt all the pain when the calm after the storm. The second I went home after the fashion show and sat on my couch I was like OMG I think I am about to deliver
Motherhood isn’t easy with a career, especially one as busy and unpredictable of a designer. How do you balance your two worlds?
God has created us women very powerful in nature and hence acting as super women and multitaskers without even noticing; it all starts with the pain journey we have to go through from the age of puberty, followed by the 9 months of pregnancy, the indescribable baby delivery process, and needless to mention the uncontrollable hormonal changes that play unmercifully in our mood swings.
I am the kind of woman who wouldn’t feel her full existence and well-being through motherhood only; “I feel unachieved if I don’t participate with a role in the society. Being a mother is such a blessing and a holy feeling, yet it is not enough to my well-being”
However, (NB.I am speaking about my personal experience and not generalizing my case) there is a tax for being a working mother as the second you decide to work, the compromises have to start. Your time is not fully theirs anymore, it has to be divided between the work and the kids (not even equally divided, as work nowadays goes home with us especially when entrepreneur.) I personally believed there is no such thing as the perfect mother anyway whether a housewife or a working mama and which makes me take a deep breath and chill to enjoy my motherhood journey
I never stopped work or even slowed the pace while pregnant in my 2 babies. NO, it wasn’t hard or tiring as unless you have a tough pregnancy or special medical conditions you shouldn’t be finding difficulties with your body, just embrace the journey as much as you can and you will find your body reacting accordingly. The real challenge to me was not during pregnancy, it was actually post-delivery “the breast-feeding commitment” and this is when I decided to take sometimes off from everything and fully dedicate 4 months to my new born. Yet meanwhile I was planning my work come back and listing my to Do list and reworking my schedules to be able compensate the time off.
I actually started the first milestones of my new fashion career while pregnant in Isabelle, launched my line 1 year later while pregnant in Noah, and revealed my second collection few days before my delivery and now a mama of 2 with few months’ age difference and working on my 2 coming collections. I would say the secret to my career enthusiasm and success was;
– Embracing the pregnancy journey
– Not fighting for the perfect mother title
– Delegation with good orientation
– Made my kids my ultimate motivation rather than an obstacle
Describe your beauty routine.
I am very basic when it comes to beauty routine, it is limited to waxing , pedicure and manicure
You’re married to Bassel Kamaty. How did you two meet?
I used to work in media before shifting to designing and my offices where in media city where my husband runs his media company. So we knew each others faces for long till we got introduced through a friend and got very close from our first Hi
How do you manage to balance your time with you and your husbands busy schedule?
We are partners in everything so we are enjoying the journey together with all its toughness
You’re a fashion icon in the Arab World, but your designs are popular worldwide. Which celebrities have worn your designs in the past?
I haven’t dressed any celebrities yet as my main focus on the first 2 collections where the middle east but you will hear good news soon J
What are some of your current fashion obsessions?
I have always been obsessed with shoes and sunglasses
What is one thing about you your readers would be surprised to hear?
I am a BIG BiG TIME foodie J
Fashion seems to run in your family. Did you always know you want to be a fashion designer?
Not really ! I have always known I will be having a role in the industry but not necessarily as a designer
How did you come up with your fashion label Mrs. Keepa?
It is after the nick name of my husband ( keepa) who was a famous goal keeper in Lebanon ( he is Lebaneses) Bassel has always been my lucky charm and naming the brand after him was the minimum I could do to thank him for his support.
How would you describe your brand’s personality? What is a Mrs. Keepa woman like?
A Mrs. Keepa woman is a daring, edgy, self-confident, woman who strives for an appearance not caring how people would judge her
What can we expect from Mrs. Keep in 2017?
Ohhh I have lots in the pipeline that I would rather keep as a surprise J but the highlights is 2 new collections with an interesting cruise collection for the conservative Arab woman.
What’s one thing you do every day without a fail?
Watch a Turkish series LOL Subtitled though !!
Coffee or tea?
Heels or flats?
Do you have a secret talent?
Yep, a Drummer
Movie that made you cry the hardest?
As commercial as it can get ( Titanic )
What’s the best fashion secret you have?
ASOS , if you haven’t been introduced to this online boutique you are missing BIG TIME !!
What are three things you always have in your bag?
Eyebrow pin, tweezer and reading glasses
What’s your favorite food?