Sands of time

Photographed by Marco Giuliano.

Beneath the relentless caress of the sun, the sands whispered secrets of bygone days, shaping dunes that cradled memories like precious treasures. A fashion story shot by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei using selected pieces by Middle-Eastern swimwear Melkyana.

Who or what motivated you to create your own brand and what is the vision behind?
I always felt I needed to do something in fashion. I felt so strongly about it, yet I did not work in it. This and the constant need of expressing myself as an Arab woman of today, gave birth to MELKYANA. My husband was also an important pillar in the process. He’s in the creative scene, and always saw the potential in my story, so he helped me carve the path.
MELKYANA started as a swimwear label but it won’t be confined to it, I see it grow in different ways and directions, all with the same goal of empowering the Arab woman.

Your brand specialises in swimwear that turns into summer wear. What inspired this concept?
I think I was inspired by my own behavior dressing up. I don’t dedicate my pieces to ‘different occasions’. I can literally wear the same piece to the beach and to dinner. I just don’t believe in putting labels on clothes. Getting dressed depends a lot on your mood and how you want to feel in the moment.

Melkyana is Arabic for “mine” or “my own”. Can you tell us why you chose this name for the brand and the story behind it?
“MELKYANA” stems from Arabic words “ملكي أنا” meaning “mine; my own”, representing the brand’s mission to encourage women to embrace their unique identity, narrative and bodies.
Our society often presents predefined notions of femininity and identity, which can pose challenges for women seeking to express their true selves. But we are seeing the rise of ‘hybrid women’ who are breaking barriers. And I am proud to be part of this movement and we will continue to claim our space.

Your brand aims to create “hybrid swimwear” for “hybrid women”. Can you elaborate on what being a hybrid woman means to you?
Being hybrid means not being confined to one single narrative or box. Not being classified as this or that. It’s being who you want to be in the moment. And it’s the same with clothes, you can style a piece in so many different ways, dress it up or down, but it’s still the same piece.

On your brand’s website you express the desire to evoke “a feeling of liberation and acceptance among Arab women, embracing their flawed and unique image”. Do you believe that Arab women face a lack of representation or are often misrepresented in the fashion industry?
Not necessarily in the fashion industry. The statement is that Arab women are misrepresented in general, in all aspects of life. Take books or movies for example, we’re always represented as ‘sinning women’ in an extreme way. It is true that religion plays a big role in this part of the world, but it’s evolved so much. There is a lot of tolerance and acceptance that you don’t necessarily see in the media. Now when it comes to fashion, we’re seeing a rise of Middle Eastern brand ambassadors but only on a regional level.

Could you give us an example of how would you style your favourite piece in the collection from a day in the beach to a night in the city?
The hybrid backless one piece is my go-to. I Wear it with linen off white pants with slippers for a beach or pool day. At night, I style it with black pants and an over-sized blazer, sleek bun and chunky earrings.

Sands of time

Credits:

Photography&Video: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Melkyana / @_melkyana
Set assistant: Clara Dell’Acqua
Interview: Camila Correa / @cami.correahg
Soundtrack: Caslo – Sonic
Model: Klara at Next Models / @boskovic__klara @nextmodelsmilan

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