Super Yaya’s Rym Beydoun Sees the Future of Fashion


Name Rym Beydoun

Age 27

Hometown Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Now Lives In an 18th-century apartment in Beirut, where she “works, lives and hosts,” she said.

Claim to Fame Ms. Beydoun is a well-documented fashion plate and the force behind Super Yaya, a worldly label that is equal parts Supreme and Dakar street style. The brand has developed a cult following for its cheeky graphics, including a T-shirt with “100% Africosmic” emblazoned across the chest. (The label’s spring collection will be sold at boutiques like Opening Ceremony and Maryam Nassir Zadeh.) “I really want the brand to be spontaneous,” she said. “If down the line I want to make tires, I want it to be possible, you know?”

Photo

Ms. Beydoun in Beirut.

Credit
Alice Neale for The New York Times

Big Break A 2013 graduate of Central Saint Martins, Ms. Beydoun designed a final thesis collection that consisted of veils and custom Nike sneakers encased in sandals. Her eclectic approach caught the attention of The Sunday Times of London and led to a job at a fashion house in Dubai called Shashamahné (now closed), where Ms. Beydoun designed abayas. “I’ve always loved clothing,” she said, “but I never really was interested in fashion.”

Latest Project In January, she will release a branded notebook with stickers and a calendar featuring colorful images of family and friends wearing Super Yaya designs at various hometown haunts. “The brand is very visual,” she said. “So, as long as you get some kind of universal language out there, whatever you make people get.”

Next Thing Ms. Beydoun wants to enter the grocery business. In addition to her label’s e-commerce “superstore,” she plans to create a digital supermarket stocking items sourced from throughout West Africa. “I want to sell all my references straight up on the website,” she said.

Modernist Magic Most of her design influences come from the oft-overlooked masterpieces of African modernism, including Abidjan’s former city hall designed by the French architect Henri Chomette. “Yaya seeks to translate this ideology through clothing by combining the contemporary and the traditional, the East and the West, and the colonized and the colonizer,” she said.

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