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Building the house

Maureen Achieng, founder of house of kimmi on the inspiration behind the designs.

Since I came to Dubai over ten years ago, I have been fascinated by the abaya. I wondered what it would be like if it was reimagined to be more colourful and made out of flowing, floaty materials that any woman could wear - in that sophisticated and decent way that is so integral to this classic garment.

I began thinking out loud, and my friends challenged me to go ahead with my ideas. Especial thanks are due to my dear friend Daisy Akinyi. She was my early muse and was always there to encourage and support me from the beginning.

It was a fantastic feeling when I completed this first collection. Seeing my thoughts transformed into kaftans, trousers and tops that are pleasant to the eye and that speak volumes about the sensuality of a woman - it was so fulfilling. I believe strongly that the design of the house of kimmi should not create boundaries. Our fashions are for women from every corner of the world, of all colours, ages and ethnicities.

The brand name is inspired by my daughter Kimberly. Whenever I think up an outfit, I think of her. I really want to create a legacy for my daughter. I would like the values and standards of house of kimmi to be part of her life as she becomes a young woman.

I want her to feel as I do when I dress in house of kimmi: classy, and transformed as if in a better world. Simply wearing the clothes makes me bolder, and it is my hope that every woman who dresses in one of our outfits feels the same.

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