By Sumaiya Malik
Every so often Maryam Jamal, the co-owner of Classy YM, an Arab clothing company that ships to the US, talks to her 400 thousand followers through Instagram live. She speaks in Arabic about how the store is quickly opening in other parts of the UAE.
At least that is what I gather she says. I don’t understand a word, but I do understand that her clothing line is fashionable attire that works for the modest woman whether from the Middle East or in the US.
The fashion house of Classy YM sells a four-piece outfit for a total price of roughly $100.
The four pieces include loose pants, a matching blouse, a flowing abaya (floor length cape) and a small scarf to be used for covering hair if a woman wishes to wear it that way or use it as a neck scarf, all of the same color - a color block outfit. It’s a fashion-meets-price model that reminded me of what used to be Franchesca in the US before it closed down in Austin.
When I stumbled upon this great find in Dubai on a trip, I couldn’t believe my American luck. The pants could be worn with a tank top, the blouse with jeans, the abaya was a stylish cape - I plan to wear it with blue jeans and a white tee - the scarf will form a bow on my purse! I could also wear them all together and accessorize with shoes.
I tracked down Maryam and her sister Yosra Jamal for their story. The two sisters whose initials make up Y and M were in high school when they started selling their designs online in 2015 with encouragement and support of their parents.
Their line sold out immediately. The buyers, women and girls, wanted to dress up following European and American trends but also keep in mind Arab traditions of long sleeves and pants and smaller necklines..
In 2020, the Jamal girls opened their first brick and mortar store in Dubai at the Galleria Mall.
That is where I happened to walk in the store without realizing what lay in the store. T
oday, they ship their clothing line to the US. Their website gives prices in US dollars as well.
The best way to reach the designers and their clothing is through instagram. They just started their shoe line called Pure YM. The shoes follow the same principle of east-meets-west at an affordable price.
Follow Classy.YM and their fusion fashion on @classy.ym on instagram and feel great about yourself.