Our story began in 2015 when Ilham, the Founder of Zey, moved from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) to embark on her career as a Data Analyst in Clinical Research. Although Ilham studied and practiced Medical Engineering, her heart always had a beat for fashion, especially Moroccan fashion. As a child, she spent most of her days at her Mother’s (Naima, Co-Founder of Zey) atelier in Morocco, to her it was a heavenly place where beautiful designs are born. It is there where she fell in love with Moroccan Fashion.
Ilham has always been fascinated by Moroccan handicraft and the craftsmen who create masterpieces of art using just their hands. These artisans do not only have a long and honored history but an artistic and creative talent in seamlessly blending the Berber, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African and Andalusian artistic traditions in their work. These traditions are until today, in this rushed 21st century, handed down from father to son and mother to daughter in order to sustain the Moroccan artistic traditions. In Morocco, craftsmen and craftswomen competed fiercely with modern mechanical technology but were always able to survive, unlike their brethren counterparts in other parts of the world that have easily lost the battle to modern and advanced machines. This artesian dedication together with the inherited skills across generation, enabled craftsmen to continue producing the finest handmade designs in the world. And Zey is here to give you the honor of owning and wearing these unique pieces.
After moving to the UAE, Ilham also fell in love with the traditional abaya, the long elegant cloak worn by women in the UAE and other parts of the Gulf. She started wearing it but felt that it missed the Moroccan spirit and touch. Knowing that Emirati Women wore the abaya as a tradition yet appreciated the Moroccan Kaftan for its luxurious textiles and design, Ilham decided to blend the Eastern and Western fashion by designing elegant abayas and kaftans with a Moroccan touch in every step. With this mantra, Zey launched its first collection: “La Premiere”.
Zey’s mission is to keep Moroccan handicraft alive by creating exclusive hand-made Western and Eastern fashion designs with a Moroccan touch for women all around the world.
The logo is based on the Islamic geometric tile used in Moroccan architecture and refers to the Moroccan origin of our brand and its designers. The brand’s name “Zey” is written in English and in Arabic where Moroccan calligraphy is used for the Arabic name to represent the fusion of Western and Eastern fashion with a Moroccan touch. The colour gold stands for royalty that is always present in our designs, while the black stands for the original colour of the abaya, the first piece designed by us.
In Arabic, "ZEY" means costume, fashion, style, garb, vogue. In Dutch, the word “She” (Zij) has the same pronunciation as Zey in Arabic. The Dutch incorporation with the brand’s name refers to the founders’ Dutch nationality and to the fashionable women that wear our designs.
This mother-daughter duo makes a great team with Naima’s thirty years of experience in couture and Ilham's passion for fashion and the insights and knowledge she inherited from her mother. Ilham applies her engineering skills such as accuracy and thoroughness in the smallest details to realize high-end exclusive designs. She designs pieces that she would wear herself and therefore strives for perfection in each single item and guarantees exclusivity by applying one-of-a-kind production strategy. Our designs are hand-made created by Moroccan craftsmen, based in Morocco, under the supervision of Naima.
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