Loving Leather with Bano eeMee Fall/Winter 2015

A little while back I found myself struck by a stunning new line of leather jackets called Bano eeMee. I was immediately impressed by their interesting textures, stunning color choices and great crafstmanship, so I got in touch with founder and creative director Aleem Arif to get an upclose and personal look at both the beautiful jackets and the brains behind the brand.


After meeting Aleem, I learned that Bano eeMee is not as new as I once thought it was (I’ve clearly been living under a fashion rock). The line was founded in 2012 by Aleem as a creative outlet after having dedicated his career to finance. What I loved the most about this line is the thoughtfulness behind the design and creation of the pieces, extends far beyond the world of fashion. While small details like the stunning and colorful mesh linings (a nod to Aleem’s Pakistani heritage) and hand distressing are visible to the eye, social consciousness is figuratively woven into the fabric of every piece.  According to their website, “the brand promotes ethical realization of its designs with a focus on helping support the social fabric in communities ravaged by war, poverty and destitution through creating opportunities, paying fair wages and transferring knowledge.” With a philosophy like that, I knew this was a company I wanted to seek out and support. I sat down with Aleem to chat about his inspiration behind the brand and to get my hands on a couple of their stunning jackets! Take a read below:


What inspired you to start Bano eeMee?


Bano eeMee founded in 2012 is a realization of my dream as a former algorithmic stock trader turned fashion designer. I wanted to express my creativity and use fashion to make a difference. Bano eeMee is a proudly Canadian fashion label that is known for its hand distressed, vegetable tanned leathers that are sustainably produced in Pakistan creating fair work opportunities and helping support families and spreading a message of love and togetherness.


What is the meaning behind the name?


The name Bano eeMee comes from a very personal place. My  grandma used to call my mum “Bano” lovingly and my mom calls me  “eeMee” so I combined the two dedicating the line to my mother.


Tell me about the process behind making the jackets, from design to sourcing materials to manufacturing.

We are really big on sustainability at Bano eeMee. We focus on using vegetable tanned leather in our designs and highlight the beauty of this age old fabric through laser-cutting, hand distressing and burnishing each jacket giving it the classic Bano eeMee distressed appeal. I also just try to create employment that is fairly paid. The jackets are manufactured in Pakistan, and I closely monitor the well-being of the artisans who work on my designs.



What was your inspiration for the fall/winter 2015 collection?


The Bano eeMee FW15 leathers were inspired by the colors of the famous New England foliage in fall (North East USA). We meticulously crafted and textured the leathers to mimic the textures found in the forest from tree bark to damp leaves covering the forest floor making Bano eeMee designs truly unique and rich. 


What can we expect from Bano eeMee in the future?


I am getting super excited about our Spring 2016 collection and can hardly wait for it to preview on BanoeeMee.com and at stores across Canada coming February. We are working very hard to bring attention to sustainable, local Canadian fashion and spreading awareness about how we at Bano eeMee are using fashion to make a difference through our fabric choices and the artisans we employ and support. We are very proud to be a Canadian fashion brand and are psyched that Bano eeMee will be previewing in the US starting 2016 (representing Canada yay!)


While we may be in December the temperatures outside can definitely still be considered leather jacket weather, so don’t be afraid to invest in your own Bano eeMee piece this holiday season. You can even put a Spring/Summer piece on your holiday wish list too! Just visit their website to see what stunning pieces they have to offer!
Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Addicted Magazine. Her myriad of addictions include music, fashion, travel, technology, boxing and trying to make the world a better place. Nadia is also a feminist, an animal lover, and a neverending dreamer. Keep up with her on social media through @thenadiae.
Nadia Elkharadly

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