Haya Maraka

Writer; Ambassador, Bergdorf Goodman. New York

What's that saying about first impressions? Something about only getting one? Details, schmetails. Either way, we're pretty sure the old aphorism doesn't allow for being an hour (and some change) late to meet actual Dubai-born princesses and Bergdorf Goodman's UAE Ambassador. Oops.

While we deny entirely that the above anecdote has anything to do with us (and if it does, it was a huge miscommunication. An 18 hour travel day and 12 hour time difference leaves mush where there were once functioning brains), we'd like to let the record show that we weren't the only ones involved in making the most of that initial introduction. Y'know, like when Haya Maraka, the latter of the two parties above, informed us (all arched brow and requisite cigarette in hand) that not even Mr. Alaïa keeps her waiting this long. Double oops.

If anything, this is a learning lesson of sorts: even the rockiest of starts can blossom into budding, let-us-scour-through-your-apartment-and-most-intimate-belongings types of bonds, guys! Seriously, though: the next day we were jumping on hotel beds in bathrobes with Maraka, and actually had so much fun doing the whole thing (it's pretty hard to pout through downing champagne and screening Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs) that we vowed to do it again—only this time, somewhere we might be less inclined to allow our time zone-addled brains get the best of us.

Which brings us to Maraka's airy Midtown apartment, with a Yoshitomo Nara ashtray (Amy Astley has the same one) littering one corner, pink typewriter, Matryoshka dolls and the inexplicable presence of white balloons in the others. For the record, her closet was equally raidable—our sweep unveiled everything from strappy, surrealist Prada smoking (no, not like the iconic YSL—as in actually smoking) sandals to lacy Maison Michel ears. Let this be a lesson to all of you: think of us—and Mr. Alaïa's apparent penchant for promptness—the next time you're running late.

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