Monday, April 12

Driven young twins bringing Somalia to NY fashion

Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim were born in Somalia, but left for the United States aged nine to escape the civil war. After attending college in Washington and Boston respectively they reunited in NY to start their new label Mataano, that means twins in Somalian. They've been in business for only two years and sell their line in small boutiques around the NY area. Their main inspiration comes from her roots in Africa bringing in vibrant colors, textures and patterns. Visit their website at

"You know in Africa, with everything you wear it's almost like the peacock theory -- people want to be noticed, they want to stand out." - Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim.  

"The Somali woman has strength and we want to evoke this through our collection," said Ayaan. "So we design really flowy, beautiful dresses that have a nice strong print that showcases the strength these women really have." - Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim.

Watch the special about the up-and-coming twin sisters at CNN World, Inside Africa bellow and the full interview at

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