17 Jun, 2023

The Last… With Mariam Syed

Mariam Syed is the founder and creative director of A Piedi, a niche footwear brand specialising in beautiful summer flats

Mariam Syed is the founder and creative director of A Piedi, a niche footwear brand specialising in beautiful summer flats. Bows and ruffles aplenty, Mariam ensures there is always a style to suit every mood and aesthetic, be it pared back cool or ultra feminine and chic. Mother of two boys at university, two girls aged 17 & 11, and a newish mum to Babouche and Sanchez, their furry felines, working from home is certainly not a recent phenomenon for Mariam – ‘It is always Piccadilly Circus at ours!’

The Last…

Time you danced?
Not quite danced but had a good old wiggle when I booked our very very last minute half term getaway. My kids get so bothered with my forever spontaneous travel plans!

Thing you bought from an actual shop?
Eggs and all varieties of milk. Well, that’s what I went in for. Should have taken a trolley in. I never learn.

Thing you bought online?
A Catio from Omlet. We are moving out for builders to move into our home. The furries will enjoy an outdoor palace in the terrace of our temporary dwellings.

Person you spoke to?
My hay fever ridden younger son suggesting alternative remedies for him.

Podcast you listened to?
Just getting into the Huberman Lab episode on healthy hair and hair loss. Oh the perimenopausal delights.

New brand you discovered?
Made In Tomboy – I discovered them on Matches, bought a fab pleated denim shirt in their sale which I get asked about every time I wear it. Also, on a recent trip to Karachi visiting my grandmother, I was gifted a set of the most delicious smelling candles – oh the nostalgia smelling some of their typically local floral scents transported me to my childhood growing up there, the Karachi Candle Company – please start shipping internationally! Perhaps A Piedi should stock them?

Film you watched at the cinema?
What’s Love Got to Do with It? Just had to support Jemima Goldsmith sharing her love for Pakistan.

TV series you watched at home?
So we just got back from Sicily and thought we’d watch the second series of The White Lotus as it’s filmed there. Watched the first episode. Haven’t felt the urge to binge on that one sadly… Jumping swiftly onto the Succession wagon which was on another level ufff. Currently also midway through the Australian series Last King of the Cross – pretty good so far, a true story – the husband is very into it.

Restaurant you ate at?
A pizzeria in Taormina, cannot remember the name.

Takeaway you ordered?
Turkish last Sunday. Not my choice, the kids were happy. I have given birth to carnivores.

Book you read?
Sadly books for me have become the most effective lullabies! What I would do to change that. Must start on audiobooks. I must!

Magazine you flicked through?
House & Garden and The World of Interiors. Simultaneously. They came in a pack and we are embarking on renovations, indoor and outdoor.

Country you visited?
Sicily.

Town you walked around?
I would much rather say Noto or Ortigia, but Taormina was our last stop before heading home – flooded with tourists. Blaming The White Lotus here but how great for Sicily!

Time you cried?
My recent trip to Karachi – I gave my grandmother a surprise visit, hadn’t seen her for over five years – her joy and shock on seeing me and the raw emotion that flowed. Too precious. Oh dear here I go again…

Time you laughed until you cried?
Last night. Daily dose from the husband. I am married to a clown. Literally cannot even remember why! Probably at one of the kids.

Thing you do at night before switching off the light?
Apply hydrating eye gel into both eyes – I had my eyes laser corrected recently. I now live in a new, post binocular wearing world. What a blessing.

Meal you cooked?
Kuku Paka yesterday, an East African-Indian dish where smoked tandoori chicken meets a coconut milk-based sauce – with rice. My brilliant sis-in-law directed me to a shortcut recipe and I am here for shortcuts in the kitchen! The kids literally inhaled it.

Cocktail you drank?
A virgin mojito, teetotaler here.

Play you saw?
Frozen the Musical with my girls at Christmas. We all cried.

Thing you baked?
Homemade chips with cajun seasoning – does that count?

Thing you burnt?
I actually can’t remember. But there is recent memory of the smoke alarm going off – what was it??

Time you said sorry?
Just a while ago to the cleaner for the avalanche that hit our sink! Our dishwasher packed up a few weeks ago but no point in fixing or replacing it as we will be renovating shortly. Hence the sink. The poor sink.

Website you bookmarked?
Several articles on ADDitude, provisional driving license application for child number three, Etsy for dining benches, details of a cat therapist (Babouche is an expressive, vocal feline, currently bullying Sanchez and taking over my life! – I think she knows we’re moving – we possibly both need help?).

Song you added to a playlist?
I don’t do playlists but randomly remembered The Police, Walking on the Moon earlier and now it is permanently in my head.

Person you kissed?
Person of the furry kind. Sanchez is just too sweet. Reminds me of my own super chilled late Grandad, reminds me equally of the Grandad from The Munsters.

Travelled by bus?
The airplane to airport shuttle bus thing last Monday.

Radio station you listened to?
BBC Radio 4 for some calm and sanity.

Time you swore?
Yesterday. At my migraine. Zero productivity day.

Biscuit you ate?
Malted Milks dunked into my tea. Scoffed down far too many, sinful.

Item of clothing you wore two days running?
A light wash pair of jeans with a tailored chambray shirt. They matched in colour. The kids were horrified to witness day two.

Thing you smelt?
The Elderflower clusters in bloom on our drive as I got into the car and then immediately, the divine Oudh car diffuser my daughter bought – sends me off on a middle-eastern holiday immediately.

Time you said I love you?
To my youngest Sheherazade just a while ago. The elder three are so big already, hanging on to her, and the cats! Hah!

Loving right now…

We have just launched the most vibrant and fun collaboration with a gorgeous swim and resort wear brand, Paolita, using their last season excess swim fabrics and creating the most colourful sandals – I literally slip them on and my mood lifts! Of course there are bows involved but also, an easy and cool espadrille-esque slide, and I do love the pink buckle slide – they are SO comfy.

Since we’re moving out of our house just when the kids break up for their summer holidays (well the boys are off from university already), I wanted to add a few touches to our ‘in transit’ home to give it a holiday vibe. I got these chairs for our terrace (luckily we’ll be in an apartment with a huge terrace-style balcony) – très Les Roche Rouges without the price tag. And this dining table rattan lamp shade which I love – it is huge!

Love the multitasking Westman Atelier Lit Up Stick and so perfect for travelling with – I have it in Brûlée which for my olive skin tone works a treat as a highlighter, nudey lipstick, blush and eye shadow – all with a subtle glow.

Possibly pointless sharing this, oh why don’t they ship internationally (of course I know, exporting hassles), if only you could smell this. And as per my husband, his favourite sandal I have designed to date, the Audrey 2.0, happens to be my favourite flat which comes along to every sunny holiday.


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