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  • Hook, line and leather: Calgary designer Aleem Arif captures the attention of Western Canada

Aleem Arif, 31, is the creative director behind Bano eeMee – an ethically manufactured leather goods brand that caters towards the professional, socially conscientious and adventurous woman.

Arif originally hails from the world of finance, where he worked in IT at the Bank of New York after attending the London School of Economics and Political Science. However, after taking time away from the office to travel the world, Arif was inspired to focus on his passion for fashion design.

Arif uprooted his entire life in 2010, crossing boarders and industries as he came to Calgary looking for a fresh start to do what he loves. After tenaciously networking his collections and brand over the past four years Arif is now expanding his company into boutiques in Ontario and Quebec as well as designing a new men's leather jacket line.

Arif says that his Fall/Winter 2014 line is a culmination of ideas since Bano eeMee began. His line is available at boutiques such as Something2Wear, ESPY Experience and Kismet Clothing. His jackets retail at $350-400.

"I'm going to build my company right," says Arif. "I want to sell people something above and beyond a leather garment that they are just going to wear — I want to sell them a concept."

Model: Alina Cox

Photos by Sarah Comber

Published November 12, 2014


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Arif was born in Saudi Arabia and raised between Islamabad, Pakistan and New York. His father is an engineer who works in oil and gas and his mother stayed home to raise Arif and his two siblings while also pursuing a love of painting, fashion design and interior decorating.