Naeem and Ranjana Khan's Love Affair with Miami
by laurie brookins
photograph by presscott mcdonald
Of course, it’s noteworthy that work likewise is reaping the benefits, starting with Naeem’s Resort collection, which just arrived in stores (locally at Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour). “Miami played a very important role for me in that collection,” he says. “When you hang out in Miami, you’re going to parties, you’re going to clubs, and the Latin influence is also so amazing. So my first thought for Resort was, How can I take the tropics and make them modern and cool?” Indeed, linen shift dresses lushly embellished with floral embroidery seem tailor-made for a sojourn in the Design District, while a brilliant red caftan (a piece at which Khan quite simply excels) would surely be a showstopper at any South Beach pool. The Latin flavor, meanwhile, can be found in flirty peasant blouses likewise embroidered in florals of deep red and pink. “My customers are in Florida quite a bit; in Palm Beach, all my ladies wear these clothes,” Naeem notes.
Ranjana’s latest jewelry collection (also at Neiman Marcus) boasts similarly tropical influences, from the seashells woven into wide cuffs to the Miami-friendly tones of coral and turquoise seen throughout. “The inspiration was the rainforest, with a bit of a ’70s twist,” she explains. “They’re always a mélange of unusual materials; you’ll find shell and plexiglass and tiger’s-eye in the same piece.”
|Books and the couple’s collection of Indian art currently accent their Miami home.|
This month, you’re sure to see the Khans at Art Basel Miami Beach events—“It’s an overdose of friends and food and culture for three or four days, which I love,” says Naeem— though perhaps they’ll be making the rounds for reasons beyond collecting. Ranjana is embarking on an art project, a series of embroidered canvasses. “The inspiration came from the ceremonial dress you see on elephants in India, such as handbeaten domes of brass and copper,” she says. “I love how beautifully they’re adorned, and it’s taking my life with embroidery to another level. So I’m excited for Basel this year, because next year I’ll be ready with my work.”
While a few years ago Naeem and Ranjana Khan couldn’t agree on the ideal locale for an idyllic retreat, they’re now quick to concur that Miami was among the best decisions they’ve ever made. “It’s not really Friday to Sunday; it’s become five to 10 days at a time, so it always feels like a mini-vacation,” Ranjana says. “And as soon as we get in the car [in New York] to go to the airport, we switch our minds over to Miami mode. If it’s a negative thought, we just don’t go there.”
Adds Naeem, “In my work, I think Miami will be influencing me for a very long time; but more than that, it’s become a very special place for us. We feel very much at home.”
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