Life beyond style

If you were to look at Israeli designer Maya Reik’s résumé, you’d never guess she was only 19 years old. The self-taught trailblazer founded her Tel-Aviv-based line, Marei 1998, just two years ago and has already designed two full collections; linked up with the same Italian factories used by Gucci and Stella McCartney; and presented during Milan fashion week.

It’s clear Reik is well on her way to the top, so we sat down with her as a part of our How I Start My Day series to see if we could discover the secrets behind her success.

We’ve already found out how legendary footballer Sergio Ramos, top professional golfer Rory McIlroy, and creative genius Tom Sachs start their day — now it’s Maya’s turn to reveal all.

What time do you wake up and why?


I wake up at 6 a.m. every day and I definitely consider myself a morning person. I find that an early start puts me in the right mindset to accomplish all I set out to each day, which is quite a lot! On weekends I enjoy sleeping in a bit later, without having to rush to meetings.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?


Morning is my favorite time of day, so the first thing I do in the morning is take a hot bath. From there, I drink a cortado coffee with a small pastry at the café next to my apartment, or the Hotel Montefiore, which has the best breakfast in Tel Aviv — I love their dishes with smoked salmon.

After that, I may go directly to my studio in Jaffa to tackle the objectives at hand, whether working on new designs or preparing for a collection launch. From there I will go for a workout and then have time for friends, more work or family. I also volunteer once a week with the children of Sudanese refugees, who arrive in Tel Aviv with more or less nothing.

How do you prepare for the day ahead?


I prepare for the day ahead by organizing my thoughts at night and waking up each morning with a clear intention for the day. Mornings are holy in my mind, and I make sure they are a period of calm before a storm of work and deadlines that can await in the afternoon or evening. I also drink an ample amount of water each morning so that my body feels fresh and able to tackle anything.

What’s going on around you in your apartment?

In my apartment there is always a candle or incense burning, as my aesthetic resembles a clean calm that is accentuated with beautiful scents. I only watch TV before bed, not in the morning, unless there is a specific program playing that I can’t refrain from seeing. Musically, I’m a big fan of jazz, soul and bossa nova. I’ve been on a heavy Jobim and Gal Costa kick as of late.

Why are mornings so important?

I find that the early moments in the morning are when my thoughts are the clearest, and when inspiration and creativity are the most tangible in mind. Morning routines are imperative to a work-lifestyle balance that won’t run you to the ground.

Next up, here’s how professional golfer Rory McIlroy starts his day.

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