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‘RHODubai’ star Lesa Milan: How I got Beyoncé, Khloé Kardashian and Rihanna to wear my maternity line

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Lesa Milan means Business

The “Real Housewives of Dubai” star and fashion designer, 35, exclusively tells Page Six Style how she got some of the biggest names in music and reality TV — including Beyoncé, Khloé Kardashian and Rihanna — to rock her Mina Roe maternity line. 

“When I started the brand, I was the customer service agent, I was the marketing person, I was the designer. It was a one-man band when I started the brand,” says Milan, who launched the brand in 2016 on her own but now oversees a Dubai-based office of 25 team members. 

“At first I was DM’ing and messaging the celebrities themselves when they announced their pregnancies,” she says of previously reaching out directly to famous mamas-to-be, “[but] they don’t check their DMs.”

Lesa Milan
“Real Housewives of Dubai” star Lesa Milan tells Page Six Style how she got A-list stars like Beyoncé, Khloé Kardashian and Rihanna to rock pieces from her Mina Roe maternity line. Page Six
Lesa Milan
“At first I was DM’ing and messaging the celebrities themselves when they announced their pregnancies,” she says of previously reaching out directly to famous mamas-to-be, “[but] they don’t check their DMs.” Getty Images

So the creative quickly adjusted her approach. “If any young entrepreneur is listening to this, the key in fashion is to reach out to the stylist,” she says, advising other aspiring designers. “That was the secret sweet sauce … you get it to the stylist.”

Such was the case when Milan reached out to Queen Bey’s longtime stylist, Ty Hunter, who helped facilitate a career-defining moment for the Mina Roe founder. 

“With Beyoncé, it was quite special, too, because I reached out to Ty Hunter, who then reached out to her actual stylist at the time,” she recalls. 

“Beyoncé actually handpicked, I was told, like four or five pieces that she wanted and we were so excited.”

Ty Hunter adjusts Beyoncé's dress at the Met Gala.
Milan had better luck establishing contact with celebrity stylists, like Queen Bey’s longtime collaborator Ty Hunter. Reuters
Lesa Milan
“That was the secret sweet sauce … you get it to the stylist,” she says, urging aspiring designers to take the same approach. Getty Images for the Elton John AIDS Foundation

Ultimately, the Grammy-winning superstar — while pregnant with twins Rumi and Sir, now 6 — posted photos of herself wearing Milan’s off-white Yasmin dress ($176) for Easter celebrations with her mother, Tina Knowles, and and Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland in 2017. 

That same year, Beyoncé donned Mina Roe’s black Aaliyah gown ($158) for a date night with husband Jay-Z.  

“We were like, ‘When is she going to wear it?’ And she wore our stuff twice!” Milan raves. 

“So, that was insane, the site broke about four times because the bandwidth [couldn’t keep up]. It was so insane, it was so crazy. The Beyoncé effect was, like, boom! And it’s just been up since then.”

Kelly Rowland, Tina Knowles and Beyonce
While pregnant with twins Rumi and Sir in 2017, Queen Bey wore Milan’s off-white Yasmin dress for Easter celebrations with mom Tina Knowles and Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland. Instagram/@mstinaknowles
Beyonce
That same year, Beyoncé donned Mina Roe’s black Aaliyah gown for a date night with husband Jay-Z.   IG/Mina Roe

It wasn’t long before the youngest Kardashian sister got her hands on several of Milan’s maternity pieces.


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“Her stylist collected a few pieces. We sent it and she wore one in a photo shoot and it was like, ‘Wow, there we are. Amazing,” she says of Khloé, 39, who wore a black Mina Roe dress years ago while pregnant with daughter True, now 5. 

Milan enthuses that a stamp of approval from any of Kris Jenner’s daughters is “huge, huge, huge.” 

Khloe Kardashian
The youngest Kardashian sister wore a black Mina Roe dress while pregnant with daughter True years ago. 
Lesa Milan
Milan enthuses that a stamp of approval from any one of Kris Jenner’s daughters is “huge, huge, huge.” Page Six

But Rihanna, whom the Bravolebrity believes shares her “same vision” regarding fashion-forward maternity style, always topped her list of dream clients. 

“I always wanted to dress Rihanna. I was like, ‘Oh my God, Rihanna gets the vision.’ Mina Roe just fits Rihanna,” says the mom of three, who shares sons Maximillian, 9, Sebastian, 7, and Kristian, 4, with husband Rich Hall.

“It has Rihanna all over it.” 

The pop star, makeup mogul and self-avowed “Housewives” fan — who shares two young sons RZA and Riot with partner A$AP Rocky — eventually added Mina Roe into her wardrobe, thanks to Milan’s persistence. 

rihanna pregnant in white outfit
Rihanna, whom the Bravolebrity believes shares her “same vision” when it comes to fashion-forward maternity style, always topped her list of dream clients.  MEGA
Lesa Milan posing for "Real Housewives of Dubai" promo photo.
“Mina Roe just fits Rihanna,” says Milan. Chris Haston/Bravo

“I had a whole tiff with a friend of mine — I will not name names because you know her — and Rihanna was, like, following her,” she says, perhaps calling out an “RHODubai” castmate. 

“And I was like, ‘Girl, you need to slide in Rihanna’s DMs and let her know that Mina Roe wants to send her something.’”

Milan’s unnamed pal refused, however, creating tension in their relationship. 

“My friend was, like, low-key … I wouldn’t say being a hater, but my friend — and I use that word loosely — was like, ‘Uh, yeah, if I’m going to use Rihanna, it’s going to be for my stuff,’” she divulges. 

"RHODubai" Season 1 reunion
Milan says she had a “tiff” with an unnamed pal — one that the public knows, though — because the individual in question refused to send Rihanna a DM about Mina Roe. Zach Dilgard/Bravo via Getty Images
Lesa Milan posing for "WWHL"
“My friend … was like, ‘Uh, yeah, if I’m going to use Rihanna, it’s going to be for my stuff,'” she divulges, perhaps calling out a “RHODubai” castmate.  Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Im

“Keep in mind, she’s not in fashion. So, it was like, ‘What?!’ I was like, ‘It’s fine. I’ll just have my team get on it.’”

Mina Roe was able to establish contact with RiRi’s stylist, who presented the “Work” singer with an array of garments for which she later expressed gratitude. 

“She did receive it and we did get a big thank you. So that was good, but we were like, ‘Aw, we kind of wanted to see you in it,’” says Milan, who was ecstatic that Rihanna appreciated her designs even if the latter wasn’t photographed in them.

pregnant Rihanna
Mina Roe was able to establish contact with RiRi’s stylist, who presented the “Work” singer with an array of garments for which she later expressed gratitude. SplashNews.com
Chanel Ayan at the reunion
Milan is grateful for all celebrity support: “Obviously, Beyoncé wearing my clothes, Khloé Kardashian, all of that really just kind of elevated the brand.” Bravo

“We sent it to her and we’re sitting there waiting for her to get papped in anything — and she never got papped.”

Still, Milan feels it’s a “blessing” that Mina Roe — which features dresses, tops, bottoms, jumpsuits, swimwear and skincare, among other products created for new moms — has been embraced by Rihanna and more A-list ladies. 

“Obviously, Beyoncé wearing my clothes, Khloé Kardashian, all of that really just kind of elevated the brand and gave it that stamp of approval that we needed,” she tells us. 

“People like to follow trends, so that really helped.” 

For more from Milan, listen to her full interview on Page Six’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast. 

“The Real Housewives of Dubai” Season 2 premieres Sunday, June 2, at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo. 

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