Five Minutes With Mira Mikati
London-based designer Mira Mikati has fast become a fashion (and blogger!) favourite for her kooky emoji patches, vibrant graphics, and cheeky slogans. The Lebanese designer, who started her eponymous label in 2014, already counts Beyoncé and Rihanna among her fans. Oh, and she just dropped anchor at Le Mill!
Excited by her collection of emoji dresses for girls, hand-knit sweaters, sequinned layers in crayon hues, and khaki separates, we decided to catch up with the designer in the midst of a frenetic fashion month:
How do you describe Mira Mikati in a nutshell?
“Fun, effortless, free-spirited, colourful and different. Our philosophy is that fashion should be different; you need to be yourself and most importantly have fun! The Mira Mikati woman is a super busy woman, balancing family, work and travel, who is still fun, free-spirited and not afraid to be herself. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, she wants to enjoy life and be happy. She wears clothes which are comfortable enough to suit her lifestyle, yet chic and unique.”
How did you decide to try your hand at fashion design, and how did your experience as a fashion buyer help in this context?
“I still do the buying for Plum though it’s a bit mad finding balance, especially during Paris Fashion Week. As I show in Paris, I have to juggle it with the presentation of my collection, run to casting, prepare the last minute details – it is all quite chaotic. Being a buyer I get to see over 120 collections a season, I get inspired without consciously trying as my eye is constantly travelling. But I must say that I have a weak spot for Thom Browne that remains from season to season. I find his tailoring is just perfection. He always seems to have a kind of playfulness to his work, yet his pieces are amazingly tailored to the highest quality.”
Jacqueline Fernandez in Mira Mikati rainbow pants from Le Mill
What’s your earliest, fondest fashion memory?
“My mom’s friend was a knitwear designer based in Rome. At 6 years old, I remember her giving my mom some sweaters. I was very curious to understand how this lady made a sweater from scratch so my mom explained how it was done and since that day it was clear what I wanted to be when I grow older.”
When did you begin to feel confident about your voice as a fashion designer?
“I was invited to design a capsule collection for Parisian label Façonnable in 2012. After the collection turned out to be a sell-out success, I gained the confidence to start the journey to create my own independent brand.”
Any important advice you’d share with other young designers?
“I believe that the most important quality in fashion is to be yourself and to try to avoid doing what’s already out there; there’s already too much of it. Difference is key! It’s so important to stick to your own vision and to tell your own story with your own words.”
Mira Mikati Fall-Winter 2017 is available at Le Mill