24 Hours With Miaou
This is a snapshot into the life of Miaou’s Alexia Elkaim.
Why are you a fashion designer?
I’d say it’s because I am a story teller but rather than words my medium is clothing.
What do you love about fashion?
It could sound simplistic, but it’s the garments. I'm a tactile person and the fabrics, prints and patterns used on an item of clothing has always drawn me in.
Who or what drives your creativity?
Seeing women wearing something by my brand Miaou and hearing that they feel good in it.
What's the most exciting thing about the fashion industry today?
The push and the need for visible diversity in what we make and who wears it. More and more people within the design sphere are expanding the horizons of what constitutes style and reaching out with the desire to change and challenge preconceived notions.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
How has your background influenced who you are today?
Throughout high school, I interned as an assistant to a knitwear designer. My job was to source interesting pieces of vintage clothing and sketch them alongside the design team. I was very fortunate to have been given such an opportunity and it and the garmento culture surrounding the Los Angeles fashion industry really made a mark on me. Through them, I learned the importance of quality, pattern making, grading, fit, composition etc. I’m old fashioned in that way. After moving to New York for college, I went to Parsons where I studied Design and Management and began exploring the other side of fashion — the non-garment side. Interning at a number of editorially-focused magazines I saw the focus on advertising and marketing as a component to building a brand and striking the balance of authenticity with genuinely well produced and well-designed products.
How would you describe your designs?
Feminine, retro, wearable, fun.
Why is creativity important now more than ever?
Today more than ever creativity has to live outside of an elitist realm. Being a designer in our current times means more than making collections, we have responsibilities that include advocating for and standing for what we believe in. I try to ask myself how can I as a designer get involved in the community and do more to help, it’s our civic duties to use creativity as a tool for change.
Your favourite place in the world and why?
Paris, it’s where I am from and I am always feel full of energy whilst there. The culture in the city is not overly saturated and it leaves room to absorb and create.
How do you spend your free time?
Whiling away hours in flea markets and vintage stores.
What's your greatest ambition?
It has always been to make a movie.
Who do you most admire and why?
My best friend Paloma Elsesser. She feels the weight of the world on her shoulders and not only overcomes this but empowers others around her to do so too. She is genuine and stands for what she believes, displaying great strength and grace every day. It takes great courage to do the things that she does and it makes her a true pioneer in her field.
What do you wish you had time to do that you currently can’t?
Giving back… and making more playlists.
What would you most like to change about the world?
What would you most like to change about yourself?
I am quite strong-willed, which may I have had its advantages in that it’s put me in good standing in my career but I’d like to invest more of that time and energy in to helping others.
The best advice you've ever been given?
Stick to one thing until you are a master at it.
First thing you do when you wake up?
Wash my face with cold water.
Nao Adianta by Trio Mocotó.
What are you reading right now?
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Night.
Do you have any phobias?
Where can we find you on a Friday night?
In a bowl of pasta.
Favourite thing to eat?
Least favourite thing to eat?
What would your last meal be?
My mom’s raspberry tart, an entire one.
What can’t you live without?
How would you describe your generation in 5 words?
Resourceful, awake, defiant, open-minded.
Describe yourself in 3 words...
Silly, mindful, loving.
How would your friends describe you in three words?
Animated, earnest, kind.
What makes life worth living?
My loved ones.
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
At my Grandma’s apartment in Paris.