If you’re into eye-catching, playful designs – and we’re not just talking a bit of colour and print – we mean cartoons, vibrant graphics and oversized emojis, Mira Mikati is the perfect brand for you. But don’t mistake Mira for a novelty designer – she’s just as adored for her beautifully tailored ready-to-wear pieces as she is for the vivid patterns and slogans that adorn them.
The owner of luxury Beirut boutique Plum Concept, Mira started her eponymous line a few years ago, borne from a capsule collection designed for French heritage brand Façonnable in 2014. After an overwhelming response to that limited-edition collaboration, Mira has now expanded her brand from a capsule into a full collection with a global reach.
We caught up with Mira at her colourful abode to discuss the rapid growth of her brand and inspiration for SS16.
Does the interior aesthetic of your home reflect your sartorial style and/or your own designs?
It totally does. My home is quite minimal with neutral colours to bear the colourful and happy art, the vivid flowers and the bits and pieces hunted on my various travels. My collections have minimal and simple shapes to bear the different embroideries, prints and inspiration of my travels. Both worlds are all about the balance and right dosage to create a good harmony.
Art is often a central theme to your collections but what was the inspiration and starting point for SS16?
SS16 is about a girl that goes on a fantasy road trip from San Francisco to Sedona and Santa Fe, to end up in NYC. She loses her suitcase and buys her favourites from every city where she stops including the bomber jackets in collaboration with NYC based artist KAWS when she reaches the city.
You’re a Lebanese designer based in London. Does the Middle East inform your designs at all?
I’m Lebanese born, Paris raised and London based. I feel that in my designs, the colours and holiday inspirations come from my Lebanese origins, the cool yet elegant comes from my French side and the quirkiness and fun from my London base. What I love about London fashion the most is that it’s unique and daring.
You started out as a buyer. Did that role give you extra insight as a designer?
I still buy for Plum and this helps me a lot as a designer. Firstly, it constantly opens my eyes to what’s going on everywhere and secondly it gives me that balance between the real world of the consumer and the need from a buyer’s point of view, together with the dream and the fantasy from the designer’s side.
Who would you love to see in your pieces? How would you describe the Mira Mikati girl?
A girl that likes to have fun, dares to wear colours, likes to be different and doesn’t take life too seriously. I love seeing young girls wearing my pieces and am always happily surprised to see older women wearing them as well! It would be truly a dream to have Iris Apfel wear something one day.