Designers on the Rise: Mira Mikati

June 15th, 20179:00 pm @

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drop cap meet the designer bringing fun back into fashion. Known for her cartoons, vibrant graphics and oversized emojis, London-based Lebanese designer Mira Mikati is adored for her colorful ready-to-wear pieces. Ever since she was six years old, she was intrigued by clothes and how they were made. As she learned more about being a designer, she knew it was the job for her — even keeping sketches from when she was young.

Mikati began her fashion career in 2007 as the co-founder of Plum Concept Store. Being a buyer for a luxury company gave her an extensive perspective of the fashion industry. “Firstly, it constantly opens my eyes to what’s going on everywhere,” Mikati stated in an interview with Refinery29. “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.” It wasn’t long before she began designing her own.

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In 2012, Mikati began her eponymous label. She focuses on minimal shapes to bear different embroideries, prints, or slogans. Now in her second season, Mikati brings in a modern twist to her collections. Uniquely combining emoji-style details with classic silhouettes, she draws inspiration from artists—particularly animator KAWS and Japanese artists Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara.

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Her label is built upon the idea of simply “being happy.” She seeks to keep the fashion industry honest by staying young, fresh, and never too serious. Her collections uniquely combine giant appliqués with painted graffiti-inspired designs. From biker jackets, bombers, blouses, oversized hoodies and midi-length dresses, Mikati’s silhouettes are extremely wearable that appeal to a wide variety of consumers. And with her unabashed choice of bright primary colors, it is no surprise that Mikati has been turning heads on the runway and on Hollywood streets — even becoming a favorite of Beyonce and Rihanna.

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Mikati’s latest 2017 spring collection reinvents the tale of Peter Pan: “[Inspiration comes] from my life mantra, ‘Never grow up,’ from Peter Pan. That’s what makes me want to design happy and positive clothes for people that like to make other people smile and feel happy with what they wear.”

Fun, playful, positive, effortless and different — Mikati designs for girls who dare to live boldly and colorfully.

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—Airika Yee

Images courtesy of Vogue and Coveteur