Meet Emma Marciano and Mia Kazovsky, the luminaries behind burgeoning Los Angeles-based fashion label MIMCHIK. Since its inaugural collection launched a mere year ago, MIMCHIK has adorned everyone in the zeitgeist worth paying attention to: see SZA, splayed out on a red carpet in the Olive & Twist pants. See Addison Rae gripping an Erewhon Green Juice, clothed in the Brown Bow Tank. See Emily Ratajkowski, podcast mic inches from face, headphones over ears, and burgundy moto jacket on shoulders. For a nascent fashion label, MIMCHIK has demonstrated an impressive capacity for fabricating timelessness: their masterfully understated, carefully crafted staples seamlessly integrate with both day-to-day wear and going-out wear: the MIMCHIK muse, as the brand states, dresses for their own enjoyment, not for attention.
It’s no surprise, actually, that the brand has enjoyed meteoric success; before MIMCHIK, Marciano and Kazovsky independently spent lives mired in the corpuscules of the fashion industry. Marciano, daughter of Guess co-founder Maurice Marciano and footwear designer Nathalie Marciano, was raised within the frenetic universe of the fashion industry. Kazovsky, a close childhood friend of Emma’s older sister, studied at the Pratt Institute and had already founded and exited accessory label, Dooz, by the time she reunited with Marciano over coffee and decided to launch the label.
A label that produces clothes designed to outlast any ephemeral trend cycle, MIMCHIK is conscientious of its production output: the brand is among the most sustainable of its ilk, using primarily deadstock or recycled materials to be released in small-batches, all made within Los Angeles proper. Manufactured with care and designed with longevity in mind, MIMCHIK designs are ostensibly the ones you will begrudgingly hand to your stylish, vintage-hungry children, well worn and still in near-perfect condition. Or, perhaps more realistically, they’re the designs you will refuse to give away: they’ll still be in heavy rotation in the wardrobe.
FLAUNT was lucky enough to catch up with co-founders and designers, Emma Marciano and Mia Kazovsky, who chatted with us about the lessons they’ve learned from MIMCHIK in the past year, the romance inherent to fashion, the role of beauty in Los Angeles, and the act of wearing clothes consciously.
What did the early days of MIMCHIK look like before your launch?
Mia: The early days consisted of running around looking for fabric and leather downtown. Long conversations and lots of voice notes and screenshots shared between me and Emma. Lots of sketching. We were really lucky to find our core founding team pre-launch too. Before there’s a physical product, it’s critical to have people in your corner who get the vision and believe in you. That’s rare!
Emma: Early days for MIMCHIK were such a learning curve for me. Mia used to have her own line of hand bags so I learnt a lot from her, but we both were just trying to roll with the punches and get our vision out to the world at whatever cost. We had to find our footing within the fashion industry, from sourcing trims and fabrics and buttons to making sure we loved our manufacturers and overseeing the process every single step of the way.
What did your conversations consist of when deciding what the clothes would be, feel, and look like?
Emma: Mia and I had this same shared vision for a brand that welcomes people with open arms. We wanted to create clothes that were ahead of the curve but also could live forever in your closet. Our pieces are made for you to wear them as much as you want, rough them up!! Even if the piece is expensive, the point of fashion is to feel good in what you wear and have fun with it. It's not to be taken too seriously. Something that we were adamant about is the quality of each piece. We hand pick absolutely everything we work with because we want to make sure what we are putting out into the world is made consciously.
How did you two come up with the brand name?
Mia: MIMCHIK is a term of endearment. It represents this ever-evolving world we’re creating for anyone who wants to be part of it. The conversation surrounding what the clothes feel, and look like is ever-changing. It changes with us, but the crux is always quality and individuality. We’re making things for you to feel good in and to wear on repeat for years and years.
Emma: MIMCHIK felt like a word for a world we wanted to live in. It's kind of a combo of my name and Mia's name with a diminutive for cute at the end.
What are the main design pillars and aesthetics of your latest collection?
Mia: Classic with the MIMCHIK twist. There’s always a bit of humor or fun in what we make, yet it’s timeless. From the way we play with seams to hand-distressed details.
Emma: It's made for people who are on the go and want to look chic. Whether you're headed to the office or out to a bar or an event you'll walk into whatever room knowing that you look amazing. Our jeans are dressed up, our suit sets are playful, our leather is sexy. It's everything in one collection.
Despite how your design decisions may vary, are there any consistencies in each piece that stay unique to MIMCHIK?
Mia: We never compromise on quality and our pieces are always meant to be mixed and matched within the collection, there’s a focus on modular dressing.
Emma: We really try to incorporate a twist to each piece. We focus on making our seams signature to us in the curves and tailoring of our pants and jackets.
Where/how do you source your fabric and materials when keeping sustainability in mind?
Emma: Most of our suiting materials are deadstock wool which is why you'll sometimes see some color variation between pieces. We want to make a difference where we can which is why we make sure we never over produce. We enjoy sticking to a two seasons a year calendar because I find the fashion industry to be over saturated with so many seasons.
Mia: Firstly, we manufacture in small batches in Los Angeles. This ensures fair labor wages and minimizes waste and emissions. Our wool pieces and suiting are made from deadstock fabric, which is not only sustainable, but makes the pieces unique and limited edition. Our designs are current, but never trend-based. We design things to be worn and loved for years, hopefully even passed down to the next generation! Aside from deadstock, we source materials that are high quality, built to last, and conscious of the environment whenever possible.
With your garments made in Los Angeles, do you feel the city lends any inspiration to your clothes creation?
Mia: I think there’s a lightheartedness that’s influenced by Los Angeles. LA is both nonchalant and glamorous, which I think the clothes are too. We’re both LA girls through and through!
Emma: DEFINITELY. I was born and raised here so the city is in my blood. Growing up around creatives and artists in LA and the people in Hollywood is what birthed my love of fashion. And now that we produce our own clothes here we get to be a part of the process, overseeing everything we make.
What are the challenges in creating a business in the fashion space today?
Emma: There is so much already out there in the fashion space. We are not here to reinvent the wheel - we are here to carve out a corner of the world of fashion that is approachable and high quality. We are creating a brand that has so many levels to it and tries to tell a story of growing up. You'll see each collection is different from the next because the brand is following the way Mia and I move in the world and how we are growing into ourselves and we want to share that experience with everyone.
Mia: There’s a lot of noise, but there’s also room for everyone. It’s important to stay true to the vision and keep going. Creating something new is challenging but worth it. We overcome obstacles by sticking together and staying creative.
What were the unexpected obstacles, and how did you two overcome them?
Emma: Being two young women in the fashion industry is an obstacle I wasn't expecting to be so hard. I think you have to work 50 times harder to gain respect and have people take you seriously. Working with predominantly all men outside of our immediate MIMCHIK team is an interesting dynamic. I hate to say it but being assertive as a woman, you are labeled as "dramatic" or "a bitch" but when a man is assertive it's powerful. That's what I've come to notice and I want to be someone that can make a dent in the industry to change that.
How have you two grown in the year that MIMCHIK has been up and operating? Have any of your ideas about art, fashion, or creation changed?
Emma: We've both gone through so many life changes in the last year and the clothes are always living through or coming alive through that. I feel like we've lived ten years in this one year of MIMCHIK. We've finally found our footing and it's so much easier to expand on the brand and vision now that we are here.
Mia: As a design duo we’ve been growing in a more sophisticated direction. We’re perfecting fits and fabrications. We’re growing into new categories and markets and we’re constantly learning and evolving. Something I’ve learned about creation is balancing the desire to create something “perfect” and just getting ideas out there… better done than perfect.
Are there any books, movies, stories, aesthetics, or ideas that you two persistently feel inspired by when designing?
Mia: I get inspired by conversations Emma and I have. Emma inspires me a lot! She’s a big fashion risk taker and her style is very authentic. I’m constantly inspired by people in my life and people I see. I’m curious about how people think and carry themselves in the world. I like to think about people’s relationship to their clothes – the emotion behind putting on an outfit and how you feel in it. I’m inspired by the romance of clothes and the people who wear them!
Emma: Any Godard film, I absolutely die over the costume design and the color palettes in each film. But there are also films that inspire my overall creativity like Barry Linden where Stanley Kubrick directs in the most genius way. Every shot is breathtaking and beautiful and the lighting makes the entire movie look like old renaissance paintings. I'm constantly inspired by old Hollywood and am always looking for inspiration through storytelling.