Since 2016, Los Angeles based designer Alexia Elkaim has evolved her world of Miaou from a reworked denim brand into a rounded out fashion label, with merchandise designed from sustainably sourced fabrics to boot. Elkaim is expanding once again by launching “Miaou Archives,” a brand initiative that offers one-of-a-kind Miaou samples and a mixture of vintage pieces for sale on the label’s e-commerce.
“The DNA and aesthetic of the brand is deeply rooted in my passion for vintage collecting and sustainability, making this a very special launch,” Elkaim commented; her Miaou designs gained traction and a strong following for their modern and cool reworked-and-repurposed aesthetic, which led to key retail partners such as Net-a-porter, SSense, Moda Operandi and Fwrd.
For “Miaou Archives,” vintage pieces hail from some of Elkaim’s favorite flea markets in Paris, London and Los Angeles and include offerings that the designer has sourced over the past decade. For instance, a white Betsey Johnson corset. “It was actually reconstructed from my favorite Betsey Johnson dress I owned growing up,” the designer recalled, “I lost it over the years, (a very classic Alexia moment), but ended up finding it at the Rose Bowl over a decade later. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the same one that made it back in my hands.”
While the designer has been selling samples (including designs since the brand’s inception) and a few vintage pieces on Depop for over a year, Elkaim has been working on expanding her site and dedicating this new division for about six months.
“Vintage has been such an integral part of my creative process and I was really looking for a way to incorporate that into Miaou more permanently. Once COVID-19 hit, our operation slowed down immensely, so I used that time to focus on this launch properly,” she explained. Speaking to COVID-19, Elkaim noted that while she was limited in resources, the designer took the opportunity to create a series of self-portraits wearing the vintage pieces and samples at home with model and friend, Hayley Ashton, for the launch.
The first “Miaou Archive” drop includes 36 pieces — 21 vintage garments, 15 Miaou samples — with prices ranging from $75 to $650 (but most pieces sit between $250 and $395). In addition, 10 percent of proceeds will be donated to Oceana — a foundation the designer feels very connected to having grown up by the ocean.
Looking ahead, the designer will be launching an exciting capsule on Net-a-porter’s Net Sustain platform, which is currently slated to drop in June/July for the first delivery and October for holiday.