Mia Humber last year started designing ready-to-wear spontaneously for her line Mia Vesper to complement the artistic vintage tapestry pieces she’d been making with materials sourced from Russia, Turkey, Indonesia and other parts of the world. Thanks to Beyoncé, who commissioned a custom gown out of a Russian plisse and a whopping 60 additional looks for dancers and actors in her “Black Is King” visual album that came out this summer, Humber has been afforded the visibility to show her sustainability concept through small-scale, New York production with new, vintage and deadstock fabrics.
Now she’s launching her first full ready-to-wear collection and showing how those materials can be turned into wacky and eccentric clothing that melds the worlds of art, commerce and fashion. “For me it’s about finding a way to bridge all of my color tones and styles into one person’s identity,” she said of the collection’s beginnings. “That’s how people dress, right, all these disparate elements that come together and form one soul.”
Her first full ready-to-wear effort shows a type of fun and flashy sportswear that’s been missing from fashion during quarantine. Classic silhouettes were glossed with sheen and glimmer or featured playful twists like a wayward squiggle lapel atop a green blazer. There was color and pattern to spare, from a blue flocked velvet neoprene suit to a multicolored one made from a spongey hand-loomed Mexican serape. Across tailoring, button-downs, tops and trousers, there was a unisex thread folded into the balance of comfortable and sporty yet sophisticated and versatile. A few female-specific items like a vest dress, hot pink outfit and rainbow-hued bodycon dress were also sexy.
Within the collection was a “feelings” capsule, available now, featuring words like “appalled,” “marvelous” and “sincere” to reflect the designer’s relatable range of emotions this year.
“My identity as a designer has really come together,” she said when asked about the collection’s timing. “I don’t know that before I was able to completely envision myself as a person or a designer and now I think I have a strong hold on who I am and how I want my business to look and how I want my clothes to look.”
“I think slowing down and feeling a sense of collective empathy has been great for people in general but also for fashion, realizing that being a part of the rat race is a completely manufactured symptom of a capitalistic world that we live in and that true growth and achievement isn’t measured by rapid success or doing something on somebody else’s timeline. That’s been my number one, which is just that I can do it how I want to and even though I may not hit this or that landmark, I’ll still hit others.”