We sat down with the Lead Designer Lisa Drake of the newly launched line MiMi Maternity to get her take on what to expect from the pieces, who this collection is for, and why it was so needed in the pregnancy fashion landscape. Read on!
MH: What makes this line new and fresh in the maternity space?
LD: I think of MiMi as a way for women to move easily from pregnancy through post-partum without having to make a huge change in how she dresses – less of an emphasis on conventional “maternity” silhouettes and more about dressing her changing body in a way that still feels effortless and true to her personal style. That approach to dressing a pregnant woman in and of itself feels to me a bit like a shift in the maternity paradigm, so to speak.
MH: Who do you see as the MiMi customer? Who did you envision while you were designing?
LD: I see our customer as someone who is very in tune to trend and the online fashion landscape. She’s got a minimalist, but feminine sense of style, and appreciates the little details like just the right button or the perfect washed-down feel of a garment-dyed pant. She does all this while considering the price tag – look & feel of the garment is important, but the value has to be there too.
To be honest, I use myself as the barometer for the line. With every style I ask myself – would I have worn this when I was pregnant? And if the answer is no, it’s quite literally back to the drawing board.
MH: What was your inspiration behind this first line?
LD: So, in the beginning of the ideation process for Mimi’s first season, I decided to focus on not just a city as inspiration for each collection, but on a specific piece of architecture within each city. I look at the shapes, colors, settings, use of negative space and materials as a jumping off point when building out my concept, color palette, and print story each season.
I was inspired by Corbusier’s Cité radieuse in Marseilles. It is a modernist residential building in France with a very considered layout; the living quarters are very grid-like and regimented, while the communal spaces have more sweeping, curvilinear lines. The juxtaposition is very interesting to me.
MH: What is your design process and who do you collaborate with?
LD: My process always starts from fabric. I gather up all the different knit and woven textures, jacquards, embroideries and patterns that inspire me, and make a giant fabric board that sits at my desk. I let it percolate as I research runway and compile my mood boards. I pay really careful attention to fiber content, how the fabric drapes, & what the handfeel is. I particularly love working with cellulose fibers – cotton & viscose/ rayon. I think these feel the best, are the most comfortable… and goodness knows, in pregnancy, comfort is important.
MH: Being a mom yourself, how did that play into your understanding of what pregnant women might want?
LD: Through both of my pregnancies, I guess I never felt that there was a brand that spoke exactly to my sensibilities. Comfort and style were super important to me, and I knew that my body would change and grow, but I struggled to find maternity pieces that felt easy but still chic. I looked for fabrics that would breathe, bonus if they were versatile enough to wear after pregnancy too. For this collection, I really considered the longevity of each piece in her wardrobe and am optimistic that she’ll want to carry some of these items into her life as a new mom.
MH: What is your favorite piece from the new collection and why?
LD: I would have to pick our striped off the shoulder dress because it is comfortable, versatile, and will work for so many different body shapes. You can totally wear it after baby, too.
MH: If you had to sum up the collection in one word, what would it be?
Want more MiMi? See why it’s the choice for cool girls who want cool clothes @MiMiMaternity #MiMiMaMa #MiMiOnMe