Tonie Ong

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Miaou Collection

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Since the mid-20th century, denim has become one of the coolest materials in fashion. Before the 1950’s, it was primarily used only for work-wear, worn by factory workers. Suddenly, it was worn by teenagers in high school, giving birth to what is now known as a pair of jeans. They paired their denim pants with fitted white t-shirts and leather jackets, evoking a sense of cool and toughness. Soon, denim was used to make jacket themselves, as well as skirts, tops, and dresses too. From that point on, denim became a favorite fabric for various designers to work on, especially Miaou.

While other designers choose to experiment with denim, Miaou offers jeans that are cool, classic, and above all else, flattering. Far from the fringes, torn and acid-washed pieces other labels have offered, this new and young brand respects the value and prestige of the fashion staple. They recreate classic shapes and silhouettes of various denim items to make them more attuned to today’s trends and fit the taste of today’s millennial consumer audience. They’ve reworked the material so much that, at times, one wouldn’t know that it’s actually denim. The label has created an identity all their own, with the help of one of the most beloved materials in the fashion industry.

Instagram-worthy looks c/o its founder and designer

Part of what has made Miaou a success is their advertising and reliance on social media. The label was one of the first to really make use of digital platforms and spread awareness through Instagram. Founder Alexia Elkaim constantly accompanied her snapshots with various hashtags to make sure that all of her posts will reach a wide consumer audience. Instead of hiring models, she got her friends of different sizes to pose for her ad campaigns on social media. People eventually warmed up to the individualistic and diverse approach Miaou has in terms of fashion, a few steps ahead of the major luxury brands of today.

The brand is a passion project of friends Alexia Elkaim with the help of her friend, Paloma Elsesser. The ladies met when they were still in high school, and dressing up for parties was what bonded them and made them fall in love with fashion. Elkaim grew up to become a stylist and collector of vintage fashions and other memorabilia, while Elsesser became a plus-size model in New York. With the difficulty of buying the perfect pair of jeans, Elkaim started the Miaou brand so she, along with Elsesser, can create the perfect fit of jeans for both their body types.

It all started when Alkaim went to Paris and a pair of jeans at a thrift store. Prior to her trip, she was already working as a designer under her stepfather Serge Azria, the man behind fashion label Joie. She was inspired by the pieces and soon began experimenting with different looks and cuts of the fashion staple. She has often mentioned that she wants her selection of jeans to be as feminine-looking and feminine-feeling as dresses. By the time she established her brand, she looked to Instagram to market it and spread awareness worldwide. The label is now based in New York City and has become a favorite among the younger hip crowd.

Design philosophy and clientele

More than just the perfect pair of jeans, Miaou is all about embracing one’s shape and size and catering to the diverse female consumer audience. A lot of the brand’s pieces are actually adjustable at the waist, making one pair to be able to fit both a plus-size and a petite customer. The label has also experimented with denim, offering it in various prints, cutting it into different silhouettes, and other variations. For them, denim is the ultimate fabric, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to what can be achieved with the famous material.

With its respectful approach to designing for women, Miaou has conjured up a fanbase of famous it girls and social media influencers as their loyal clientele. From today’s brood of supermodel hotties, the likes of Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and Kendall Jenner have all been spotted wearing Miaou jeans. Pop stars Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez have also worn pieces from the young brand; the former even wore a plaid piece which has become one of their bestsellers. Plus size models Paloma Elsesser and Yasmin Moon have fronted the label’s Instagram ad campaigns dozens of times, showing how friendly the company is to bigger women.

Denim has become one of the most beloved materials in the world, and with Miaou, it’s only going to dominate more. With their feminine and inclusive approach to fashion, this Instagram-borne fashion brand is transforming what the world knows about jeans and denim. They’re making it a women’s signature pieces rather than the masculine overtones it previously had.

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