Just before the pandemic hit, New York designer Mia Vesper (@mia.vesper) was about to throw in the towel. Today, the 31-year-old fashion designer has a large celebrity clientele that includes Beyoncé, Billie Eilish and Halsey, as well as a one-of-a-kind eponymous fashion label filled with her signature metallic pleated garments and statement pieces. recycled tapestries.
Vesper’s clothes are made from new, vintage, and unsold materials and take on a whole new life once she’s done with them. “I really like doing beautiful things, but I want them to be difficult,” says Vesper. “Hard to swallow, a bit rough, sharp and weird.”
After being inspired by a vintage tapestry she saw at a flea market in 2017, Vesper launched her namesake label. For her one-of-a-kind garments, the designer turns to ancient materials like tapestries and Italian wedding blankets, and uses plissé, which is “a wavy material that’s flecked with real metal, which is why it shimmers,” explains Vesper.
About her process, Vesper shares that she is a “textile designer first,” an approach that was heavily influenced by her mother, an antiques dealer and textile designer. “My prompt is usually [to] find an awesome textile [and] work from there,” says Vesper. “My mom and I got into fashion together, so creating an identity through dress was really important to both of us.”
But as with any creative journey, Vesper’s path hasn’t been entirely linear. “As I was launching my ready-to-wear brand, the pandemic was emerging and I thought it was probably time for me to throw in the towel,” she explains. But then she reconsidered things and decided to give it one last chance. “It led me to be a Jane of all trades – I had to make a website, I do most of my photography, writing [and] styles my looks. I have a hand in everything, which makes me feel good.
Now, since persevering through her setbacks, Vesper feels more invested and happier with her brand than ever. “My brand has always been really DIY, really local and local,” she explains. “And going back to the goals I had when I started, which was to create good clothes that I feel good in, I found the joy of living again, I understand my goal.”
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