Mimi Miller’s first moment of fashion appreciation came when she was a preteen. During a family vacation, Miller stopped at a beach boutique in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. She instantly fell in love with a pair of $175 embellished jeans. “They had beads, stamps and a blanket stitch on top of the waistband,” recalls Miller. After her mom refused to buy them, they went home and made a pair together. Fast-forward to college when Miller studied fashion design at Marymount University in Arlington. In November, the 24-year-old fashion designer celebrated the one-year anniversary of her first line.
Confident, professional and attractive are just a few of the adjectives women strive for when picking out outfits. Miller, founder and designer of Mimi Miller Womenswear, saw a gap in market offerings she thought her designs could fill. “The longer styles and silhouettes you find at Mimi Miller are hard to find outside of luxury brands. I am trying to make them more readily available to women—to provide options to help women feel confident,” says Miller.
Mimi Miller Womenswear appeals to women of many demographics; the first is with working women. Mimi Miller designs are stylish counters to the traditional pantsuit. Brand loyalty also comes from women who are retired women or stay-at-home moms who want to maintain a casual, sophisticated look.
The current winter line was inspired by the women in James Bond. “They always wear classic and timeless pieces. They are simple, mysterious and powerful,” says Miller. The use of lace in her designs paired with longer silhouettes translates to clothes that convey these feelings.
As the owner of her Manassas home-based business, Miller controls all aspects of the designs, including the fabric. Miller notes that a lot of people are concerned with ethical standards in the fashion business. She reminds us, “The fabric has to be made too. I source my fabrics twice a year from a show in New York City. I currently use manufacturers from Japan and Italy. But, what I like about the show is I can speak directly to the manufacturers.” That conversation ensures the fabrics are ethically made and provides the opportunity to select eco-friendly fabrics.