Mimchik Has a Sense of Humor

Mimchik Has a Sense of Humor

By Andrew NguyenApr 16, 2024

Mia Kazovsky and Emma Marciano just want you to feel good in their clothes. Called Mimchik, the duo started the Los Angeles-based brand just under two years ago, in October 2022. The collections are designed to be timeless, with special attention to the fabrics and tailoring, but each piece has a sense of humor.

"Our aim is to make clothes that people feel good in and are excited to wear, but that aren't too traditional, but still easy," Kazovsky tells PAPER. "Mimchik is always keeping it fun, whimsical and chic. It's just wanting to feel your best when you walk into a room, but also doing it for yourself and nobody else. We've always said getting dressed for yourself and not for attention."

Since launching, Marciano says that the clothes have already matured with them, so the first two collections already follow a personal story of the two navigating life and finding their footing as collaborators and as people. And it seems like they're fast learners. After just two collections, they've already introduced menswear and unisex pieces and has recently been worn by Sydney Sweeney, Emily Ratajkowski, Heir, Joey Badass and YG. Kazovsky adds: "That's something that has become like a staple and something really fun within the brand: to really design clothes for anybody and everybody."

In comes photographer James Bee who was introduced to Mimchik at its New York pop up. After seeing the clothes IRL, he knew he wanted to collaborate with them. Fast forward a couple of months, and he was shooting their first campaign, and now its second.

PAPER sat down with Kazovsky, Marciano and Bee about finding humor in clothing, creating worlds and the importance of keeping an open mind.

Tell me about the inspiration for this collection!

Mia Kazovsky: We really wanted to develop our core signatures: our hero pieces for men, women and unisex styles that can be evergreen. It's our dream denims and bits of silk and leather, which have been fabrics that we've worked with in the past and really enjoy working with. And we saw an amazing opportunity for collaboration with James and make something visually delicious and beautiful with these staple pieces. James has the power to really bring a new life to clothes, and we always feel super excited to come up with something new with him because it's always a new world we're creating.

How do the clothes have a sense of humor?

Mia: The sense of humor comes in with the fabrication. Sometimes it's using two sides of a fabric, a traditional suit pant that we color-block in a more whimsical way or taking a serious jacket and distressing the seams — making things feel really lived in and taking a serious piece of clothing off of a pedestal.

What's the world you created for this campaign?

James Bee: For this collection, we the theme was abstraction, taking these beautiful pieces and creating these three separate worlds for them with two different models. The team is super collaborative, and they always have really good ideas. Everything they do is leveling up. Our ideas are super fresh.

Emma Marciano: The main idea for this spring shoot was trying to let our audience guess, or make the images whatever they wanted it to be. It was honing in on the abstraction and creating more of an essence and a presence than it is to like push the clothes into people's face and down their throat. Feel something from these images and be playful. We got inspiration from old Jil Sander and Prada campaigns and all these really cool references. We were like, "How do we make this abstraction our own?" It's really playing with whimsical aspects, whether it's flowers or bubblegum. It's just it was trying to move away from just putting the models in front of the camera.

Mia: The truth for the brand always is building a world or multiple worlds. Ever since the inception of Mimchik, we've said we want to invite people into this world that we're creating. "Mimchik" is a made up term of endearment, and we want to invite people in. James has been such an incredible collaborator to build this magic world with a version of this magic world. Rhe viewer and the shopper can hop around from vignette to vignette and to what it is that speaks to them.

What does that all mean though, you know?

James: For a lot of the shots, we intentionally decided to cover the model spaces so you could see yourself in that scene, or in that moment, and use your own imagination to envision what that could look like in your own life. That was really fun to play with.

What's the creative process like when you all put your minds together?

James: They always have a framework of the idea for their collection, so they'll send it to me and let me interpret it in my own way. I'll spend a couple days mood boarding. There's this store in New York called High Value Books with vintage magazines. I'll go in, pick references within their world and and then we play off of that. It's super fun because we're really involved. They let me be involved with casting, the stylists they work with, and we talk a lot to hair and makeup. It's all really collaborative. When projects like that exist, and when the final product is really a solid mix of both my style and their style, those are the projects I'm most proud of. That's why I love working with really young brands, because I feel like they're also open to these kinds of ideas.

Mia: We're also obsessed. I think that really highlights this element of things being open to your interpretation. There's our world, and then there's James's very distinct style. We love mixing it all together and working together to just further the Mimchik world and touch upon different artists' views with what we're creating.

I'm sure you're still figuring out the world you want to build in the long run, right?

Emma: Definitely, I will say that. I'm sure that road eases up at some point, but in the beginning, it's about finding who we are and those distinct elements. Because when you grow as an artist, you look back and a lot of times you'll be like, "Why did we do that? How do we make it better? Or what speaks to us even more than what we just did?" We're continuing to grow and find our footing. We love to hear people's ideas and other artists' ideas because it helps us grow, as well.

Photography: James Bee
Styling: Harper Slate
Hair: Allie Ellis
Makeup: Adriana González