This is me… Ami, the girl behind Mia Mai
Mia Mai is an intimate business based on the south-coast.
I, on behalf of Mia Mai, strive to offer my customers something special and unique. A few of my influences include vintage fashions, burlesque, pin-up art, 1940’s lingerie, tattooing, forgotten objects and days gone by. I believe these inspirations can be seen throughout all my fashion collections and artwork.
I set up Mia Mai in my final year at Portsmouth University in 2006. Not content with the idea of spending the first few years of my life post Uni working for someone else, I made the decision to launch my own design label to sell my own ideas and Mia Mai was born.
During my third year at Uni I entered Portsmouths’ Enterprise Challenge of 2006. A competition where students can submit their business ideas to receive funding. Writing a business plan, I got through to stage 2 of the competition and went on to win first place in the design category. The £2000 prize money went towards setting up of my business.
Drawing and illustration has always been my real passion. I am hugely influenced by pin-up art and traditional tattoo flash. I try to capture that feminine Je ne sais quoi and original content in my own work all the while staying true to my signature style of bold lines and wide eyed curvaceous females.
As a Fashion graduate, fashion was always going to be a huge part of Mia Mai. My first customised vintage collection, ‘BirdCaged Beauty’, started what has proven to be an ongoing tradition of Mia Mai. I adore vintage fashion and it makes up a large part of my own wardrobe. I love knowing the garment has a history and a past to it, that by wearing it you are giving it new life and setting yourself apart from the crowd. When creating collections I often mix hand picked customised vintage pieces with bespoke garments.
Another love and a big part of Mia Mai is Jewellery and I enjoy making pieces for Mia Mai’s Jewellery Box. Echoing the vintage idea of giving a new life to something old and forgotten, I mix reclaimed components together to give depth and originality to my work.