“I’m not a denim girl, I’m more of a dress person” Alexia Elkaim, founder of Miaou, shares at the start of our interview. Which is a surprising statement, considering this is the girl credited for starting the next ‘cult denim label.’ So how, you might ask, has Alexia ended up launching one of New York’s most exciting new denim brands?
It all started in Paris. Alexia recalls discovering an amazing pair of jeans in a high-end thrift store. But her delight, quickly turned to frustration when she found, as per usual, they were made to fit tall women with skinny legs.
While at Parsons School of Design in New York, Alexia started experimenting with her own idea – and it took off from there. “It was really just a passion project” Alexia explains, “I’d been looking at all these jeans and couldn’t find anything that suited my figure. I felt there was a real gap in the market for jeans that fit really well. I just wanted to create something that would fit me and my friends.”
The result was a fitted hourglass shape jean that turns a pancake bum into a peachy derriere – celebrating a womanly figure, not hiding it. Alexia tells us “the most important thing for jeans is that they flatter your body and obviously make your ass look great”. So it’s no surprise her brand, Miaou’s tagline is “the perfect fit”.
For someone’s first foray into fashion, Alexia has started in style with nearly every NY It girl – Gigi, Bella, and Selena, to name a few – spotted in a pair. But it’s Alexia’s girl gang who are at the centre of Miaou’s brand. They’re her models, brand ambassadors – and very powerful saleswomen. With her friends including Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor, Paloma Elsesser and Carlotta Kohl, you can see why it’s working.
“I don’t use models, I use people of all different sizes and different colours as they all have something special,” Alexia tells us. “It’s important that I have people representing my brand who everyone can connect with. I am so proud to be a woman and my brand is all about celebrating that.”
One thing’s for sure, Alexia is certainly having fun with it. For New York Fashion Week, Alexia created a 2-day pop-up with Opening Ceremony, a MC Nail bar and a customisation station, for embroidering the jeans. For the launch, guests were treated to T-Pain singing, ‘Apple Bottom Jeans’, naturally. And after Kendall Jenner was spotted in a pair during NYFW, they promptly sold out online.
So what’s next, for someone who’s struck upon an instant hit? For Alexia, it’s doing more of what she’s doing already. Although she started out with a single pair of jeans, Alexia doesn’t plan to limit herself to just to denim. She wants to create a collection of timeless wardrobe staples – maybe a dress after all?