FOUNDER(S) & LEADERSHIP
Alexia Elkaim - Founder, CEO
Eric Best (?) - Co-Founder, COO / CFO
Even though French-born, LA/NY-based designer (and stepdaughter of Joie founder Serge Azria), Alexia Elkaim spent her fashion-filled, tri-coastal youth between the world capitals of haute couture scouring for one-of-a-kind vintage pieces in flea markets. Citing the universal struggle in vintage shopping, the fact that the retro hems rarely work with the curves of women today, Elkaim decided to take action. She launched miaou (meow in French) in 2016 with a focus on fusing vintage aesthetics with contemporary silhouettes. Though her debut started with a one-off pair of denim pants, recreated from a favorite Parisian vintage find, Elkaim has since expanded to include a slew of women's RTW pieces.
Miaou is built on empowerment and inclusivity, with pants available from a size 23 to a 32. "It's filling the void of pants that fit curvy girls like me with a big butt," says Elkaim. The brand's mysteriously flattering denim is tailored with a high rise and slim leg for a universally flattering fit. "[This] was really important to me," Elkaim says, "I shot with my favorite Miaou Girls—all with their own flair, style and shape and size. It's interesting, to me, to put the same pair of jeans on each girl, and see how differently they can be worn." But the brand goes beyond promoting body-positivity
Manufactured in L.A. and China, miaou is committed to sourcing and designing locally when materials permit, reaching out to international suppliers that uphold their own ethical, social, and environmental standards when necessary. In compliance with the UN Global Compact's 10 Principles, the brand conducts regular audit reports monitoring the ethical practices and principles, social responsibility and environmental protection of their supply chain. In an effort to further reduce their own carbon footprint, miaou transports all overseas production by boat rather than air.
Focusing on three core fabrics (denim, crepe, and mesh), all made of biodegradable fibers or locally sourced deadstock fabrics - maiou invests in sustainable production. Deadstock fabrics are unused fabrics from other brands that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.
denim (stretch canvas - 98% BCI Cotton, 2% Lycra) - The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) aims to promote measurable improvements of cotton cultivation to make it more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.
crepe (97% recycled polyester, 3% lycra) - recycled polyester reduces our dependence on petroleum as a raw material for fabric needs. Diverting PET bottles for this process reduces landfill, and thus reduces soil contamination and air and water pollution and requires less energy than virgin polyester.
mesh (92% recycled nylon, 8% lycra) - recycled nylon, made largely from old fishing net, has the same benefits as recycled polyester - in diverting waste from landfills and using fewer resources in production versus virgin nylon (water, energy, and fossil fuel)
Maiou's custom prints are created with digital printing, which reduces waste by 10% in both fabrics and ink, and uses eco-friendly packaging--shipping all products in biodegradable eco-poly packaging and mailers which is 100% recycled
"We are constantly working toward reducing carbon footprint of our products while improving their value, and usage. By leveraging aspects such using non-toxic fabrics, reducing water wastage, and working toward creating a circular economies with our customers, we are able to maximize value through our products, while maintaining our commitment to protect the Earth."