Q & Africa | MIA by Mia Nisbet

QandAfrica  Last week, we gave the microphone to a unique jewelry designer with brilliant pieces.  This week, we will highlight the creations of an individual who is ethically driven and gifted in the art of design.  With an Honours degree from Glasgow School of Art (2003) as her foundation, Mia Nisbet began her fashion venture designing for Michiko Koshino (London).  In 2005, Mia became the head designer of label Soviet at USC.  Shortly after in 2008, she created and launched her own label: MIA by Mia Nisbet.  Instantly, several people became consumed with her fashions.  MIA, within its first years, won the Make Your Mark in Fashion Award and the Ethical Fashion Forum Innovation Award.


After this taste of her impressive background, let’s get a sense of  what Mia and her brand is about.



AFWNY: Why is your brand, product, or service important to consumer’s lives?


Mia:    MIA by Mia Nisbet is an up-cycled clothing label that is ethically produced.  Its consumers are not only buying original clothing but they are also supporting the textile recycling industry.  An important consequence of purchasing my product is a reduction in landfill material.  Encouraging a “recycling mindset” is important in this day and age because we are all being encouraged to “reduce, reuse, and recycle”.  Wearing up-cycled clothing is an innovative and creative way for consumers to enjoy apparel while making a green fashion statement!  The realization that “new from old” can be trendy and fashionable will encourage future sustainability in the fashion industry.

AFWNY: How do you integrate culture, innovation, or sustainability within your company?


Mia:    MIA by Mia Nisbet fuses recycled fabrics and traditional Malawian textiles to produce a collection that combines the richness of African textiles with Western styling. The street markets in Malawi sell large volumes of second-hand clothing imported from the US, Europe and elsewhere.  This cheap second-hand clothing has made it very difficult for locally produced clothing to compete in the local markets.  I work with producers in Malawi to create ranges which turn this challenge into an opportunity. The collections created are designed and marketed to an international fashion market.  Profits are reinvested in communities in Malawi as well as in the training, equipment and infrastructure needed to increase market access and create sustainable livelihoods.



AFWNY: Why are you so unique?


Mia:    MIA by Mia Nisbet is a contemporary women’s wear brand that not only up-cycles clothing, but fuses elements of different cultures. The quite stunning African printed chitenje fabrics are underused in western fashion. MIA by Mia Nisbet is unique in its use of these indigenous Malawian resources as their iconic signature in the up-scale market fashion market place.


We love how she balances several cultures when it comes to the design aspect; the aesthetic speaks for itself!

You can purchase MIA here: http://www.fashionbymia.com/index.html

Follow MIA on Twitter @: miabymianisbet

MIA Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ireire5050



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Disrupting Narratives & Creating Communities In Style

Cut off (verb): the act of stopping the movement or supply of something.

Cut off (adverb): the time when something must be done or completed.

Cutoffs (noun): short pants that are made from long pants by cutting off the legs at the knees or higher.