Interview | Míshi New York

1. What moment in your life made you realize you wanted to become a designer?

I've kind of always known this was what I had wanted to pursue early on in my life. It started as a love for fine art, which transformed into fashion by using textiles as my media. As a kid, you'd see me drawing and painting on basically anything I could get my hands on. I got in trouble most of the time for drawing on walls and clumsily ruining carpets by spilling paint all the time. I really got to discover how to polish and translate my art into fashion during my time studying in a fine arts school and simply taking it from there. 

2. How did you come up with the name Míshi New York?

Míshi is a play on my name, Michelle. I had a weird list of nicknames given to me growing up and Míshi sort of stumbled onto that list later. I think that this name is a perfect representation of my brand and my clothing. It became Míshi New York since it was created and launched here, even though the idea was born somewhere else.


3. Where does your inspiration come from?

There was always a vision in my mind of what kind of clothing and brand I wanted to create. After moving to Los Angeles in my early twenties, it really solidified my vision and inspired me to start my brand. I experienced somewhat of a whirlwind-like dream living in LA. If someone had asked me just months prior to moving to the west coast if I had ever envisioned myself physically relocating to LA for work, I would've never imagined it happening; it was never a goal or even a thought of mine. Living there was completely freeing, inspiring and experience tough to replicate. The freeing feeling I experienced there created the foundation of what my brand is. It is a blend of cities where I fall somewhere in between. I get to share a different concept of myself each season, and it's the best part of being a designer. 


4. How would you describe the Míshi New York label?

My label is for the fun and fearless person. In a way, I design for who I aspire to be. From basically the day I learned how to walk, I was an extremely shy individual with a very loud mind. My mind would want to do something but my body wouldn't sync. I felt limited and frustrated. I still hold some of those characteristics to this day, but constantly find ways to challenge myself and be the risk-taker I am in my mind. Míshi has allowed me to not just step out of my comfort zone, but run away from it. I hope that my clothing inspires the individual to be effortlessly unafraid and bold.


5. We notice you use dreamy silhouettes in your collection accompanied by mesh. What inspired you to put those two components together?

I am in love with street wear and ethereal beauty. As a student I was introduced to a variety of designers with very opposite aesthetics, but was still attracted to them all the same. I wanted to fuse my two interests together into something that is completely me. Míshi became that image and grew into a collection of clean and modern street wear that incorporates sporty tech fabrics with soft charmeuse and organza.  

Photographer: Allen Chiu Model: Yanjin Li Stylist: Jasmine Kim Make up and hair artist: Christine Arndt

Photographer: Allen Chiu Model: Yanjin Li Stylist: Jasmine Kim Make up and hair artist: Christine Arndt

6. Have you ever thought about doing a spin-off capsule collection different from what you offer? 

It is definitely something I would be interested in for the future. I would love to someday collaborate and create a capsule shoe line.

7. If you could do a collaboration with a celebrity or designer who would it be and why?

A collaboration with celebrity Jhené Aiko and designers of AREA would be an absolute dream. Jhené's music has been with me throughout my work since I first heard of her in 2010. She's a Buddhist, like myself, and her songs find a way to keep me calm.

I've been following the designers of AREA for a few years and to see them expand into what they are is amazing. They're flawless in their color palettes and their styling. They have always been true to their brand identity and sticking to your guns is something I admire.


8. What was your inspiration for your latest collection you just released?

Spring Summer 2019 is a rejuvenation and restoration of myself. I'm introducing new colors and textiles, which I'm excited about. This year I've experienced a great amount of change in certain aspects of my life, creating uncertainty but also grit and tenacity. It has been able to propel me forward into a new way of thinking and adjusting, and I feel that I'm finally able to call New York my home. 

SS19 to me is a breath of fresh air and is called, "if i carry one more dream.”


9.  Where can Míshi New York be purchased?

Currently we are made-to-order! Clients are able to contact my showroom and myself directly for our garments.

10. What advice would you give aspiring designers?

If you are coming from a background where the fashion industry is seemingly impossible to get to, remember that nobody else sees creativity and art the way you do. How will people see the art you want to showcase? Work hard!

I have a full time job at a design house as well as working for my own brand. I also push to surround myself with people who have my back - I feel so fortunate to have my family as my backbone. This industry is tough but it'll happen if you really want it to. 

Photographer: Zach Han | Model: Crystal Yueyaoli

Photographer: Zach Han | Model: Crystal Yueyaoli

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Interview by: Joy Bullard Breitman