Miryam, you are 29 years old and you already started your own label. Would you describe yourself as determined?
After graduating from high school, however, I had no idea what to do with myself. I knew that I wanted to do something in fashion, but I had no precise idea. I decided to go to India for a few months to support an aid organization. After that I made various attempts in the Fast Fashion industry, but quickly realized that this was not the right thing for me. In this field, fashion is simply nothing special anymore. Then, when I started studying business administration, I already had a more precise idea about the direction I wanted to go in. But it was my bachelor thesis on production conditions abroad and the impulse from my professor that led me to the decision to found my own brand. In 2017, after graduating, I went to Bali for the first time. When I saw my second home – I’m half German, half Balinese – I immediately realized which values my company should represent.
A lot of people keep asking me: How did you know that you wanted to create fashion? For me, fashion is a feeling, a passion that I already had as a little girl. I even styled myself for kindergarten. My mom says that as a 4 year old I always wanted to feel the fabrics of my clothes in the morning and compared them with each other. It was a drama when they didn’t go together!
Despite this obvious passion, it was not always easy to assert myself. For a long time I had a lot of part-time jobs, sometimes even several at the same time. Mostly in the field of gastronomy. Further I was told again and again: decide what you want to do, do something useful, why don’t you just work something like everyone else … I believe that if you don’t enjoy your work, you should quit. I think that everyone has a purpose in life and should be happy above all.
MIRYAM not only stands for Fair Fashion, but also for Slow Fashion. What does that mean to you?
For me this means that we always limit our collections to a small number of pieces. We think it’s important that customers don’t get drowned in a flood of clothes. They should be aware of what they really need and what they don’t. In times of endless marketing and advertising on platforms like Instagram, this is not always easy for. The new spring/summer collection, for example, focuses on the beginnings of MIRYAM. A collection of basics that never go out of style and that can all be combined with one another. For me, Slow Fashion also means reminding customers of what they already have in their wardrobes and how they can skillfully combine their pieces with our items. We slow down the entire process, only release a few pieces a year and work according to a pre-order principle. That way, we can estimate the quantities we need to produce and can thus avoid overproduction or even waste.
What challenges does a small Fair Fashion label have to face in the market?
I think one of the biggest challenges right now is that so many small labels are emerging and that each of them wants to secure a market share. And then there is of course the financing, which has been my biggest obstacle from the start. If you, like in my case, don’t have rich parents supporting you and you have just graduated with the help of a loan, it is not easy to pay for everything. Starting with the production to the fabrics up to marketing and packaging.