Accidental Icon: Part 2 Mireia Lopez and The Sleeping Beauty of Milo' Knitwear

As promised, I was lucky enough to have the lovely Mireia Lopez, Founder and Creative Director of Milo' agree to answer some questions about herself and her brand. I also had the opportunity to attend the Milo' trunk show last Friday. In the photo below Mireia and I are enjoying her beautiful work. The techniques used for knitwear and the ethics of the brand make for a wonderful story. 

Part 2: Interview with Mireia Lopez, Founder and Creative Director Milo'

In your biography you speak of modern dance and film as emotional and visual references for your work. What are your thoughts on the relationship of fashion and art?

Both worlds feed off each other; we could say, they share an emotional symbiotic relationship. Fashion is not just beautiful pieces that are only admired and not worn. It has a functionality which is the result of merging each of the complexities within the process of making the garment: designing, patternmaking, cutting, sewing, embellishing etc…

In some cases it crosses that fine line between the two worlds.

Craftsmanship has a closer link to an art form than Fashion itself, in my opinion. 

Another aspect of the relationship is the creative force behind the craft, the individual’s creativity, or artistry comes from an emotional energy, so it makes sense that the two worlds have so much in common. Art and Fashion both communicate a non-verbal message.

What are some of the difference in the design process when designing knitwear?

The emotional process is the same but in knitwear we start a bit further back when we create the material’s texture. Knitwear designers must also have a specialized knowledge to anticipate the final results: in Fully Fashion knitwear, the fabric and shape of the garment is done all at once in one-step and in one place: the knitting machine.

The creation of knitwear is complex: not all yarns will give us certain effects nor would they work for certain shapes. For example, every time a yarn is changed or positioned at the surface versus inside of the garment, this affects the final shape of the sweater or final stitch effect. Each knit technique can only be achieved with the proper yarns and machinery - not all knit machines are able to do the job at hand and not all yarns will give you the effects you want. The technical process must start from the beginning during the creative process.

As a progressive and an intellectual woman I am drawn to your clothing not only because of the architectural, modern cuts and silhouettes but also your environmental and social ethics and integrity. Can you tell us more about this part of your brand?

We want to believe that we are somehow contributing to leaving a positive impact in the world in which we live, and if possible, throughout all aspects of our lives.

We do not claim to be 100% sustainable, but we wish one day that we will; there is still a lot of work to be done in all industries to achieve100% sustainability status, and it would take a lot of time to convert every potential customer to consume in an eco-conscious way all of the time.

 Nowadays we still see sustainability as a plus and not a must, so it is still a little hard or expensive to find or produce eco-friendly materials or methods, especially with synthetic fibers like rayon or polyester, for example. That said, it is not impossible and a little easier now than years ago when we first started, thanks to certifications like Oeko-Tex, which means that there are no chemicals or toxic substances (for humans or the environment) used during all steps of production. We are always looking for this kind of certifications If they are available in the market, we will surely use them for our collections.

 Our signature extra fine merino wool comes from an organic farm in southern Australia, where a water supply system was developed for the farm with windmill pumps and more environmentally compatible pasture management methods. The sheep are free range, well-loved and taken care of by the family who owns and runs this wool farm. The wool is processed with dyes and methods that are Oeko-Tex certified.

 There is another good aspect about been socially conscious. It makes sense to think that caring for the animals that keep us warm has its perks too: not only is it good for the environment but with happier and healthier sheep, the wool becomes stronger, softer and more breathable. Wool is made out of the sheep’s hair … the quality of our hair is affected too when we do not consume enough vitamin B for example, or we are stressed…

 We also like to collaborate with like- minded people, for example, our favorite printing company. They are minutes away from us, and they print with non-toxic inks and vegetable inks, using renewable wind-energy power.

 Our season-less cashmere is made from the capra-hircus goat that lives in the high, dry plateaus of Asia, stretching into Mongolia. The cashmere is hand- produced at Aasha Ghar Women Center, which in Nepalese means ‘House of Hope’.

The ‘House of Hope’ focuses on the training of disadvantaged women from the rural villages of Nepal in the arts of knitting, crocheting, embroidery. The center has trained more than 100 women in the past three years. A percentage from our production benefits a local clinic that provides free healthcare to the women involved and their families.

 CARING is the first step to making conscious choices, and that goes for relationships and everything that I’ve mentioned above. We would like to think that we are contributing to happy and healthy living while making beautiful clothes.

Who is the Milo woman?

We are inspired by the raw, handsome beauty. She has a strong energy, she is ageless, she has allure. She is the modern conscious woman who will feel chic and yet comfortable in our pieces.

 Anything else you would like to share?

Yes!  that is a pleasure to meet you, we are big fans of yours..

Thank you for sharing milo’ with your followers.

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