Local designer's flair for fashion

Lismore-based Aboriginal fashion designer Mia Brennan is celebrating Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2010 by showcasing her ‘Mimi’ label designs at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

She is one of 12 up and coming NSW designers who have been chosen to exhibit their summer ranges to national and international buyers as part of an Australian Fashion Exchange.

“I have my own stall in a private area of the art gallery and people come and chat with me and look at my work,” Mia said. “Everyone here is showcasing very different styles.

“My stuff is colourful and beachy looking and stands out from everyone else’s.”

As part of the fashion exchange, Mia has been attending workshops which have taught her how to approach people and market her work.

“A month ago I went to a great workshop on sustainability,” Mia said “I am already hand-crafting my own products in Australia on a small scale and I’m trying to be ethical about it. I walked out swimming in ideas. So far, it’s been very valuable and a great a help but it’s a bit daunting too.”

With support from the State Government’s Aboriginal Business Development Program, Mia has spent the last two years developing her fashion business. The development program funded her to put together her website, cards and books and helped her to market her products. Last year, Mia opened a shop in Lismore called ‘The Mimi Tree’, but she is now using her time to focus on production and has closed the shop.

“People still love the pants suits that I’m making,” Mia said “I’m also having fun showcasing a new wrap dress design. It’s an off-the-shoulder style with thick straps which are printed with feather designs. The straps can be changed to accentuate your best assets and show the strengths of your body. I think they have an earthy, tribal elegance which is very suited to the North Coast.

“When I come home, I’m going to keep on working and start selling my designs at the markets.”

You can view a selection of her work on the website www.mimidesigns.com.au

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