The launch of MIA London’s Mesh Bag Range invited us into a world of African Luxury.
The event was a collaboration with the Ministry of Sound new members’ club, The Ministry, and was also hosted at the luxurious club too. It was the perfect spot for MIA London’s first event as it set the tone for the brand. They are known for their high-quality bespoke suits and so the settings were fitting. However, despite the exclusive location, the event felt very open and somewhat relaxed. The evening could easily have doubled as a plush networking event as the guests were extremely friendly and filled with good vibes. Due to the nature of fine tailoring, MIA London tends to cater to its customers individually, usually when they are ready to buy. The bag launch was the perfect opportunity for clients and customers to curiously interact with the brand in a way they haven’t been able to before.
Comparable to a showroom, key pieces from MIA London’s previous collections were on display. Alongside were the main attractions of the night, three new mesh bags which will be part of their upcoming collection at September’s New York and Paris Fashion Week – a stylish mesh utility vest, a trendy mesh cross body bag and my personal favourite, a clear tote bag with an inner mesh pouch. MIA London is further proving that African fashion can exist within current trends, as well as, show some regards to the wider conversation around sustainability which is currently taking place in the industry. The bags are made from sustainable fabrics which aim to aid the environment, rather than hinder.
MIA Body Bag
MIA Clear Bag
Founded by Aji Ayorinde [@ajiayorinde] in 2016, MIA – Made in Africa – London houses a small team of just two. He works alongside his business partner, Ruth Mukete [@missmukete], who is Head of Visual Merchandising. Aji, who was looking very dapper on the night, representing MIA in a new floral co-ord, which is also part of their upcoming collection, describes the brand in three words, “Contemporary. Functional. Fashionable.” Might I also add a fourth word – Collaborative? They aim to work with at least one tailor in every African country. So far, they have made strides, partnering with tailors in South Africa, Zambia and Nigeria.
“We would like to be able to compete on our own terms and show that you can be a reputable African fashion brand that just so happens to be African, so we are able to tap into the global fashion scene on the basis of being more than just an African brand in its traditional sense.”
– Aji Ayorinde, Founder of MIA London
Aji Ayorinde – Creative Director, MIA and Ruth Mukete – Head of Visual Merchandising, MIA
The emergence of MIA London could not have come at a better time. With aspirations to bridge the gap between traditional African culture and Western trends, the brand is part of a new wave of creatives within Africa and in the Diaspora who are redefining what the narrative of Africa is. The burst of creativity taking form in music, art and of course, fashion has created a modern-day African Revolution where its influence is being seen to have a wider global influence. What a time to be African!
MIA London is a brand which effortlessly connects with its audience in the Diaspora, who are shamelessly proud of their heritage. Judging from their recent “21st Century Love Story” featured in Viper Magazine, as well as their video campaign for the new Mesh Bag Range, this is a brand which can do both and well.
MIA x Ministry was a huge success, attracting a large group of reputable people, including known Afrobeats artist, Moelogo. Everyone was dressed to the nine and the venue was immersed with positive energy. With music provided by the likes of Mercedes Benson [@mercedesofbenson] and GUAP’s very own Stylist Assistant, DJ Ashleigh Simone [@ashleighsimoneb], Friday night marked a monumental stepping stone for MIA London. They are one step closer to their ambitions of opening a full-time store in the UK which encapsulates everything their event had to offer.