Alexia Elkaim and Paloma Elsesser are living proof that collaborating with your best friend can have a remarkable outcome. Self-declared besties since 10th grade, the two have backed one another as Elkaim began the spirited, girl-next-door brand Miaou and Paloma became a supermodel.
Today, they started a venture together on Miaou’s first-ever 54-piece plus-size collection, presenting the fan-favorite corsets and skirts in sizes ranging from XS to a 4X.
“This isn’t even where it stops; this is just the bandwidth currently that the brand has,” says Elsesser. “It’s also a way to make a remark to brands that have way more resources to show that you can do this.”
Began as a denim producer company, Miaou has since become famous for curve-hugging going out tops and outstanding non-constricting corsets. Elsesser has sported Miaou clothing; however, she felt like she was being handed a special privilege.
“My size was provided, but the community I represent was not,” she states.
The timing was perfect for the duo to venture into this collection and the undertaking of generally expanding Miaou’s sizing, beginning with the core pieces.
“Any brand I attach my name to needs to also provide for more women that I represent,” according to Elsesser.
The Los Angeles-based and New York-bred duo worked with two fit models – one who donned a size 16 and the other wearing a size 18 – to make the sizing accurate. Elsesser’s own encounter also aided in a few design elements, as spotted in a partly backless top to enable the person wearing it to have underpinnings yet still show some skin.
“I was like, ‘I need to wear a bra every day.’ These things need to be considered,” Elsesser states. “I really value Alexia listening to these needs.”
It was necessary for the two that the pieces be easy, a word not usually tied to shapewear.
“Ease can be a corset, ease can be sweatpants, but it’s the way you can participate in the world and feel at ease in this moment,” she adds. “The community that I care about so deeply is not only deserving of ease but desperate of it. It’s not fair, and it feels like a denial of a certain level of humanity that everyone deserves.”
It took 25 fittings and countless assessments from the models, Elsesser, and the Miaou team – which according to Elkaim, possess larger bodies – to complete and finalize the fit.
“The collection itself is such a smoothie of Alexia and I’s personalities,” Elsesser continues. “Alexia is very light, playful, and I operate from a more critical lens when it comes to clothes and images.”
Alexia slightly speaks in contrast to Elsesser’s statement, saying that Elsesser is more “mature and sophisticated.”
Elsesser responds, “I’m more serious, and she’s more light. I’m a burgundy and a forest green; she’s a beige and a pink.”
The collection features bold prints based on interior design, involving a tangerine-hued toile, an abstract blue and white print highlighting faintly seen Baroque architectural elements.
In a specifically impressive photo, Elsesser dons the orange corset with a blue skirt and twirls. That combination alone is different from the usual Miaou label, as Elkaim favors matching outfits rather than a bold pattern.
“I feel really grateful that she trusted me,” she says, adding it was as smooth as the clothes they created.
“It was not difficult to relinquish control because there’s so much trust in her vision,” she adds.