While walking across downtown Manhattan to celebrate the highly anticipated launch of Paloma Elsesser’s first collection for Miaou, it occurred to me that I hadn’t yet seen any of the clothes. And then I looked up. A poster of co-designer and campaign star Elsesser in a playful patchworked corset greeted me on the corner of Broadway and Prince Street. She is everywhere and for good reason. Seen on the runways for top houses like Chloé, Marni, and Michael Kors, to name a few, and splashed across bigger than life billboards at international airports and city centers, the former Vogue cover star and current Victoria’s Secret brand ambassador is never not on a mission to push boundaries.
By her side for the past 15 years stands Miaou co-founder and creative director Alexia Elkaim. The duo has combined forces on multiple projects for the brand and beyond, but this collaborative high summer collection will make Miaou history. For the first time, Elsesser’s 54-piece capsule collection filled with sexy bustiers and skirt sets extends the brand’s size range from XS to 4X.
“Paloma’s always been my collaborator on both a personal and professional level,” Elkaim explained. “She has vision and knows the gaps in the fashion industry that need to be bridged. We’re like sisters, so the collection developed in an organic way, and I’m just so grateful to be able to catalyze this special moment for Miaou with her.”
To celebrate the brand’s milestone, the pair and Miaou’s co-founder Eric Best gathered all of their pals for a festive family dinner at Soho’s finest French institution, Raoul’s. Of course, all of the Miaou muses like Precious Lee, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Madeline Poole, Scarlett Costello, Lovisa Lager, Melena Lipman, Ariella Starkman, Niki Takesh, Chloe Vero, and Shay Johnson showed up in full looks from the capsule collection. Martinis and mini steak tartare bites floated about during the buzzy cocktail hour, which quickly transitioned into a three-course dinner once the guests of honor arrived. Upstairs, a tarot card reader caught attendees by surprise for an impromptu reading.
In proper host form, Elsesser made her rounds to each table, thanking everyone for their support, especially her family, who were proudly in attendance. After the empty plates of steak au poivre were cleared and before the banana-coconut bread was served, Elsesser and Elkaim stood up in the center of the dining room for a heartfelt toast.
“The centerpiece of the collection is the extended sizing,” Elsesser smiled. “I wanted to give every girl, whether she has it all together or is a hot mess, the opportunity to not only feel sexy and cute but to have an ease to life.”
Alexia Elkaim, Paloma Elsesser, Eric Best
David X Prutting/BFA.com
Roseline Lawrence, Alva Claire, Lovisa Lager, Imani Randolph
Sage Elsesser, Tremaine Emory