I have been a fan of Mimi Prober’s work since I met her over five years ago. At the time she was creating exquisite pieces from antique lace. I would see the level of detail and intentionality in every garment and was in utter awe. How was this not in every major store? Well when you are working with antique lace it’s not like you can run to Mood and pick up bolts of it. Her work couldn’t be scaled for the masses so it was worn by celebrities looking for statement pieces including ballerina Misty Copeland and singer Erykah Badu. It also has a cult following with cool girl brides-to-be who covet the heirloom quality and beautiful designs she creates.
There are many labels now touting a version of “conscious collections” but to create in a conscientious manner is in Prober ‘s DNA. On her site it states her “philosophy integrates antique materials, natural luxury fibers, and botanical earth based dye methods to create seasonless collections crafted from rare materials developed into custom textiles and organically formed fine jewelry, with an emphasis on history, process, and handcraft.” This process creates beautiful pieces but can be incredibly time consuming.
Some questioned her “business sense” and no doubt thought she could be more successful if she just wasn’t so damn insistent on preservation and a deliberate slow process. But she wasn’t about to compromise her craft.
And now we can thank her for it. Having found a factory in India that is certified sustainable and organic she is expanding her vision to more ready-to-wear which is being picked up by MatchesFashion.com and other online retailers (translation: available to you and me). Her new collection features clothes that feel soft and feminine without being girly and are made with the same natural fibers and dyes that have made her custom work so popular.
Sometimes you hear of someone “ahead of their time”. Usually this is looking back to a historical moment that few recognized and the ones who did were considered somewhere between eccentric and certifiable. Fortunately for Mimi Prober (and us) her time is now.