Capella Mirach: Beauty, Friendship & Inspiration
Most people allow their personal style to be limited because of gender. A clothing brand in the south doesn’t play by gender norms. Capella Mirach is an online, unisex store that offers uniquely styled vintage clothing, accessories and natural products. This Atlanta-based brand focuses on creating personalized fashion looks that “signify unity amongst the sexes.” CM is a more than a store to buy affordable, stylish pieces; it’s a social movement. It is breaking rules and stepping on boundaries by supporting “free the nipple” and the notion that clothing shouldn’t be regulated by sex. We sat down with Phoenix Wild, the brains behind Capella Mirach, to get a better understanding of the brand and how it achieves its mission through fashion.
When and how did Capella Mirach come to be?
So, Capella Mirach originated from an overflow of my own personal closet. And then there was all of my friends with a love for different and interesting pieces. We’d have these big styling parties in my apartment and would go out looking like something out of an 80s magazine. Then the unisex idea came about from one of my guy friends with this style that’s like a mix of Prince and Jimi Hendrix. He would wear my things and his girlfriends’ clothes and it wasn’t in this homosexual or flamboyant way or whatever. He just happened to fit and work the clothing pieces that would be in the ladies section in a store. So this got me thinking how annoying it is that we waste so much time separating genders for clothing when we should all be able to wear whatever color or style that we want. Because it’s just a piece of fabric. I think other things should dictate what gender you are if need be. And so, my closet got bigger, a business frame developed and then the website in Autumn 2015. And. Capella Mirach was born.
I love the idea behind your name, Capella Mirach. Why did you choose to have a brand that is associated with our galaxy and the stars?
It’s beautiful that you use the word our in reference to the galaxy and beyond. I wanted to have a name that was reachable to every human. I chose Capella and Mirach in combination because of their meanings of beauty, friendship and inspiration. Also, I think both words create a beautiful sound together, with Capella having more of a feminine energy and Mirach having more of a male. I also think that the galaxy is something that most humans feel disconnected from or that they are too far away for connection. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. The stars are as real and attainable as the grass is here on Earth. We are a combination and all in one and I think that is important in something like genderless fashion because it takes down those barriers and allows more of a universal connection.
Does the meaning of your name, unisex style and mission impact every decision you make for the business? Do you have any other influences?
Yes absolutely. I think another influence is my own connection with clothing. I’ve always loved different patterns and having a lot of options. It has always bothered me how people go to the mall and spend $25 on one shirt and $60 on a pair of shoes and end up looking like everyone else while breaking their pocket. For me, it is easy to spot these unique pieces, and I also have been blessed with a very cheap mindset. I know how it feels to walk into a boutique and want this thrifted dress but it’s marked at $40. So I think the influence of how I would personally shop is important to me as well.
I love how your clothing brand is kind of like a social and political statement. Since your clothes are genderless, do you find more LGBT people support & wear the brand? Or do you receive just as much business from non-LGBT people?
I think that it’s a good mix. And honestly I get a lot of support from men who have a dope creative mind but are kind of stuck with the Kanye west fashion or getting that one jacket that every guy has. But everything in CM is one of a kind and the fact that maybe the design for a particular shirt is for a woman doesn’t bother them as much because everything is clustered together. But definitely we get a balanced mix which is what I prefer anyways. Not trying to appeal to only one group of people. Rather the human being at his/her core.
Who makes up the team?
The team right now is made up of me and two other amazingly creative girls. Meka and Yazmin. They handle the organization right now with social media, events and online sales. Definitely helping the business get completely organized before the baby comes. They are such a blessing. We also have an external seamstress along with our cluster of models that we use for everything from online promotions to vending events in the city.
How long is your creative, styling process? How long does it take you to organize and finalize a collection for your site?
The styling process is very quick. Ideas usually come at random and are executed within 2 weeks. We have to shoot every other week, because the site is basically like an online thrift store and we have to keep inventory stocked.
From your instagram, I can definitely tell you support the “free the nipple” movement. How does it feel having your art censored?
It’s annoying. Hard to understand. Hurtful. All of these mixed into a big, idgaf attitude from me. The essence of my human lies within my photographs and some people are afraid of that. Afraid that I am being inappropriate or offending them in some sort of way. When I guess I can say the same about them. Maybe everyone should just quiet down, strip down in front of the mirror and listen to the silence of their own nakedness and they will understand how I feel.
How are you able to make your outfits and pieces so affordable?
I’m not about to try and fool anyone by thinking that I pay some outstanding amount for my pieces. My goal is to get these fantastic clothes out of hiding and onto beautiful human beings. If I can give it to you for 10 to 15 bucks and walk away feeling like I’ve done a creative and beneficial thing then I will. I won’t ever raise my prices. My goal is not money. My goal is to de-clone this world.
All of the models on the site are beautiful, where did you find them?
Mostly I happen upon them at events here in Atlanta or they are friend of a friend or my personal friends. I like to scout when I’m out and about but they usually are unique faces that when I see them, I know they’d be great for the brand.
What do you do when you have free time from running a business?
Right now it’s preparing for my little one’s arrival which means excessive cleaning and trying not to panic because I don’t have enough cloth diapers. Haha. I’m also doing a lot of writing, vegan cooking and some modeling collaborations of my own with photographer friends.
What would you say to naysayers who think gender is important?
I say that they will be stuck paying too high and wearing the same thing as everyone else. There are too many clothes in rotation for anyone to pay what they do for clothing. Way too many designs and colors to explore instead of putting them in the “only girls wear that” box. We have to get back to when we were imagineers as children and wearing pink or blue or a skirt or a silk jacket didn’t matter as long as you were with your friends and felt free.
Interview: Bria (@briakiara_), Access Intern