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5 Minutes With... MSJ by Mira S Designs

by Emma Foreman

Launched in 2014, London based MSJ by Mira S. Designs provides the world of contemporary jewelry with timeless creations that are inspired by life. The designs cater to the free spirit, the traveling soul, and the explorer in all senses. We spent 5 minutes with Mira to get a glimpse inside the brand.

How did MSJ by Mira S Designs begin?

Having graduated from McGill University in Montreal, I soon after began my career life as a Marketing Manager for a Montreal based fashion house named Rudsak. At the age of 25, I moved to Jordan to pursue a career in real-estate development. Whilst working within the real-estate development industry, I partook in the Prince Ali of Jordan campaign for VP of FIFA.

During my career in real-estate development, I was recruited by developers in Istanbul, where I ended up living for over 2 years. During my time in Istanbul, MSJ was brought to life as a personal project on the side. Having moved to London in 2014, MSJ began to take a life of its own, it found objective within my life, and soon gained priority within my career path.

MSJ started as a fun hobby on the side, however, as I became more and more acquainted with the fashion industry and began to unravel the immense communication power and reach it holds, I decided to utilize my creative side to bring to life a brand that may in turn be used to send vital messages to the mass public. In other words, I wanted to use MSJ as a means of communicating with the world, hoping that I may be able to inspire as many individuals as possible into a more conscious and responsible way of living.

Have you always been interested in fashion?

At a younger age yes, as most girls do I assume. However, I soon began to gain more interest in human rights and environment protection and was increasingly becoming passionate about helping the world become a better place.

What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?

I think they can both be summed up into the same moment when I decided to leave my well-paying and stable career in real-estate development and take plunge into the unknown. It was the scariest yet most liberating moment in my life.

What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?

This collection is named Illumine, and it is inspired by the award that I was commissioned to design and present for an upcoming film and music festival in Montreal. Illumine means to enlighten, both intellectually and spiritually, which is the objective of the arts being presented during the festival, focused on raising awareness about global human rights and environmental issues. In parallel, MSJ’s communication efforts focus on raising awareness about global issues that the general public may otherwise remain in the dark about.

Do you ever struggle to stay inspired?

Yes, simply because our lives are filled with a lot of noise. In order to create, I need to escape. In order to create, I need to be in complete seclusion, away from everyday city life. I normally run off to my mother’s home in Bodrum Turkey, whereby I spend quality time with my sketchbook, pencil set, and the sounds of crashing waves.

Where is your go-to meeting spot?

I don’t have a set go-to meeting spot but I try placing myself in “fun” surroundings, as I always try blurring the line between the seriousness of work with the joy of life!

How would you describe your customer base?

There is no set demographic to my customer base in terms of age or demography, but they all share one thing in common; their urge to express their personal style. Most of my designs can be worn in a multitude of ways, and this allows my customers to bring out their inner artist.

Is there anyone you would love to see wearing your designs?

I would have loved to have seen Princess Diana wearing my designs because I believe she is one of the most remarkable ladies our times have seen, at least from the personas who made it into the limelight. I view Princess Diana as a beautiful angel that was not afraid to speak and act her mind both about her personal life and in defence of any injustice towards the less fortunate.

In today’s world, I would love to see Angelina Jolie wear my designs, as she is a rebel by definition who is not afraid to reveal her weaknesses. I have the ultimate respect for her benevolent work across the globe. Needless to say, both ladies are also beautiful on the outside.

What are the morals you run your brand by?

From a creative standpoint, our designs maintain timelessness in order to allow our customer base jewellery pieces that may be used for many years versus owning seasonal items. We try to maintain versatility in our designs, meaning most pieces may be worn in different ways, and for a multitude of occasions, once again, allowing our customers a higher value purchase versus a limiting piece of jewellery. 

We don’t follow fashion trends in order to avoid being influenced by a seasonal fad and to rather maintain creative honesty.

Last but not least, we have strong ethical values both within our supply chain and overall communication efforts. We have to date introduced one 100% non-profit initiative, Because Everybody Deserves a Home, aimed at raising funds for the refugee crisis. We hope to introduce many more such initiatives in the future.

Do you have a mentor?

My father has inspired me to remain true to my heart and maintain happiness as my ultimate goal. He has always guided me to seeing the bigger picture in life. I can’t say I have a mentor but I have been influenced and inspired by a compilation of people, both near and far, that have given me the wisdom and strength to be where I am today.

What apps keep you sane?

I try staying away from anything digital. Nature keeps me sane.

If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?

It is quite hard to separate me from my Rose Gold FREE Pendant, it remains on my neck regardless of the time of day or the occasion. I love its simplicity and minimalism. However, more importantly is the message it holds, one that is a fundamental right of all beings. We are all born FREE and should never forego of this birthright.

What’s the biggest style mistake you’ve ever made?

During SS16, I made a drastic style change that initially shocked my followers. I moved from chunky bold pieces to more delicate Fine Jewellery pieces. The mistake in this case was ignoring the necessary step in between, allowing for a more organic transition. I responded quickly by introducing a bridge collection comprised of sterling silver based designs, allowing a stepping stone both in terms of affordability, display, and occasion.

Is there another designer whose work you particularly admire?

I, for creative purposes, do not follow the works of any jewellery designers. I do however admire Stella McCartney simply because she has been revolutionary in her standpoint against animal cruelty.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Listen to your heart. Believe in your self. Nothing is impossible.

What drew you to Wolf & Badger?

I have always been a supporter of independent artists, and basically, the black sheep movement. As both a person and as a brand, conformity is not one of our pillars, which I found is a view shared with Wolf & Badger.

Where do you see the brand in 5 years?

I see MSJ by Mira S. Designs as an internationally renowned brand that is synonymous with both unique design and social contribution. MSJ by Mira S. Designs would be a sought after look that simultaneously motivates people into a more responsible way of living and in turn helps raise funds to support pivotal global causes. In reality, I hope to have by then launched a philanthropic foundation under Mira S. Designs.