“I always knew this was what I would do with my life”Melinda HuffFounder
Melinda Huff’s journey into the world of fashion is as unique as the pieces she creates for Mirame.
Growing up in New York, Melinda was surrounded by strong women who found success in the Garment District. “Both of my grandmothers were single mothers and immigrants. They came here on their own and were able to make it work.” Melinda was taught how to sew at an early age and was immediately drawn in. Once, as a young teenager, one of her grandmothers found Melinda sketching a dress. A week later, she knocked on the door holding Melinda’s sketch transformed into a completed dress. After that, there was no turning back. According to Melinda, “that was the moment I knew I was going to be a designer.”
After high school, Melinda was ready to leave New York. She enrolled in a Buddhist college to study Eastern psychology and later relocated to Hawaii. “I packed a suitcase and my sewing machine, because I took it everywhere with me.” It’s fortunate she did because, once settled in, Melinda realized that she didn’t have a lot of opportunities to make money. She headed to the local fabric store, made her very first bathing suit, and started selling bikinis on the beach.
“The idea of swimsuit shopping can be terrifying to some women. I want to create a place of refuge where a customer can let go of some of that anxiety and feel beautiful.”
Melinda eventually worked her way back to New York City, finished college, and started her career in fashion. Because she knew how to sew, she quickly found work as a sample maker. “Many jobs later, I found myself working in swimwear again. It felt like it was meant to be. I had worked under all my favorite designers and felt like there was no one else to work for. That’s when I launched Mirame.” Ten years later, Melinda is producing garments for wholesale accounts, her own e-commerce website, and in brick and mortar stores.
“Mirame means ‘look at me’ in Spanish.”
Melinda recognizes that many women don’t want to be seen in bathing suits. There’s body image issues, societal expectations for how women of a certain age should dress, and the exhausting experience of bathing suit shopping – just to name a few pain points. Melinda’s goal is to provide fashionable styles, silhouettes, and garments that encourage women to feel comfortable and fashionable. “Most women are not fit models. A lot of clothing is not made for real women”, she shares. Mirame stands out by providing versatile pieces that challenge the stereotype of what a mom should look like in both design and execution. Bathing suits are created with heavier lining and compression style materials to emphasize curves and help women feel their best.
Melinda also has a dedication to sustainability and ethical practices. Materials are recycled and high-quality, some suits lasting up to 10 years of wear. Never forgetting her family’s roots, Melinda’s products are fully made in the Garment District by workers being paid fair wages.
The critical element to her success, however, is Melinda’s unwavering passion and love for her craft. Over the past decade she has faced challenges head-on, emerging stronger and more resilient. As Mirame looks to the future, the brand will continue to break barriers, redefine standards, and inspire women to embrace their beauty confidently.