KALANI & OLEEMA MILLER
KALANI & OLEEMA MILLER
WELCOME TO MIAMI
Sisters Kalani and Oleema Miller, the founders of Mikoh, remember their swimwear brand’s first fashion show in The Magic City.
OLEEMA MILLER: Miami is the epitome of bikini living, and showing Mikoh there at Miami Swim Week [formerly Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim] was something Kalani and I had dreamt about since day one of starting our swimwear brand. About four years after launching, we decided to do our first runway show in July 2014.
KALANI MILLER: We spent weeks working on the application and presentation for [the event’s organizer] IMG, and were so nervous we’d be rejected. But, within five minutes [of submitting our application], IMG replied: We’ve been waiting for you! It was such a proud moment.
OM: Our show was on a Saturday night, inside a clear tent on the beach outside The Raleigh Hotel.
KM: Everyone prepared for it as much as possible, but we could not have anticipated the amount of work — or the curve balls — that we’d face.
OM: We had to figure out the show’s theme, how to style the looks, and what music to play. You did the seating chart, which was a stressful nightmare.
KM: There are just so many different aspects as far as production goes.
OM: We showed Mikoh’s 2015 South Pacific Collection, inspired by the culture of the South Pacific Islands. A diverse group of models was cast; we were proud to have so many different types of girls. I styled each outfit — some may call me a control freak, but I had a clear vision of how I wanted the girls to appear — and actually sent the girls down the runway myself. Our friends, who are deejays in Australia, flew to Miami to [curate] the music, which was one of the more stressful aspects, since the songs had to be timed to the models’ walk.
KM: On the night of the show, our venue was overcapacity. The fire marshall was threatening to shut us down!
OM: There was a crowd outside the tent peering in to get a glimpse of the runway. Having people actually show up to see something that we had worked on privately for months was very special — not just for you and me, but for everyone that’s part of Mikoh.
KM: All of our hard work paid off the moment the lights came on, the music started, and the models hit the runway.
OM: I wanted to cry afterward. We felt like our brand was finally established in the swimwear industry. But the coolest part was sharing that special moment — the culmination of years of work — with my sister.
— as told to The Thick