How Belief, Determination and Drive Took Designer Mimi Plange From Fashion Outsider to Putting Clothes on Michelle Obama

In an industry known for catering to insiders and the rarified realms of society, it’s always refreshing to learn from a total fashion outsider who’s created her own fashion success story through sheer belief, determination and, of course, deft skill. Listen to the show for this female entrepreneur’s journey from architecture to fast fashion to achieving ridiculously cool things moments like seeing her made in the USA clothes on Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Rihanna, Viola Davis and many more similarly archetypal women of our time — all while designing outside fashion’s typical formulas and drawing inspiration from such disparate sources as African scarification rituals, color-drenched prints, vintage shapes (be on the lookout for new eyewear coming soon) and the AI-powered digital influencers of the future. Of course, it should come as no surprise that a FEST founder who can pull that off has many more goals in mind.

Meet this week’s guest, Mimi Plange, Founder of Mimi Plange.

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What you’ll learn

The life of a fashion designer isn’t all glitz and glamour. Mimi Plange has had to go through various different occupations to figure out how to run her own line. She says even though she thought some of her earlier jobs weren’t related to fashion, in the end, those experiences still ended up helping her as a designer, especially when it came to the business end of her brand.

How you’ll be inspired

Never doubt the power of belief. Fashion was such a huge influence on Mimi growing up that, as she recalls in this episode, she’d event test herself by guessing the designer behind clothes she saw in magazines based on the look alone. Despite people discouraging her from a career in fashion along the way, she knew she was going to find her way into being a designer – and she did.

What you’ll tell your friends

Um, how ridiculously humble and down-to-earth is that designer Mimi Plange who was on the Spirit of 608 podcast this week? I mean, her clothes have been on Michelle Obama and Rihanna. But she’d rather tell you about the way fashion and clothes can change your life and the new digital avatar she’s working on to showcase her brand.

Resource of the Day

Preview: She recommends the visual planner social media app for checking out the look of your Instagram feed before you publish, as well as planning out the right look and feel for your Instagram grid view weeks or even months in advance.




Twitter: @mimiplange

Instagram: @mimiplange

Mentioned in this episode:

Designers Take a Fresh Look at Africa

André Leon Talley on Mimi Plange


Drum Magazine

House of Style

Star Wars

The Dark Crystal

Gianfranco Ferre

Tom Ford


The Avenue




The New York Times



The New York Library


Trend Hunter




Find more episodes featuring women at the forefront of FEST online at



© Spirit of 608