“The essence of a great design is fit and fabric,” Miri says, “it's what sets apart a well dressed woman."
A petite blonde who's diminutive size is deceptive, Miri is a presence you notice immediately when she enters a room. The mother of five boys and one girl, is all about fashion and family . ''My children are very talented,'' she said. ''They can tell a chiffon from an organza by the age of 6.''
When she was a little girl, she knew that dress designing would be her life. Growing up in Brooklyn, at age 3, "I would cut paper and try to make a pattern,'' she said. ''And I loved dressing up.''
''We were big Loehman's shoppers, and Saks Fifth Avenue,'' she said. ''But I also went to dressmakers. My mother was from Belgium so I went to Europe a lot, especially Paris. I loved Chanel. I loved Valentino''. At 17, she apprenticed in Europe with a small couturier and from then on she had eyes only for fashion.
She had no desire to go to college. All she wanted to do was design clothes. ''But I am from an Orthodox family,'' she said. ''At that time, in our community, a woman does not start her own business if she's not married. So I taught third graders in a day care center. After math and science, I would teach them how to make dresses. We'd spend two hours on design.''
She designed her own wedding gown ''and my mother's and my sisters' dresses for my wedding.'' Miri was also designing dresses for friends. Someone in the business saw one and asked, ''Whose label is that?'' When told it was Miri, she phoned her and said ''I'd like to see your line.''
''I couldn't believe it,'' Miri recalled. ''I said: 'My line? I can show you my closet.' ''
And so it began. Miri hired a few seamstresses and began selling her dresses. At the tender age of 22 she opened a showroom on Seventh Avenue, and ran it successfully for many years. ''I know what makes a woman feel good,'' she said. ''She wants to make a statement when she walks into a room.''
After 9/11, priorities changed, and for Miri, it was more important to be near her family every day. She opened her first retail store near her home and it was so successful that she kept opening more. The business has been growing exponentially ever since, with 10 stores now, and more on the way.
What really makes Miri special, beyond her understanding of what women want in design, is the talented group of individuals she has cultivated over the years into the MIRI team. From sales to design, it really feels more like a family than a business, with each department working together and sharing in the process and the accomplishments.
Miri and her team travel to Paris and Italy several times a year where she chooses fine fabrics and oversees the beading and embroidery for her designs. A new collection is produced each season for the Bridal, Evening Gown, Ready-to-Wear and MIRI 2.0 lines, and recently MIRI Shoes have been added to complement the collections.
Each garment is made with careful consideration for cut, fabric and fit. Every piece is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship that defines MIRI COUTURE.