Mimi The Bag Gal
“On a hot summer day…” is how Milan Ham predicts I will kick off this profile of her. So here we are, on a hot summer day in her apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, drinking water out of glass mason jars. We're sitting on the floor of her super small bedroom and listening to Redbone by Childish Gambino. Her space away from the hectic city gave a homey, nostalgic feeling by low-lit lighting and walls pined up by sketches and art work. Feeling the breeze and hearing local life right outside of her french window, which is always cracked open.
“It’s been a year since I moved to New York from Florida, and sometimes I still wake up and think, wow I really live here now. I’ve dreamt about living in New York since middle school days. Even though no-one mentioned how hard it would be living on your own and pursuing your dreams!” Milan says. She works at a costume production store for Broadway Musicals, where she creates the skeletons of costume sketches, and goes on fabric runs all over the city. “The plan is to have my own shit eventually, my own clothing line and from there my own little shop. But, it’s not easy at all. The fashion world in the city is cut throat. You have all theses brands just booming right now because they have the right support. Balenciaga, Off-White, Marc Jacobs are are couple of my favorites on how they keep staying relevant with urban and fashion culture” Milan says as she lights one Marlboro, leaning against her baby pink door.
“This spring I plan on dropping my first collection of reconstructed luxury handbags. I thrift all over New York and find gems of vintage designer handbags, but sometimes they are damaged or dated so I spice them up and reconstruct them for a new look. I found this super rare black logo Gucci pouch and converted into a fanny pack, Everyone was really into it and sold it on Depop for 650 dollars while I only spent 15 bucks to buy it. Not bad come up, right?” Milan says with a faint grin. As we walk to the subway stop for my journey home, Milan reminded me how important it is to follow your dreams, even if no one appreciates it at first. Just put it out there, put yourself out there and make it happen. I hug my long time friend goodbye and hop on my train back to Manhattan.