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Meet the mother-daughter duo behind Miimi & Jiinda

Phoebe Blogg -

Miimi & Jiinda is on its way to becoming one of the most adored Indigenous fashion brands to date.

Founded by mother-daughter-duo Melissa Greenwood and Lauren Jarrett, the eponymous fashion, art and lifestyle brand is facing a trajectory of growth.

After presenting their very first designer collection at this year's Afterpay Australia Fashion Week (AAFW), Miimi & Jiinda has quickly become an industry favourite.

Initially launched in 2018 – with Miimi and Jiinda meaning mother and sister in Gumbaynggirr – as an art-based business, it was not long before the pair's love for art transferred into a passion for fashion and textile design.

"We originally started out as an art business, creating artworks and traditional weaving pieces that mum does... but now, we have transitioned into fashion," Ms Greenwood said.

"I've always had an interest in fashion myself, but we were experimenting with putting our artwork on different mediums…it was first canvas, paper and stone.

"Then we tried it on fabric and thought oh my gosh."

Miimi & Jiinda presenting at Country to Couture. (Image: Marley Morgan)

Inspired by their personal journeys as Aboriginal women, Greenwood and Jarrett strive to create unique artworks and garments that connect with both women and the world.

Believing that the land we live on is everything and the earth is one's greatest teacher, the Miimi & Jiinda brand values ethical and sustainable practices as much as creativity and craft.

"The land we live on is everything; the earth is our greatest teacher, our knowledge holder and our divine authority", Ms Greenwood and Ms Jarrett said.

Showcasing at this year's 2023 Country to Couture runway saw the creative pair show off their new, brightly-hued Burraaba (Unearth) collection.

"Country To Couture is another opportunity to continue our storytelling, honouring our matriarchal line and celebrating their spirit" Greenwood and Jarrett told Indigenous Fashion Projects.

Influenced by the dreaming stories and hero ancestors of Gumbaynggirr Country, Burraaba presents a contemporary range of garments with printed natural fabrics and traditional woven elements.

Using the Muurrabay Bundani (Tree of Life) as a motif throughout, Greenwood translates her hand-painted artworks using sustainable printing processes and high-quality fabrics.

Featuring everything from tailored suit jackets to full-bodied dresses, the Burraaba collection was created to make women feel confident and strong all whilst appearing very feminine.

"We wanted to create beautiful suit jackets and pants to make women feel empowered and strong," Ms Greenwood said.

"Sophisticated but proud…proud of our first nations culture."

Referencing the colours of country, the Burraaba collection features a range of brightly-hued pinks and reds as well as a variety of subdued pastels.

"We have always been really particular about the colours we choose from the beginning," Ms Greenwood said.

"They are representative of us…of our matriarchal story, culture and family.

"I'm all about colour…I just love the way it makes you feel. You just feel amazing wearing bright beautiful colours."

Miimi & Jiinda presenting at Country to Couture. (Image: Marley Morgan)

Proudly created on Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung Nations, Burraaba is also a celebration of the land it was created and founded on.

Aiming to further reflect this within Miimi & Jiinda designs has seen Greenwood and Jarrett experiment with a range of detailing, fabrications and colourways.

Similar to their range of art and garments, Miimi & Jiinda's inspiration is consistently growing.

"Seeing the response we get when we create an artwork, all the different emotions come up…when we are creating fashion it's a similar thing," Ms Greenwood told Style Up.

"Just being here at Country to Couture even inspires us further."

Miimi & Jiinda presenting at Country to Couture. (Image: Marley Morgan)

When it comes to Jarrett's approach to weaving, the pair agree that this is definitely not an overnight process.

"I walk on country and gather materials and process a design that will suit Melissa'a outfits," Ms Jarrett said.

"She has to soak them (materials used) in water and strip them…it's a whole process," said Ms Greenwood.

When asked the very important question of how well the duo work together as mother and daughter, Greenwood is quick to confirm they get along extremely well as both family members and business partners.

"We're fine… we have time out," Ms Greenwood said.

"We are always laughing and having fun… and I think that's the most important part."

Miimi & Jiinda presenting at Country to Couture. (Image: Marley Morgan)

Conscious of not revealing the brand's next steps before they are in motion, the artistic pair were mindful of not giving away too much too soon.

"We have lots of things on the horizon…this is just the tip of the iceberg with the fashion side of it," Ms Greenwood said.

"Watch this space."

With Miimi and Jiinda having already collaborated with brands such as Adairs, SEED and Jurlique, there is little doubt that whatever is coming next, will be nothing short of impressive.

*Melissa and Lauren hail from the Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, and Bundjalung tribes off Australia's East Coast, often referred to as Saltwater Country.

You can view Miimi & Jiinda's new collection online now.

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