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Mentally, We’re in Hawaii. Want to Come?

Wish you were surrounded by palm trees, your toes deep in the sand? Us too. Meet our Spring 2021 collection.

By Caitlin Abber

“We’re all getting really sick of this, right?” That was one of the first things Miyako, M.M.’s Chief Creative Officer, said when I called her to talk about the Spring 2021 collection. We laughed about it for a minute, but it’s so true. As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s hard not to feel totally, completely, guttural-scream over it. 

Which is why it might seem a little absurd that we chose to shoot our new collection in Hawaii (with a local team—no M.M. employees flew or were even on site!) or that the collection itself features some of our brightest, boldest, happiest silhouettes and colors. Beach vacations might seem like a fantasy or so out of the realm of possibility that even imagining one hurts, and we get that. But also, this “mental vacation” is exactly what lots of us need right now. Some escapism. A bit of room to play. Mentally, we’re in Hawaii. And we want to take you with us. 

We want to give you some respite after this long, hard winter, and our hope is that this collection feels like the sun on your face, and a slow, much-needed vacation ahead of you. 

How We Pulled Off a Photoshoot in Hawaii During the Pandemic

The Hawaii location was actually a total coincidence. “As we were thinking about shooting Spring 2021, we all were all feeling a little cooped up and cold (it was November), and looking at the beautiful earth tones and bright colors of the collection, we just wanted to go on a vacation,” says Lauren, M.M.’s Art Director. “Serendipitously, around the same time, our photographer reached out with plans to have a crew in Hawaii and asked if we would be interested in shooting there.”

The team contemplated if this was the right move. But with so many of our friends, co-workers, and customers not working in offices right now (in fact, a few of them have even up and moved to sunnier locales), the idea of shooting our spring collection on the beach didn’t seem so strange. In fact, perhaps for that very reason, everyone fell in love with the idea. This is us embracing hybrid dressing—styles that can be dressed up or down, depending on the situation—at its fullest. Plus, if we couldn’t go on vacation, at least the clothes could. 

“The clothes literally flew on Delta,” says Lauren. “I dropped them off at JFK myself for a 7am flight, and they arrived on the Big Island the next day. Our model was local. We had a casting over Zoom where she sat on the beach and told us about her surfing practice and quarantining in paradise. The photographer shot for two days on classic sandy beaches and small towns around Hilo. The M.M. team stood by in New York for updates and input over WhatsApp chat, where we approved styling and gave input on poses and locations.”

What Miyako is Most Excited About

The funny thing about this collection is that much of it was conceptualized before the pandemic. Miyako and the team began designing for Spring 2021 in January 2020—and then boom, everything was disrupted. Suddenly, they weren’t only presented with the challenge of doing fittings over Zoom (“We thought the Zoom fittings were quite successful until we saw the products in person,” jokes Miyako), but also reimagining the collection for our mid-pandemic, work-from-home, hybrid lifestyles. 

Miyako ran with the hybrid concept and created styles that can be worn both now and when we go back to the office (or our lives, for that matter). There are ponte leggings (an M.M. first!), as well as beautiful, machine-washable silks. Then, there are statement pieces, like the James dress, which looks structured and sexy, but is easy to dress down. “You could wear the James dress with a sweatshirt, a casual blazer, or even a big cardigan,” says Miyako. 

Our new washable silk knits are the very definition of hybrid dressing—especially if you’re looking for a bit of luxury. “We want you to have that instant feeling of, oh, this feels so luxurious, and you want to stay in it, whether if you’re at home or at work.”

Ultimately, the collection looks different from previous M.M. offerings because it is. It’s lighter and a little less buttoned up, but still purposeful and tailored to perfection. As Miyako explains, “We wanted to make sure that the clothes have a place in your life that makes sense.” And if they don’t make sense, that’s fun too. After all, what about life right now really makes sense? 

Caitlin Abber

Written By

Caitlin Abber

Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and OprahMag.com.

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