Posted on Sep 23, 2019
Haute Hijab Staff
When veteran designer Mireia Lopez joined the Haute Hijab team, we were blown away by the scope and depth of her commitment to sustainable fashion and innovations in the creation of products. Now our director of design and innovation, Mireia is helping the HH brand not just talk about sustainability from conception to production, she is helping find better ways to make your hijabs in an eco-friendly fashion.
Mireia has been in the fashion industry for 25 years and brings loads of innovative thinking to the design team. She has a personal fashion project in India in which she is working to transform bio waste materials into beautiful clothing while benefiting the local artisans who make them. Also, you NEED to read her motto for life! Basically Mireia is one of the coolest people we know! Get to know Mireia as she answers 15 fun (and a few deep) questions in our ongoing summer (now fall) team-focused series – "15 Things You May Not Know About ... "
The stunning Mireia Lopez!
1. What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
I am always working and living at the same time, and I love it. I love to create, to get inspired, to learn. I love doing a lot of research, lately about sustainability and sustainable innovations, dyeing process and so on. So, I am constantly learning new techniques, new methods, new ways of working.
I’ve been in the fashion Industry for 25 years, but the research and learning has not stopped yet. It is my favorite thing to do. I guess I am old school! When I started in the fashion industry (with the brand Mango), designers would go to the library to get visual creative references to create a mood board. Now, a Google search is enough.
When I feel the most 100 percent disconnected from it all is when I am spending family time with close friends, or when I am exercising
2. What are your hobbies? What are your dream hobbies?
My hobbies are my work too – innovative fashion designing! I also love daydreaming and travel.
3. What is something you hate doing?
I try to avoid things I don’t like before it happens! Mmm, Also, reading endless excel sheets full of data is up there on the list!
4. If you could eat something on an endless loop, what would it be?
My mom’s paella. She comes from the mountains of Castellón in Spain, where there is a tradition to compete for the tastiest paella, cooking it on a campfire.
5. What feeds your soul/when are you at your happiest/best?
I need to be surrounded by nature, breathe fresh air, be at the beach or in the mountains. Discovering cultures and places feeds my soul and mind too. Being around my loving friends and family anywhere in the world makes me so happy.
Also, dancing to old disco music in a caftan … I love dancing!
6. Who do you look up to the most and why? (living or dead)
I look up to unapologetic kind and courageous people, to those fighting for equality and dignity for all.
As a child, my grandmother was a big influence, She lived during hard war times. She was so elegant and humble, and she had the most twisted sense of humor. When I was a child my family always said to me with a laugh, You are as crazy as your grandmother! So, she became my ally during my teenage years. I've loved her for that. She is very special to me.
Mireia in her last travels to India posing with Vishrami Devi, a master weaver at Tinola, The Barefoot College. This is a community where everybody is a learner and a teacher with no hierarchies, caste or gender discriminations.
7. What is something, if you could go back and change in your life, that you would?
Oh, nothing at all! Only I would say to myself not to worry too much and have fun.
8. What is your biggest challenge in life?
Not to worry too much.
9. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
I have always been a little scared of flying pigeons around me. If they could only stay on the floor eating! And that I am learning to take care of plants. I am not so great at it.
10. What is that big dream thing you want to accomplish in life? Or if not one thing, a few things?
I would love to open as many minds as possible about the symbiotic relationship between the health of our environment and human rights. I want to raise awareness about water scarcity affecting disadvantaged communities the most, especially those in our fashion supply chain.
I am working towards achieving those dreams everyday at Haute Hijab, and also through a dear personal project I started in India last winter: the Blinded By Color Project. One caftan sold supports the installation of water filters to one Indian household. The caftans are made using bio food waste materials dyed with botanical plants.
11. To the non-Muslims at Haute Hijab is your favorite OR not-so-favorite thing about working at a Muslim-owned company? Or, what is one thing you’ve learned that surprised you about Muslims?
The thing I like the most is the rewarding feeling of seeing everyone being themselves and empowered, not only within the team but also the HH community out there. What’s one thing I’ve learned? I can’t answer that ... yet. I’ve only been here for six months. Catch up with me later.
12. What does a typical Friday night look like for you?
Most likely working late or being a couch potato.
13. What’s the strangest or most fun family tradition you have?
The Caga Tío is a tradition from my hometown, Barcelona, with young kids. It’s a lot of fun. During Christmas, we hide chocolates and sweets under a piece of wood dressed up in a typical barretina (a red hat worn by peasants) and sing songs about poop until the wood ”pooped” the sweets out!
14. Cat person or dog person (or some other kind of animal)?
Always cats. I had three in the two decades, and although is very tempting to adopt a fourth, I am taking a break now.
15. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be and why?
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
(The last photo is of Mireia with her friend Zahra Shihaduddin, a science researcher. Zahra is wearing the Viscose Hijab in Evergreen.)