THE BOSS BABES SERIES - Michelle Aznavorian
Today's boss babe interview is with Michelle Aznavorian, founder of Australian label MISHA known for its sexy and statement making designs loved by some of the biggest celebrities and loyal customers alike.
Interviewed by Samantha Perez
SP: What were the anxieties like at the beginning of MISHA Collection when you started from your parent's garage?
It was challenging at the start. I was still working full time as a Buyer’s Assistant, and at night I was packing online orders, talking to customers, building the website and approaching boutiques to stock MISHA. I had support from my family, but it was my business, so the onus was on me to make sure it was a success.
From day one I had a clear vision for MISHA: minimal, sexy, classic and tailored. By making sure everything was consistent and considered (from the product to the branding to the packaging) I was able to create a cohesive brand that people began to really respond to. Within 8 months of launching the MISHA website, I quit my job to work on MISHA full time, and within a year MISHA had gone global and was being requested by the likes of Kim Kardashian, JLO and Ariana Grande.
Today we are stocked in over 80 stores worldwide and have more than half a million followers on Instagram and Facebook.
SP: What do you think was the launching factor/s that contributed to the rapid success of MISHA Collection?
I think a contributing factor was social media. I started MISHA Collection around the same time Instagram was getting popular for brands and it had become a new way to shop. We were there from the beginning and quickly built up a large, loyal following who we were able to show our products to.
Through Instagram, we were able to acquire new customers and gain referrals from our current customers, and engage directly with shoppers.
Customers were able to see celebrities wearing our products, and learn new ways to style outfits, so it drew a lot of new business to the MISHA website.
SP: If you could give an anticipating fashion school graduate a piece of advice, what would it be?
Ask a lot of questions and do a lot of research! Know your market and understand what they need and why they would buy your product. Once you’ve done that, don’t overthink it too much and just do! Huge opportunities are lost every day by procrastinating.
SP: How or what do you derive inspiration from to create your collections?
My designs for Misha always follow a similar ethos – they exude confidence with a dash of sexiness. They are timeless designs you can wear season after season. There’s inspiration from multiple fashion eras, and a feeling of high-end luxury without breaking the bank.
When designing for a specific collection and to ensure it is cohesive, I start with a story or a mood. I draw inspiration for this from international fashions, runways, street styles and key fabrics I come across.
SP: What's the hardest thing about being the boss?
You would think it would be juggling MISHA and giving birth to my first child two months ago! But being a working mum has actually been a dream so far, fingers crossed it continues.
The hardest thing about being a boss for me would be having to learn everything through experience rather than already knowing, or being taught. As a young entrepreneur, I don’t have decades of experience under my belt like other business owners, so I am constantly learning through trial and error. But it has made me adaptable and willing to try new things, and if they don’t work out then it’s on to the next!
SP: What are your current goals for yourself and the future of MISHA Collection?
Continuing expansion is always on the cards for the future of MISHA, but for this year I’m really excited about our Fall collection we have just dropped and our Resort collection launching in October. We’re introducing brand new prints, colours and textures – so there’s be lots of styles that will surprise customers.
Wearing a MISHA Collection Leopard Dress